Yelp Is Reportedly Looking To Get Into E-Commerce

    June 5, 2013
    Chris Crum

According to one report, Yelp is considering getting into ecommerce with a potential on-site shopping feature.

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman spoke at the LeWeb conference in London. According to SocialTimes, he said the company is considering supporting ecommerce.

The report quotes him as saying, “We have a toe in the water, but I see a lot of potential there. We have all these people who are essentially shopping for something online that they’ll buy offline but they’re not closing the transaction,” and adds that Yelp is “considering supporting purchases” to its OpenTable integration, and that the company expects to launch new products within weeks.

While this online shopping stuff did not come up, The Guardian has an interesting interview with Stoppelman from the conference in which he discusses mobile growth, global expansion and recommendations. In that, he also talked a bit about the infamous review filter that many have criticized. Yelp has been accused of extortion by businesses numerous times, charges that the company staunchly rejects. Here’s a snippet from the interview discussing the system:

“There’s the problem of how you protect the businesses, making sure the content is as useful and trustworthy as possible. Although also how you make sure businesses don’t inflate their own ratings,” he says.

That means heavy investment in Yelp’s review filter, which combs through the site’s data to spot suspicious patterns and pull out reviews that may be fake – more than 20% for some businesses according to Stoppelman – and remove them from the main listings, although they are still accessible through a link.

As millions more people use a service like Yelp, does it become harder to game the system? Actually, Stoppelman says that bigger scale means bigger efforts to undermine it.

“The more prominent we are, the more efforts expand to beat the system,” he says. “We’re investing more and more: we have this arm’s race going on. But we think we’re far enough ahead with our efforts

Earlier this year, Yelp topped 100 million unique monthly visitors for the first time. Last month, the company revealed that its average uniques grew 43% year-over-year to 102 million, while revenue was up 68% year-over-year.