The number of apps in the market are increasing with each passing day and they will continue to grow in number going by the current scenario. New apps enter the market with the hope of providing the users something more than the already existing apps in their domain. People want all the latest facilities at their disposal and more or less, their wishes have been granted by these modern technologies.

So, let’s talk about one such local business listing mobile app that has created a sensation and goes by the name of ‘Yelp’. It helps out a person in various aspects and has become very popular in a very short span of time. It has been satisfying the needs of its users like a thing on a mission. But what exactly does it offer? Let’s take an insight.

mobile app development like yelp

What is Yelp app?

This app has been brought into the market by US based Yelp Inc. Company. No matter what sort of establishment you are looking for, you can just head to the app and will certainly find a solution there. Whether you are looking for a luxurious hotel, restaurant or some gas station, just visit this app to guide you to your desired location.  Reviews for any kind of place whether it is a pizzeria, a hotel, a shop or any other place are available to choose the best of them.

Firstly, this app detects, where currently you are and then it hands out options in the form a list for you to select from. Options available are hairdressing salons, market, cafes, shops and various others. Piece of advice would be to apply filters on the long lasting list of categories.

When you have made up your mind, you can have a detailed information about that establishment. Exact address, working hours, contact number – Yelp app can present all the information you are after. Map will guide you to your destination. And in this way you can go through the previous reviews and comments of the people who have visited that establishment. You can also add up your experience in the form of reviews and comments.

Yelp Business Modal Canvas

It is estimated that this app is downloaded by over 142 million users per month. This app has overall improved the quality of service selection and other apps has also become more responsible in their tasks. 5-9% sales are expected to increase with the increase of star in the yelp app ratings. This is around $8,000 every year sans ads and around $23,000 with paid ads on the app. So, if some business is in the list of yelp app and has accumulated good reviews then this in turn will increase the revenues.

With its popularity touching the skies, it was a no brainier that new competitors will emerge out. If your aim also is to create an app with similar model than you don’t have to take a tiny bit of stress.  Through this article you will be getting all the necessary information to develop local business directory app similar to Yelp.  Some other features embedded in the app are as follows.

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What are the features of the Yelp-like Local Search Platform?

Basically, the feature panel is divided into three:

  1. Customer – App/website user
  2. Business owner– web panel
  3. Admin– web panel


  • Smart search
  • Advance search/refine search
  • Business category/subcategory
  • Business detail
  • Reviews & ratings
  • Social sharing
  • Forum
  • Business ads
  • Talk
  • Photo gallery
  • Registration/login
  • Favorite listing
  • Online Booking
  • Navigation
  • Manage profile
  • Notifications


  • Registration/login
  • Set up profile
  • Business listing
  • View reviews & ratings
  • Manage booking
  • Manage business ads
  • Secure payment
  • Notifications
  • Transaction history


  • Login
  • Dashboard
  • Manage Users (customers & business owners)
  • Manage reviews
  • Manage Profile
  • Manage business listing
  • Manage conversation
  • Manage earnings
  • Manage forums
  • Ad management


  • Embed Review: This feature allow the customers to embed reviews to their own platform, and for this customers will require to use to code of that review on his platform. Code gets created by the system as the customer clicks on the embed option.
  • Google MAP integration: This feature allow to locate each business on the map thus to facilitate customer navigation. Here the Google map needs to be integrated.
  • Cloud Storage Integration: Here the Google cloud storage or amazon data servers can be used to safely store data and information in a secured way.
  • CMS: Content management system is a feature that allow admin to manage app content, both in text as well as image form.
  • Payment gateway integration: To make the online payments, payment gateways can be integrated as per the requirement. Various payment models like Debit/Credit Card, PayPal, Braintree, Stripe, etc. can be integrated.
  • SMS API integration: Integrating SMS API allow users to send updates notifications through SMS to the customers.
  • Email/contact number verification: This feature allow user to login easily as the system verifies the customer by email & contact number. Also verification reduces spans & bots.
  • Reporting and analytics: Real-time reporting is a crucial part of this kind of app where admin is enabled to receive updates and overall analysis, like users visiting the app, bookings, reviews, etc.
  • Admin section for both users and businesses: User profiles are the first things that needs to be done whether it for the users or businesses. They both will interact throughout the advertising campaigns in the form of comment, posting photos, giving and answering reviews. Users and businesses at some point of time might want to revisit the pictures they posted or received, comments they posted or read, so for this leisure to be at their doorsteps, app keeps a track of all of them in a subtle manner.
  • Location based functionality: It can be described as one of the most advancing features of this app. This feature helps you save large amounts on both time and efforts.  With the help of Google maps API, the app locate down your present location and after this, within a few seconds it can design a roadmap to your desired location. Map information is displayed in a subtle manner on the users screen and users are not bound to enter the desired location every time they open the app.

