Yext has rolled out a new feature called Power Listings +, which brings rich content lists to its existing Power Listings product. Small and medium-sized businesses can now syndicate their staff bios, event calendars, and product availability information in real time across a network of search engines, mapping services, and mobile apps as part of their existing Yext subscription.
It’s the logical next step for the New York-based company as it looks to add value for existing clients and fend off competition from Constant Contact, which acquired competitor and fellow New York start-up SinglePlatform last summer. The company raised $27 million in June in a massive Series D round, which valued Yext at a reported $270 million and set it up for a big push in 2013.
“Customers need more information than just where a business is when deciding to visit a store and ultimately make a purchase,” Yext CEO Howard Lerman told Street Fight. “They need to know who works there, when special events are, and what’s inside.”
Lerman believes that premium content will become table stakes for the listings space as consumers increasingly turn to the web for local discovery.
“The future is rich information that turns local search into local discovery,” Lerman said. “This information may have previously existed on a business website or in a brochure at the store or office but has never before been digitized and structured. It has never been useful.”
Getting information previously only known to returning customers onto devices and delivered to potential buyers could be extremely powerful for local businesses. With this “rich information” added into listings, consumers could be more influenced to visit one store over another and may be more ready to make a purchase when arriving.
“Right now, [consumers] expect accurate, updated location information, but after this launch, they will expect rich details about what makes that business unique,” Lerman said. “Rather than visiting one hardware store to find a specific tool, they can research ahead of time so the people who walk in the door are more likely to convert into sales.”
Isa Jones is an assistant editor at Street Fight.