Street Fight CEO Laura Rich sat down with Mike Ghaffary, vice president of business development at Yelp, last week at Street Fight Summit West to discuss the local reviews firm’s latest strategic moves and mobile’s impact on the local tech industry.
In the interview, Ghaffary broke down his concept of “the local coefficient,” which measures the extent to which a given industry, or vertical, lends itself to local selling. As software becomes a more central part of the local shopping experience, Ghaffary explained, industries with a high local coefficient — such as restaurants, whose product cannot be fully digitized — can gain customers through local online services and grow with them. On the other hand, the growth of the web can cripple brick-and-mortar stores that can be entirely replaced by an ecommerce site.
The growth of local tech over the past few years is seemingly inexorable growth is wrapped up in the rise of mobile, Ghaffary said. “Local and mobile are inherently linked,” he added.
In fact, mobile searches now constitute the majority of Yelp’s monthly unique visitors, numbering 79 million monthly in the first quarter of 2015, he said. In addition, 65 percent of Yelp searches now happen on a mobile device, and about half of the company’s content is generated on mobile devices.
Ghaffery also discussed the company’s decision to “double down” on the food industry, recently acquiring Eat24, a service that suggests local restaurants to users.
To see more videos from Street Fight Summit West, check out our YouTube channel.