Ordering Food Online Will Never Be The Same:
Yelp is making a serious play for delivering more than just reviews. Yelp is going after online food delivery with new services aimed at getting food to consumers in a few clicks. The new service from Yelp is direct competition to Seamless.com and could be disruptive to the whole food delivery industry online. Yelp’s strength is its reviews, speed to market and public sources of funding along with exceptional talent. In July 2013, Yelp purchased mobile reservations service SeatMe to eat into the reservation market led by OpenTable. This could leave delivery standalone sites in the dust.
Seamless has an advantage of being one of the leaders in the food delivery industry online but Yelp has content – via fresh reviews from sources most people trust and network effects from its extended reach. Can Yelp win in the food delivery race and consolidate other sites or mobile concerns and take a leadership role? Anything’s possible, remember the lead Lycos had on Google? Investors are taking notice of Yelp’s dominance online and on mobile platforms so it has momentum to be successful in the sector as well as a few others. Working with Delivery.com and Eat24 gives Yelp economies of scale in regions that may not have been tapped by the Seamless or Grubhub and eateries are often eager to sign up with the latest ‘hot’ internet site that promises steady traffic.
The investment community is taking a good look at Yelp and it’s been climbing for the last few months. It’s a household name outside of major cities with positive reputational spillovers. The ordering food online sector will get interesting.