Yelp scaling back Deals staff


Yelp is reportedly backing away from daily deals and coupons. (Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
August 30, 2011

This post has been updated since it was originally published, with comments from Yelp.

On the heels of Facebook’s announcement that it’s leaving the daily deals market, crowd-sourced review site Yelp confirmed it is cutting back its deals staff.

Vince Sollitto, Yelp vice president of corporate communications, told Bloomberg late Monday that the company will not grow its e-mailed deals service and is focusing on providing quality deals rather than a high volume of deals.

In a statement from Yelp, company spokeswoman Chantelle Karl said that the company will continue to offer Yelp Deals, and that Yelp’s decision to let businesses submit their own deals has prompted the company to reassign15 members of its Deal sales staff to other places in the company.

Facebook announced that it was ending its daily discount offering, Facebook Deals, on Monday, after just four months of testing. Facebook faced fierce competition in the daily deals space, and some customers have said that they’re just too inundated with e-mails for the services to be worthwhile.

The Bloomberg article said that while the daily deals space is still growing, with about 44 percent of customers using at least one service, more than half of those customers feel “overwhelmed” by e-mails. The report cited research from PriceGrabber.

What’s likely to happen in the daily deals space, analysts have said, is that a handful of industry leaders will rise to the top, while smaller or niche efforts fade away. Yelp and Facebook have clearly decided that deals are not a central part of their business. The question now is whether other big-name companies who’ve latched onto the deals bandwagon — Google, in particular — can make it a key part of their business.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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