The Near Memo
The Near Memo
May 21, 2021
Are Yelp’s problems self-inflicted?; Google I/O AI & Local Shopping; Google going into Retail, really?
Play • 22 min

Hospitality Case Study of Reviews: What Happened to Yelp?

Looking at 20 years of reviews for a popular Santa Fe resort, we examine how Yelp faired against the likes of TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google and OpenTable. The analysis shows, that at least in this segment, Yelp’s problems were largely self-inflicted not caused by a Google abuse of their monopoly.

Google I/O: they flex their AI muscles and move further into local products with the Shopping Graph

Google used I/O to position themselves as the AI powerhouse, using AI for everything from engaging in human like conversations to identifying the specific model of sneaker in your photo of the band on stage. Once they have identified the sneaker, they will parse it via their newly anointed Shopping Graph and not only offer to let you buy them but tell you where they are locally available for curbside pickup. They have found their play against Amazon and its impressive.   

Google to try out retail at their NYC HQ. Can they succeed IRL? Can they actually provide support?

 After many false starts Google is finally opening a retail presence in New York at their headquarters in Chelsea. They will be selling and supporting their growing range of Google hardware from phones to the Nest. Their choice of NYC home as a site gives them an easy out if they are unable to provide real support to real customers in real life. We are skeptical they will be able succeed at scaling the project.  

The Near Memo is a weekly conversation about Search, Social, and Commerce: What happened, why it matters, and the implications for local businesses and national brands. 


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