Yelp has introduced a brand new tailored experience, offering personalized search results based on user’s lifestyle, diet and interests. The new additions mark the first time Yelp has presented customized options to its users, as the company continues to expand its focus beyond food.
What Will Yelp’s Personalization Features Include?
Yelp’s new personalization features produce custom search results based on each user’s general preferences, allowing consumers to tailor their Yelp app to exactly what they want to see. When users set up profiles including dietary restrictions (gluten free, vegetarian, etc.), lifestyle restrictions (pet owner, parent, homeowner, etc.) and accessibility preferences (location, distance, etc.), the app will update in real-time and users will immediately see new, personalized home screens. Yelp will begin recommending different businesses and things to do which meet user’s requirements, along with details on why each business is the right fit for users.
If users choose to switch their personalized features week to week – or even day to day – updates can be made within the app, and Yelp will quickly display the requested changes. Yelp user preferences will only be visible to that specific user, and the information will not be shared with a third party. Yelp’s personalization features are now available for millions of app users, with access for all iOS users expected to arrive this fall.
Why Is Yelp Adding Personalization Features?
According to Yelp’s head of consumer product, Akhil Ramesh, Yelp’s machine learning and AI capabilities have grown significantly over the last two years. These technological improvements have allowed the app to give users a more evolved consumer experience so each user can create meaningful connections with the right businesses. In doing so, Yelp is showing its users that Yelp wants to learn about each person’s preferences. The app is also remaining innovative and differentiating its experience by giving users complete control, essentially creating a personal concierge.
“Rather than serving recommendations solely based on a user’s search history, Yelp is starting an open conversation with consumers to better understand their preferences and interests in order to customize the app to show them what they want to see more of,” Yelp shared in a recent blog post.
How Will Businesses Be Affected By Yelp’s Personalization Features?
Businesses won’t have any work to do on their end when it comes to categorizing their businesses, as a majority of the information provided comes from user-generated reviews, photos and previously answered questions. Labels will be automatically applied to each business, but each company owner can edit the labels as they see fit.
“This is not just about an algorithm trying to listen to what you did and make biased decisions about who you are,” explained Ramesh. “What we built through personalization is an experience that gives the control to the user.”
While the power lies mainly with the user, businesses could ultimately benefit from Yelp’s improvements, as the new features will specifically attract an audience that is looking for customized content. Yelp’s mobile visitor numbers have displayed a consistent growth over the years, reaching over 36.74 million unique mobile app visitors as of the second quarter of 2019. With the addition of these personalization features, businesses should expect to see that number continue to rise.
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