July 10, 2013, 3:40 PM

Yelp adds e-commerce capabilities for local businesses

The online review site will let consumers place food orders with restaurants.

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Yelp Inc., which operates the consumer-generated ratings and reviews web site Yelp.com, is now enabling consumers to order meals from local restaurants for delivery or pickup. Initially available in San Francisco and New York, the service will roll out to other markets and expand to include appointment-setting capabilities for other services commonly reviewed on the site, such as spas and salons, Yelp says.  

Through an application protocol interface, or API, merchants using the new Yelp Platform tool will be able to conduct the entire transaction, including payment, without consumers ever having to leave the Yelp web site.  “We know people want an easy, streamlined consumer experience, and Yelp Platform is the next step in directly connecting users with millions of great local businesses,” writes Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in a blog post announcing the launch.

Consumers in New York and San Francicso can place orders on Yelp for restaurants that work with delivery services Delivery.com and Eat24, which bring online orders of food to consumers’ doors.

Consumers see a search box on participating restaurants’ Yelp pages where they select whether they want to place an order for delivery or carry out. Consumers then enter addresses and click Start Order. This takes them to a page where they can select from the full menu and see any special offers. Clicking menu items adds them to the cart. At the payment page, consumers must either log in to their Yelp accounts or create new accounts. Consumers can opt to store their payment card information for future orders.

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