Through a new partnership with the boutique shopping platform Shoptiques.com, Yelp now offers consumers the ability to purchase high-end apparel and accessories from these retailers based in the U.S., England and France.
The new partnership, Yelp notes on its blog, “makes it so easy to support cool local businesses (like Olive & Bette’s in NYC or y&i Clothing Boutique in San Francisco) and find something uniquely you. Read reviews and highlights from the Yelp community for each boutique, browse their inventory in a sleek shopping interface, add to your cart, purchase, and get it delivered to your door, all on Yelp.”
Shoptiques.com, which offers products from 1,500 boutique stores in 1,000 cities in three countries, plans to expand its offering.
It says it seeks to provide small businesses with digital solutions that allow them to compete globally.
Merchandisers belonging to Shoptiques.com gain access to “millions of customers” as well as a massive assortment of customizable tools, such as Web hosting, email marketing, and inventory management.
Shoptiques.com is the Yelp Platform’s first partner in boutique shopping, Yelp’s largest category of reviewed businesses, with 23 percent.
Yelp, widely known for posting customer reviews, plans to debut the partnership in stages over the next few months. At present, more than 200 businesses are available through the Shoptiques platform. Plans are to add thousands more boutiques by the end of the year.
Yelp Platform is designed to connect people with local businesses in a range of ways, including by exposing them to products, as well as facilitating actual transactions in different product categories.
Currently Yelp Platform’s offerings include food ordering, spa treatments, winery tastings, hotels and – the latest – boutique shopping.
By the end of this year’s first quarter, consumers completed about 1.5 million transactions on Yelp Platform, the company said.
Yelp added the Platform concept in 2013 as a way to generate sales. The website previously only focused on posting reviews. It also offers online advertising to merchants as well.
For small businesses, Yelp Platform is another way to sell to online shoppers, leveraging the website’s busy traffic.
Discussing the initial Yelp Platform rollout, founder Jeremy Stoppelman explains:
“Yelp connects people with great local businesses, giving users plenty of information to make spending decisions and allowing them to share those experiences online. What about those times when you discover a great business and want to book it directly on Yelp? Well, great news: today we’re introducing Yelp Platform, a new way to transact on Yelp.”
Yelp users had been limited to posting reviews, photos, and additional information about a restaurant or service-based business. Yelp Platform takes them a step further, facilitating the ordering and purchasing of products from partners.