Introducing Gift Certificates – the newest product feature for local business owners

Here at Yelp we’re always looking for new ways to connect consumers with great local businesses. Last summer we introduced Yelp Deals, and today we’re excited to introduce the latest in our line of advertising and marketing products for small business owners: Gift Certificates.

Businesses are now able to sell gift certificates direct to consumers through their Yelp business profile page. Gift certificates are not discounted like Deals are. They’re full-value cash equivalents. For example: I buy you a $100 gift certificate to the hottest restaurant in town (for your 40th birthday, poor thing), it costs me $100 (and is worth every cent), and is valid for $100 worth of drink and food (in that order) at said eatery. Easy, right?

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Earlier this year we tested the concept to see what sort of response it would generate relative to Yelp Deals.

Here’s what we learned:

  • When giving gifts, some were reluctant to give a discounted product, like deals.
  • Some deals are priced too low to cover the cost of a full meal or service (example: a $20 for $40 deal doesn’t cover the cost of a 90 minute facial at your favorite day spa).
  • Deals are a great way to present a new customer with a reason to try your business.
  • Gift certificates are helpful for turning your existing customers into some of your best promoters.

We’ve spent a lot of time working on this new feature and we’re eager to hear what business owners think. We’d also like to give a quick shout out to our Small Business Advisory Council who provided some solid feedback on this new feature. High fives all the way around!

Soooo…is it too early to talk about holiday shopping? Ouch! Hey, who threw that paper wad at my head!