Large companies often acquire smaller companies because they want access to the technology, or they want the personnel involved with the company due to its talent. Another reason larger companies often acquire smaller companies is because they are planning to start offering a similar service. It’s easier to move into a business niche by acquiring a company already there than it is to start from scratch.
So why might Yelp be interested in SeatMe?
By bringing SeatMe to Yelp, we can further enhance the consumer experience by extending the convenience of easy, online reservations directly through Yelp to thousands of currently unserved businesses.
This, to me, says it all. Yelp is probably planning to offer reservation management services to its many small business clients. Right now, the company offers advertising services for small businesses. The company started as a local business directory and allowed users to leave reviews of listed businesses. By offering reservation management services, many of those local businesses can get better leverage on their Yelp listings. Types of companies that could benefit include:
- Travel companies
- Auto rental companies
- Doctors and dentists
- Various entertainment venues
- Bus companies and passenger train services
Virtually any type of business that allows consumers to set appointments or make reservations could benefit from such a service. Do you think Yelp knows this?