Yelp’s New Ad Products Can Increase Engagement “38 Percent”…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

August 5, 2019

Gene Marks

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Yelp’s new ad products can increase potential customer engagement by 38%.

Yelp—one of the most prominent review sites—recently rolled out several new ad products. This roll-out gives small business owners the opportunity to manage and control the way they present their business to customers through the site. Using thousands of listings from across the country, Yelp took the data and created tools that allow businesses the best chance at growth, and is offering business owners $300 in Ads to begin engaging their customers through Yelp. (Source: The Daily Beast)

Why this is important for your business:

With all due respect to Yelp, please don’t automatically expect your sales to increase 38 percent just because “customer engagement” has increased that much. In fact, who even knows if customer engagement will increase that much for your specific business? But for sure, if your business is active on Yelp then you must check out these new ad products. Run some tests. Spend some money in a limited way. Take advantage of their $300 offer. Yelp is trying to help you get more business because it helps their platform. Why get in their way?

2 — Aider brings human-centric artificial intelligence and digital assistants to small businesses across North America. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) software company, Aider—which provides a single source for small business owners to retrieve data from multiple applications used for their companies— will be joining forces with Square, Shopify, Quickbooks, Online, and Amazon Alexa. (Source: Yahoo Business)

Why this is important for your business:

Aider’s vision is to help small businesses like yours and mine grow by providing accessibility to the most current data that will allow us to make informed and timely decisions. The company says it will help owners effectively manage our cash flow, time, and reduce cumbersome administrative tasks, all using AI. Considering that so many of use the products mentioned above, these tools could be useful.

 

3 — 5 million small business owners are now using the WhatsApp business app.

WhatsApp—a messaging app owned by Facebook—shared this week that they now have 5 million business owners using the business component of the app, named WhatsApp Business. The Android version has been out for a little over a year and a half after debuting in January of 2018, and the iOS version has been out just over 3 months after becoming available this past April. Creating opportunities for both economic and social growth, WhatsApp connects friends and businesses around the world. (Source: AdWeek)

Why this is important for your business:

I use WhatsApp as my go-to communication tool for customers and partners overseas, where the app is most popular. My verdict: it’s great. It’s free. Its features – which include video and direct phone calls – are plentiful. If your business does a lot of business with people around the world it kind of makes sense to standardize your communications on WhatsApp because it’s so popular and so easy.

 

4 — Executives are not comfortable with analytics platforms, and still prefer their spreadsheets. 

A study out of Deloitte revealed this week that many companies are still relying on spreadsheets for their data. According to the study—which was made up of 1,048 executives—76% of the participants shared that 62% are still using spreadsheets and 58%, combined, are using business intelligence programs for their insight. The study revealed that training and education are a large factor into the discomfort and lack of use and cited that 67% of the survey participants are not comfortable using more advanced tools and resources, despite many of the participants serving in senior managers or higher. The study concluded that in a company where all employees have been trained on how to use data to leverage results, 88% exceeded business goals. Companies with only a few employees educated on how to analyze and use data had 61% exceeding goals. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

Surprised? I’m not. People are still heavily using spreadsheets and are resistant to change. It’s one of the biggest challenges we face when implementing software systems. It’s tough to convince people that relying more on their databases, rather than external spreadsheets, provides quicker and more accurate information. I’m not sure if we’ll ever win this war.

 

5— Adobe sign for small business debuts to help small companies.

Adobe announced this past week that they have launched Adobe Sign for small business, a service that will allow small business owners to utilize e-signature capabilities. Research conducted by Adobe found that 75% of business owners shared that they still sign documents with pen and paper, and that small business employees consider these processes as one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of efficiently running their business. (Source: Adobe News Release)

Why this is important for your business:            

The company says that Adobe Sign— used in conjunction with other document technologies such as Adobe Scan and Acrobat— will help our businesses digitize elements such as onboarding, contracts, payments/invoices, removing the efficiency obstacles brought about by pen and paper processes.