For the last several months, we’ve shared how both Google and Amazon are moving into the home services marketplace of the on-demand economy. This is in addition to startups like TaskRabbit, Thumbtack and Angie’s List. As you would expect, Google’s approach uses search advertising with a layer of service-provider background checking and approval. Amazon uses its powerful and long-tested reputation management tools (think reader reviews) in its approach to local home services. Now the two juggernauts of the Internet are being joined by Yelp in the home services on-demand marketplace.

Last Friday (4/15/2016), Yelp announced that it has rolled out a “Request a Quote” feature first tested last September that, in effect, is a on-demand marketplace tool. While there’s lots of hidden technology that had to be rebuilt to support the feature, all the user doesn’t see much change. All that has changed is the wording on a button on the Yelp page of participating home-service providers.  What used to say “Message a Business,” now says “Request a Quote.” According to the company, the change has resulted in 15 times as many conversations among the service providers who have participated in the tests.

Quote from Yelp’s announcement:

Once you begin your search in (for example) the plumbing category, some search results will show a Request a Quote button and feature that businesses’ response time. These times tell you, on average, how many days, or even hours it takes a business to respond to your message. The businesses in your search with the fastest response times are highlighted in green.

Features of Yelp’s “Request a Quote” service (so far)

As described by BuzzFeed, here is more about Yelp’s new “request a quote” service:

  • The quote request can be made without leaving
  • It’s available on Yelp’s website and mobile app.
  • The service is opt-in for businesses.
  • Customers have the ability to see response time and ratings of participating home-service providers.
  • Customers can get up to 10 price quotes (even at once) for a job.
  • For now, the service is free for the businesses.

Categories covered in Yelp’s “Request a Quote” service (so far)

  • Home repair
  • Professional services
  • Mechanics
  • Catering
  • Event planning


Photos: ThinkStock, Yelp

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