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Yelp (YELP) Adds Features to Improve Customer Experience

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In a bid to boost diner traffic and customer loyalty, Yelp (YELP - Free Report) recently executed its restaurant-related product offerings upgrade by adding Yelp Connect and advanced Waitlist features.

Reportedly, Yelp Connect will help restaurants build their brands and communicate various updates to diners on menu items, happy hour specials and various events plus offers.

The company believes that by using Connect, restaurants will be able to strategically target consumers who have shown interest.

Moreover, the company is looking to provide more convenience to customers with the addition of Predictive Wait Time and Notify Me features on Waitlist. While Predictive Wait Times will show diners a live wait time, Notify Me will allow them to set reminders to join a waitlist. Per the company, the accuracy of estimates has been improved by machine learning.

The tools will help diners better plan their dining experience and save time. Meanwhile, restaurants will be able to manage customer footfall better.

Yelp Inc. Revenue (TTM)

Ramping Up Efforts:  A Tailwind

Yelp has been continuously making updates to its applications in an attempt to diversify its product portfolio and enrich customer experience.

Integration of Nowait, which the company acquired for $40 million in 2017, has led to more diners joining restaurant waitlists through the Yelp app.

The collaboration with GrubHub (GRUB - Free Report) is also a positive for Yelp as it provides users with access to a significant number of restaurants available for order placements on the platform.

The company has been supplementing restaurants to Yelp Reservations and Yelp Waitlist since last year. Last November, it launched Waitlist Kiosks across U.S. restaurants to make the lives of both diners and restaurant staff a lot easier. In April, a feature was added to the app, which allows users to rate eco-friendliness of a restaurant.

Notably, by providing captivating experiences to consumers in the Restaurant category, the company has sustained mid-teens’ growth on a year-over-year basis in App Unique Devices during the last reported quarter.

Moreover, the addition of proprietary offerings has helped it attract users and led to a reduction in spending on consumer marketing by more than half in the second quarter.

Compared to the year-ago period, the average number of diners seated via Yelp per month more than doubled to 2.4 million in the second quarter.

Increase in the restaurant customer base using the company’s Yelp Reservations and Yelp Waitlist products spurred a 15% year-over-year rise in Other services revenues in the last reported quarter.

We believe, by introducing innovative features, the company will be able to cater to the needs of both diners and restaurants, which is likely to aid user adoption of the platform and withstand competition from Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google and Facebook (FB - Free Report) .

Yelp currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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