I’ve been using the Yelp app to find food and entertainment more often lately, especially since I often travel for work and vacation. But I’ve also gotten some peer pressure to use other apps like FourSquare, since they have better integrations with other apps like Gyroscope.
I built up some Product Management experience while working at Adobe and Xamarin (I wasn’t a Product Manager officially, but I did collaborate with PMs to get bugs and new features added to our products). Here’s my take at what Yelp could do to stay relevant in the rapidly evolving mobile space.
1. Geo-Aware Credit Card Suggestions
Hypothesis: Banks and Credit Card companies offer cash-back rewards and travel points cards to working professionals. Many consumers have multiple cards, but it is sometimes annoying to think about which card to use at different stores to maximize benefits. I hypothesize that consumers would enjoy knowing which card to use to achieve the most benefit.
Idea: Context-aware credit card suggestions for Yelp users.
Requirements: Users would need to provide Yelp with a list of their credit card types (no CC numbers required though). Use geo-location of customer to suggest optimal credit card.
Analog: The “Wallaby” app on iOS provides location-based card suggestions to users. A companion Apple Watch app gently buzzes the user when he or she spends more than a few minutes at a store. The iPhone and Apple Watch push notification says “At Spike’s Coffee? Use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card.” More info at https://www.walla.by/mobile .
2. Events on Yelp
Hypothesis: Many small businesses, clubs, community centers, and more host special events that may be of unique interest to users. Right now the only way to learn about these events is to visit Meetup.com, search for the listing on the store’s website (often a bad experience if it is a small business), or read about it on Facebook Events.
Idea: Provide businesses with an Events interface where they can add a calendar of events for their business. Yelp takes that information and presents it to users when they search for events going on that night or in the future. Imagine the 2D Yelp map with an added time dimension that shows you the location and description of events in the future.
Requirements: Businesses would need to be willing to populate Yelp with event information. I expect this will have high adoption because many businesses (especially small shops) struggle to advertise their events already. Yelp’s massive user base provides extra opportunities for advertising.
Analogs: Facebook Events, Meetup.com, Eventbrite
I mailed these suggestions in to Yelp already. We’ll see what happens :)