Yelp case study

Grow the number of transactions

Problem space

Breaking it down: What contributes to the number of transactions?

User analysis:

Transactions involve both the user and business owner:

Possible pain points:


Why is it worth solving?

As a product:

Users will have a better experience conducting end-to-end transactions on one platform, their flow will not be broken by having to switch to another platform or calling.

As a business:

Transaction revenue currently only makes up 8.3% of total revenue (3Q17).

Putting a focus on transactions with Request-A-Quote, Grubhub, and Yelp Reservations will help with diversifying the company’s revenue in its most profitable areas: home and local at 31% and restaurants at 15%.

Aligns with Yelp’s goal to power local businesses (according to Jed Nachman) by providing a large user base to conduct transactions, and making it easier to do so.

AIDA Analysis

The AIDA conversion funnel can be used to engage users and business owners at every stage from first contact to the decision to conduct a transaction. Start with an AIDA analysis to map out user journey and identify area of focus.

Solution: Notification center


A notification center built into the user’s profile, which will contain both their messages and new feature alerts, upcoming reservations, responses to quote requests, rewards received, etc.

Users are rewarded for their first use of the transaction or recommending it to a friend. The reward money is put on hold and can be redeemed through by using it for another feature on Yelp (e.g. ordering food).


Start engaging users at the awareness stage: as Yelp expands, users need a way of finding out how Yelp can make their lives easier.

Users are incentivized to try new features to get rewards, then incentivized to use those rewards on transactions in other places.

Although the solution doesn’t focus on one type of transaction, it takes a more holistic approach of how users discover and user any type of transaction.

Targets threefold: onboarding users, retaining users, and making users more engaged

Audit of current flow to messages

New design objectives for notification center

Make messages easier to access for users, more obvious part of their flow

Notification center should focus on a creating a way of presenting notifications that is obvious to the user but does not disrupt their flow

Users should be able to distinguish their messages with businesses and feature notifications from Yelp, but notifications are not in a separate section/tab because users would have less incentive as it’s not part of their intentional flow

Design Mockups

Success Metrics


Increase in transaction revenue y-o-y (32.5% increase from 3Q15 to 3Q16 and 16.3% increase from 3Q16 to 3Q17)

Quantitative metrics

Qualitative metrics


May backfire and add friction in the user’s flow if they find discovering features to be unnecessary information that makes it harder to find their messages


From a user perspective:

From a business owner perspective:

Increase in transactions = more profitable business