Nielsen Study Reveals 4 Out Of 5 Yelp Users Stop By Yelp Before Making Local Purchases

According to a Nielsen survey commissioned by Yelp, four out of five Yelp users visit before spending money, and 93 percent say that visiting Yelp leads to a local purchase.

When asked why they use Yelp, 82 percent said they typically visit Yelp because they intend to buy a product or service.

Of the participants identified as Yelp users, 89 percent said they typically make a purchase within a week from the businesses they find on Yelp. The 93 percent who said Yelp leads to a local purchase included participants who responded always, frequently, or occasionally.

Yelp Nielsen survey june 2013

When asked to rank what factors help Yelp users choose a local business, 44 percent say the reviews are the most important information in the listing, followed by ratings (26 percent), number of reviews (17 percent), and reviews written by someone they know (14 percent).

The survey also found that restaurants were the most common businesses searched on Yelp, followed by beauty and spa, food, nightlife, home and local services, professional services, shopping and pets. Other businesses commonly searched on Yelp included hotels and travel, auto, arts and entertainment, health and medical, real estate and financial services.

When asked which site Internet users are most likely to go to first if not Yelp, 84 percent said they search Google, followed by Yahoo and Facebook.

Yelp Neilsen survey June 2013

Conducted earlier this year using a Nielsen online panel, the “Yelp Consumer Survey” included a total of 1,415 respondents split into two groups, an ‘Online Rep Sample’ and a ‘Yelp Sample.’ The ‘Online Rep Sample’ consisted of 1,006 participants representing Internet users that searched online for local business information, while the ‘Yelp Sample’ was made up of 409 panelists that were previously identified as having visited Yelp, as well as indicated during the survey that they had used Yelp.

Yelp notes that their analysis included responses from the ‘Yelp Sample’ group along with 106 panelists from the ‘Online Rep Sample’ that indicated they had visited Yelp.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Internet Marketing Industry: Stats | Statistics: Online Behavior | Yelp


About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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  • David Chevalier

    Great report, Amy. Since people read reviews just prior to making a purchase, businesses should respond to both positive and negative reviews. Many businesses respond to negative reviews–they realize why they should publicly defend themselves or acknowledge a customer’s complaint. But very few respond to positive reviews. They probably think a response isn’t really needed.

    However, new buyers are observing the entire conversation.

    New customers are looking for indications before they buy. They’re looking to see whether anyone is on really top of the customer service side of the business. Depending on what they find, they may or may not take out their wallets.

  • Jerry Nordstrom

    Yelp drives a great deal of business to us. Understand, many businesses first learn of online reputation management when they find false, negative reviews posted on yelp by their competition, and oddly real reviews which are positive locked away behind the CAPTCHA in Yelp’s “filtered” category. Since Yelp will not give these businesses the time of the day they come to us to help take control of their online social reputations. Yelp certainly has many businesses Yelping Mad.

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