Zomato, Zomoto: Restaurant Review Site

Founded by Deepinder Goyal in 2007 and headquartered in New Dehli, Zomato is a relatively young restaurant search and discovery program setting its sights to grow into a company on par with larger brands such as Yelp. As of today, the company boasts a collection of 10,000 cities in over 20 countries. Such expansion, though, has brought about the necessity for many mergers.

Zomato

Restaurant ReviewsZomato is very much the Facebook of food. You can connect with different social media accounts, perform quick searches in a search bar along the top of the screen. The main page contains three columns with the latest posts and pictures taking up the middle. The left allows for customization of your feed and the right displays trends and suggestions. The main difference between this and Facebook is that you don’t need an account to sift through the eateries.

All of the restaurants link to their own company page complete with basic bits of information, including phone number, address, a Google map, highlights and the estimated price based on a rating system using dollar signs. The menu is listed front and center if there is one to be had and is followed by photos and then reviews. Reviewers can have followers, ‘like’ other reviews and leave comments. Arguably the most helpful feature is the green ‘positive’ box or red ‘negative’ box that appears directly before each review so that visitors have a quick way to sift through what others are saying about it. Even so, there are quite a few “positive” reviews that are far from.

The only other section is the blog. In there, the rating system and other aspects of the program are gone over in detail by the Zomato staff. Some focus on business information for restaurants and a few even target the Zomato staff specifically. It’s more of a hodgepodge of information that it is a blog dedicated to one aspect of dining.

Expansion

Becoming a Yelp contender has been anything but easy. In order to expand outside of its native country, it has had to purchase programs in other countries that were very similar to it. In January 2015, that meant the purchase of Seattle’s Urbanspoon for $60 million. This then opened the American, Canadian and Australian market and officially made them a competitor of Yelp.

While clearly a strong move in the business sense, the absorption of Urbanspoon has been met with some controversy, with many against it decrying Zomato for building a monopoly. Even so, the creators of Urbanspoon don’t seem to mind their big payoff.

Summary

If you rely on opinion sites rating local stores, Zomato is worth checking out. Because it is designed like Facebook, using it is incredibly easy to pick up. Unlike its competitors, however, it still lacks a lot of the finesse and coverage provided by sites like Zagat. And, some already say “it’s no Urbanspoon” and are missing Urbansopon already.

The Power of Email Marketing

Email might seem like an antiquated practice, however current data is revealing that it is actually almost 40 times more powerful than Twitter and Facebook combined in terms of acquiring new customers. The simple truth is that not everyone uses every social media outlet. Some prefer Pinterest while others are diehard Instagram fanatics. The one thing they all have in common is email. There is no way to function on the internet without a valid email address, keeping it a steady and reliable marketing target.

mobile-phone-791644_1280The Facts

  • Of all US consumers, 91% use email on a daily basis.
  • Emails get more customers to buy products three times more than social media.
  • The order value of purchases gotten though emails averages out to be 17% higher than through social media.
  • Since 2009, email has been growing as a way to acquire new customers, hitting 7% in 2013.

The Secret

Using email to bolster your sales isn’t as easy as mass spamming, though. With today’s technology, you should be using email as a legitimate way to begin creating personalized messages. If you have an email database, and you should, you know what people buy, when they buy it and how much they typically spend. Begin putting in parameters for your automated emails that send targeted sales to those most likely to take advantage of it.

Businesses miss the mark with email marketing when they don’t have access to the metrics of an email campaign.  There are more metrics than just “open rate” to look at when analyzing an email you’ve sent.

What was clicked on, who clicked on it, what time they clicked on it, what device they used and how often they looked at your email are basic metrics you need to review. Then, also review how often it was shared on social media and on which channels (your email program should have all that) along with any bounced emails or unsubcribes or even spam reports.   Refrain from being romanced by the “open rate” that is one metric and it’s absolutely not the best one to measure since an email can be tracked as “open” when all that happened was that it was “touched” when someone swiped past your email to get to one they really want to read.

Email campaigns are rich with metrics and data on your customer’s behaviors and preferences. No other media platform lets you do this. Take advantage of it to keep your business growth heading upwards.

Updates for Small Business Yelp

The pioneer of aggregate critique collection, Yelp continues to be the hub of how consumers judge businesses. The higher the rating, the better chance you’ll get new visitors. To date, it remains the most influential site for customers. This means that every one-star rating yields up to a 9% decrease in sales. What this means for you is that you need to be on top of your Yelp page, monitoring and responding to reviews. Recently, Yelp released a whole host of updates through their Yelp for Business Owners app, giving you, the small business yelp user even more power than before.

Master the Profile Pic

bar-768564_1280Before you can actually start posting on Yelp, whether as a business or individual, you need a profile pic. Though the requirement might seem a bit draconian, it is in place to scare away as many trolls as possible, considering many only target easy to sign up for sites. This new app makes the process much easier, allowing you to pull photos from your phone. As soon as the photo is up, you can then tackle the reviews.

Why reviews? The reviews are your reputation. If too many bad ones pile up, you’ll be a company people avoid rather than flock to. Responding to the reviews is a great way to connect with your customer base to learn what works and what doesn’t, opening the doors to improvement. The first step, however, is actually seeking them out.

Picture Your Business

It used to be that Yelp photos could only ever be uploaded while at a computer. Luckily, this outdated and restrictive mode of updating is no longer an issue. The new app lets you add business photos from your phone as well. Be it more great pics of the interior or happy customers, those businesses with a selection of photos find themselves with customers that spend more time on their page.

Protect Your Page

Any page is subject to spam, not the least of which is Yelp, a high profile site. Though their team is great at preventing as much harassment as possible, they simply can’t catch everything. When you come across a flagrant violation of the site’s guidelines, you need to get rid of it fast. With their new app, you now have a flagging feature. With one tap, a picture, review or message is noted as a potential removal. The Yelp team then reviews the issue and deletes it if need be. This simple feature makes managing your business’ reputation even easier.

Yelp for the small business is no longer a day long hassle that seems to never end. With their current roster of updates, it’s clear that they are ready and willing to change with the times to remain a viable source of information for both the public and businesses at large. Don’t let this resource go untapped.