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Yelp and ReachLocal form exclusive partnership to own home services industry

Yelp is on a mission to dominate local services. Yelp and ReachLocal announced an exclusive partnership today that will enable users to book home services directly on Yelp.

Yelp has made a major push this year to become a place where people actually do business, rather than just research. Millions of people use Yelp to search for repairmen, home cleaners, interior designers etc….By partnering with ReachLocal, Yelp visitors will be able to see current appointment availability, book, and buy home services through a company’s Yelp profile, rather than calling that business or redirecting to their Website.

ReachLocal provides online marketing tools for local businesses. The public company added ReachCommerce into its suite of solutions earlier this year to help small and medium businesses move all their operations online, including scheduling, booking, email confirmations, tracking of technician arrival, digital estimates, and payments. ReachLocal will  power home service bookings on Yelp at the end of this year, and ReachCommerce users will have the exclusive ability to automatically integrate booking into their Yelp profiles.

Yelp launched Yelp Platform at MobileBeat 2013, taking a major step towards becoming more than just a reviews site. Yelp’s CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said in an exclusive interview with VentureBeat that his goal is to turn Yelp into a “one-stop shop” for transactions with local businesses, and close the loop for consumers. The first vertical on Yelp Platform was a food delivery feature through partnerships with Eat24 and Consumers could not only browse for food options on Yelp, but place their orders as well.

Home services is a huge market of $400 billion a year. Americans spend a lot of money on local services, but the market remains highly fragmented. It is made up of a large number of small, local businesses that don’t have a strong Internet presence. This presents a challenge for consumers, who want to a convenient way to hire someone trustworthy and competent, and for businesses that struggle to reach potential customers.

ReachLocal is one of the few companies that has made anyway headway in addressing these challenges. It spun out a new offering called ClubLocal earlier this year to bring home services into the modern Internet eta. ReachLocal’s CEO Zorik Gordon told VentureBeat that consumers have come to expect transparent pricing, responsive service, and guaranteed satisfaction when it comes to online purchasing, but they still expect inconvenience when it comes to local services. ClubLocal was intended to eliminate as much friction as possible from the process, and the partnership with Yelp is also part of that vision.


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Mystic Maggie

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