NetGuide NZ - Yelp set to "revolutionise NZ retail industry"

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Yelp set to "revolutionise NZ retail industry"

Kiwi consumers look set to benefit from the arrival of an online review site, designed to help shoppers identify the most popular New Zealand businesses.

Introducing Yelp, a local business and review guide, self-proclaimed as one of the world's most successful online companies.

Launching across the country today, New Zealand becomes the 21st country in the world to receive the service, launched in the US in 2004 by Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons, former engineering colleagues at PayPal.

So what is Yelp and how will it help Kiwis?

The site currently operates 12 languages, enjoying over 100 million monthly unique visitors in January of this year.

Yelp's VP of New Markets Miriam Warren says New Zealanders can review and share community experiences and search for anything from a place to eat to the closest medical centre or children’s toy shop.

Warren adds that culturally-rich New Zealand is home to a colourful range of experiences and she is excited to watch as Kiwis make Yelp their very own local guide.

“We're looking forward to reading the chorus of opinions about where to find the best fish and chips, watch the rugby live on-screen at local bars, and try the nation’s globally celebrated wines," Warren says.

"We’re excited to bring Yelp to New Zealand to connect consumers with great local businesses."

The company will also employ local residents in the country as community managers to support Yelp’s growth and help consumers have a voice according to Warren.

A done deal Down Under

Continuing on San Francisco-based Yelp's international growth strategy, the launch completes the company's inclusion of Australasia, following its introduction in Australia in 2011.

"Since the company’s launch in 2004, it has seen 36 million reviews posted to its site," Warren says.

"Yelp’s mobile application was used on 9.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly average basis during the fourth quarter of 2012.

"During the same time period, a consumer generated directions to or called a local business from a Yelp mobile app every second, while approximately 45% of all searches on Yelp were done via the company’s mobile app."

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