June 21 - Yelp CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, says his company could soon be a place where you not only read reviews, but also spend money. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Yelp could soon be a place were you not only read restaurants reviews, but also blow some hard-earned cash... just like on Amazon. The CEO of the company, Jeremy Stoppelman, says he is thinking of giving life to a one-stop-shop. SOUNDBITE: JEREMY STOPPELMAN, CEO, YELP (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "A sushi restaurant can put up a deal, $20 of value for $10; very simple, they could just do it in their business owner tools on Yelp. And then, at the time that a customer is searching, they'd be able to discover that deal and potentially change their decision because, hey, they can get a discount if they transact right on their Yelp app." And that one-stop-shop would be feasible to business as well. SOUNDBITE: JEREMY STOPPELMAN, CEO, YELP (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "It ties into this idea that businesses want to close the loop. They want to know, where did I get that customer online, who gave it to me, how did I, did I spend advertising dollars to generate that lead?" Yelp is still losing money, but last quarter's loss was smaller than expected and losses were actually cut in half from the year before - helped by strength in local and mobile ad revenues. As for expansion priorities: SOUNDBITE: JEREMY STOPPELMAN, CEO, YELP (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "I would say mobile or transition to mobile and then international as well, adding both new countries and then new cities and countries that we've already launched." Yelp has local sites in at least 21 countries, buying European rival Qype in 2012. SOUNDBITE: JEREMY STOPPELMAN, CEO, YELP (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "We have north of a 100 million monthly unique visitors, and we've got north of 10 million people in our apps every single month, that's active users. And we have north of 39 million reviews." The social network field, however, is crowded. Yelp is facing tougher competition from Google and Facebook. Facebook is a particular threat with a search feature that enables users to trawl their network of friends to find everything from restaurants to movie recommendations.