Yelp Store Visits Debuts to Help Brands With Multiple Locations Drive Foot Traffic

A video component was added to Showcase Ads to highlight promotions, new items

Yelp introduced two ad products Tuesday aimed at enabling businesses with multiple locations nationally to get their message through to the local business information platform’s “high-intent audience.”

Yelp Store Visits, available to multilocation advertisers, is a first-party attribution tool that enables them to better understand the effectiveness of their ads in terms of driving physical store foot traffic.

The tool helps determine cost per visit attributable to Yelp advertising and allows clients to get a better handle on return on ad spend by using opt-in location information at scale, along with other signals users provide when engaging with Yelp.

Yelp said a national casual dining restaurant chain that was part of the pilot for Yelp Store Visits achieved a cost per visit of $1.17 via Yelp ads, with 91% of those visits happening within 24 hours of engaging with those Yelp ads.

Showcase Ads enable national brands to highlight in-season promotions, new menu items and limited time offers, and Yelp said it is adding a video component to business pages.

Fast-casual restaurant chain Denny’s was part of the pilot program for Yelp Store Visits—with the help of its media agency, Spark Foundry—while Fortune 500 brands including IHOP, Starbucks and T-Mobile were part of the pilot group for Showcase Ads.

Yelp said overall, revenue from its larger advertisers rose 21% in the third quarter of 2019 compared with the year-ago period, and at the end of the third quarter, roughly one-third of the 250 largest U.S. restaurants and retailers (by revenue) were Yelp clients.

Yelp senior vice president of national sales Tom Foran said in a release, “National and multilocation brands are looking for sophisticated products to help them drive ad performance, demonstrate ROI (return on investment) on their campaigns and better tell their story in an increasingly noisy digital landscape. Brand advertisers appreciate Yelp’s ability to help them reach high-intent consumers with relevant and effective content. These new products represent our commitment to building advertising solutions that generate real results for our brand partners. By utilizing Showcase Ads and measuring the results with Store Visits, brands are able to target their new or seasonal product offerings to a hyperlocal audience and know the impact of their marketing campaigns on driving consumers into stores.”

Denny’s vp of brand engagement Erik Jensen added, “We are always looking for new ways to reach our consumers and, given Yelp’s dominance in the industry, we sought a partnership to help us drive more customers to our restaurants. We’ve been working with Yelp since 2015, but we decided that we wanted to take things to the next level when we learned about Yelp Store Visits. YSV has helped us to truly understand the impact of our ad dollars and ensure that we’re leveraging the right strategy. We look forward to continuing our partnership in 2020 and uncovering even more valuable ways to attract more customers to Denny’s.”