Yelp Findings Suggest A Great Week For Small Businesses

Chris CrumBusiness

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Last week, Yelp released findings from a Harris Interactive poll it commissioned to gain insight into consumers' holiday plans when it comes to local businesses. It found that 64% of Americans plan to patronize local independent retailers, and that 7 in 10 Americans age 18-34 plan to do so – more than any other age group.

As a small business, are you expecting a fruitful week/month? Let us know in the comments.

Local hoppers, it found, plan to unload $258 at local businesses on average, totaling $40 billion.

Yelp suggests there's a lot for small businesses to gain right now, and that the insights can help local retailers attract more customers.

When asked what motivates them to support small businesses in their city, Yelp says, the majority of those likely to patronize local businesses said they do so to find unique gifts (67%). 55% said they like supporting the local economy, and 44% said it's just convenient. People aren’t just looking at retail to get gifts this year, Yelp says, adding that it found that over half of Americans (53%) plan to get experience-based gifts at local businesses.

This includes gift certificates for eating establishments (34%), theater or cinema tickets (18%) and salon and spa services (17%).

Yelp pointed to the findings as motivation to “drive more eyeballs to your Yelp page.” The company cited Nielsen data saying that 82% of Yelp users go to the site intending to get a product or service and that 89% of those who do, do so within a week.

More of Yelp’s findings are highlighted in the following infographic.

Now, Yelp is sharing a list of the top 20 cities for local small business retail this year.

Yelp says it's "thrilled that so many Americans plan to support their local economies" by unloading a "big chunk of change on Main Street."

"We culled through millions of Yelp reviews to find out which cities in the U.S. are the best for finding gifts," it says.

To determine the list, Yelp created a gifting rating system for each city by looking at reviews mentioning the word 'gift' at businesses. It then ranked cities based on the rating system and included up to two cities per state.

The top 10 cities, according to Yelp, are as follows:

1. Philadelphia, PA

2. Honolulu, HI

3. Seattle, WA

4. Oakland, CA

5. Portland, OR

6. Oklahoma City, OK

7. New Orleans, LA

8. Burbank, CA

9. Brooklyn, NY

10. Denver, CO

Yelp released its Q3 financials late last month, beating Wall Street expectations. The company revealed that its cumulative reviews grew 35% year over year reaching 90 million. Local advertising accounts grew 37% year over year to about 104,200.

"Consumers are increasingly discovering our app, which represents approximately 70% of engagement across our entire ecosystem," said CEO Jeremy Stoppelman. "We believe that our highly engaging app, combined with our native local advertising products that generate high ROI for our customers, strongly positions us to capture the large market...”

According to data for September cited by the company, Yelp was one of the top 25 mobile web and app properties. Yelp's page views grew nearly 40% year over year with 70% coming from its mobile app.

If Yelp's findings are indicative of consumers' plans, this week in particular should be a great one for small business owners.

Do you expect it to be a great period for small businesses? Let us know in the comments.

Image via Yelp

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.