Since the business case is broad and vague in its objective, I am coming up with a few ideas on improving Yelp in terms of business strategy and website modifications.
1. M&As to increase its customer base and international presence. This can be further investigated based on the results of recent acquisitions of Qype and SeatMe.
2. Enter other emerging markets which include the BRIAC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China. Investigate how other business such as Amazon, eBay & Craigslist entered these emerging markets and how they have sustained and performed.
3. Increase the service offerings to other products and services and categorize them into broad groups. Example – Review and Sales of books, review and sales of movies under a “Entertainment” category.
4. Since Ads are the major source of income, analyze the current revenue recognition method for the customers and see if it needs to be renegotiated or if a new method of generating revenues needs to be implemented. A strong case for supporting this is:
a. Percentage increase in revenue for a customer after registering with Yelp website.
b. Percentage increase in revenue for a customer after positive reviews/ ratings received in Yelp website.
c. Percentage increase in revenue for a customer based on number of clicks on in the Yelp website.
5. Identify and research major competitors for Yelp and see how they have been performing and what actions they are taking to improve their business.
6. Obtain feedback from both the customers and the users and try to see if they are value add. Modify the business process within Yelp accordingly – Perform A/B test before making it a permanent change.
7. Customer / User loyalty programs can be introduced - Perform A/B test before making it a permanent change.
1. The recent M&As and potential M&As Yelp needs to ensure that the Branding and UI of all the websites are consistent and clear.
2. Building one parent website instead of having multiple websites and inter connecting links.
3. More emphasis and importance can be given for customer and user feedback on their experience with Yelp website. Inputs received needs to be analyzed and based on a A/B test performed for a small set of population, we can decide to implement the feature permanently. Can provide perks to customer/ users for participating in this.
4. Reduce the noise (Content / Information / Links) on the home page. Make the home page more dynamic and interactive and wanting a new / existing user to stay on and explore Yelp.
5. Provide the “Suggestions” functionality based on the previous search history and website usage for a user. Can also make it more intelligent and provide this information based on your dietary needs / goals & preferences.
6. Make the Maps – voices enabled / provide the option for users to open it on their own Maps applications such as – Google maps easily.
7. Can implement continuous scrolling of the web page.
8. User friendly UI which helps in - forming groups, tagging friends / sending the review notifications etc.
9. Integrate in terms of gathering / sharing information with other social media networks such as Twitter & Facebook.
10. Data analytic of the many attributes and use it for building a better website / business.
11. Provide details on the nutritional value / calorie counts for the food.