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  • Review and rating mechanism: In the revenue grossed by the app, this feature is the most defining one. The reviews given both the users have a vast effect on the business’ overall sales.  They can either make you successful or they can give you a harsh reality check. According to a survey, 72% of the users gave weightage to online reviews and 90% Users admitted a position review on a product gave them a green signal to go on and buy it.
  • Push notifications: Push notifications has become the backbone of every successful app doing brilliant in the market. Every app need to improve with time whether in the form of goods, service or contents to keep the customers in their radar and keep them interested with innovative steps. With the help of notifications, app can ask their customers to post a review about the service they received from their app or provide some feedback so that they can work on that to become even better. This option is a goldmine out when used cleverly.
  • Social sign in: Everyone wants to develop a mobile app that is quick and easy in its functionality and with this feature one would be able to meet that wish of his. This feature enables the users to quickly open up the app through social media route and complete the intended task. It provides the benefit of not filling the form and uploading a profile picture. This certainly releases an added headache.
  • Media Sharing: It can help you in creating a personal touch in addition to enhancing users overall experience.  Provide your users with short video and photo uploading option and then you will see an upward spike in your user engagement rate.
  • Filter, sort and search options: Very often this happens that a person is not ABLE to find the required content in your app and that make him feel frustrated that in turn causes app to be uninstalled. In order to fix this problem you need to provide filters and sort things up in professional manner that will help out the customers find their content in a short period of time.  This will help them to look after their item in proper manner.
  • Offers and discounts: Users must be provided with some ecstatic discounts and deals for the services present in your app. In this way both of the users and service providers are in your back pocket. You gain in every deal. This is one of the way helps Yelp app to create money.
  • Affiliations: When you promote a restaurant or hotel through paying up a fixed amount of fees on monthly basis. In this way those hotels will appear on top of the list when someone will search for the hotels. In this way it will a win- win situation for both the parties.
  • Local advertising: It is one of the most basic steps that one has to take in order to raise the revenue from within the app. Local business dealers pay you to advertise their business through your app. Ad removal services are also provided for a paid amount to the users.

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  • ASO strategy: When someone develops a new mobile app then he has to choose the platform on which he wants to launch It, whether it’s app store or play store.  But promoting it is a necessary trait to attract more users. That is why one must pay vital attention to app store optimization.
  • Geolocation based search: It is one of the key function of any app. You don’t have to type in your residential address as the geo location service will do it on your behalf and save your time.
  • Activity stream: Chronological list of previous activity, notifications, news or modifications is displayed via this app.
  • User profile: All the reviews and photos of a person are stored here and on top of that you can also browse through places that your friends have visited. You can also favourites from all the places you liked.
  • In-app purchases: You can make purchases of your choice from within the app.  In app button pay helps you out in this area. It allows you to pay directly from that app.
  • Integrate filters: Users can filter their pics in addition to uploading them on a network.
  • Bringing in some gamification: Stickers, virtual currency, badges, nominations and ranks will help you catch up with the competition. On top of that it can also provide an additional income.
  • Use emails: These can help you achieve user retention as they create a combo with location based apps.  Via emails you can get in touch with the users in the form of weekly and monthly statistics, convey useful tips and useful life hacks. Emails provide exhaustive and richer content in comparison to push notifications.

Monetization Models of Yelp-like Apps: 

Yelp like app development

Advertising: Gets you extra revenue, as simple as that. According to a survey, via advertising local businesses, Yelp company earn 73% of the company’s total evaluation and increased from $31 billion in 2014 to $35 billion in 2015.

Sponsored search: This model can be said to be similar to that of Google search. Yelp is paid by local business dealers in order to move up their links in SERP.

Apparel store: This feature is useful for customers of they want to buy something online and through this it brings around 5% of total annual revenue.

Deals and offers: Method is borrowed from Groupon. Yelp provides its customers with in-built offers system.

Placement on competitor’s page: Two options are available here. Placement of business from same market column that is not advertised by any ads or one can pay up for removing competitor placement.

Business Advertising: One can customise their page with videos and pics and also spotlight reviews.

SeatMe: In app reservations option is very useful for hotels and restaurants. The total cost of this option would be $99/ month.

Yelp Like mobile App Development

How much does it cost to develop a Yelp-like App?

So, here we are at the main point of this article – the cost for the development of this kind of app. Well, the development cost actually depends on a number of factors, which we have mentioned below:

Platform: Yes, the first decision is required to be made on development platform (whether to choose Android or iOS). The timescale varies on app complexity and that is equal for both iOS & Android. Besides, the ultimate cost of the Yelp-clone mobile app may also differ as per the features your app is going to have. More functionalities directly mean more cost.

Design: In this kind of app, a good user interface is crucial, but the complexity certainly affects the cost. Thus, if we consider that average cost is going to be $50/hour, then basic cost to design an app will include the following for both of the mobile platform:

  • User-experience: This kind of app must be easy-to-use as that way clients would be able to orientate themselves pretty quick during app usage. Thus, a user-friendly UX design will need 40-140 hours and is going to cost from $3000 to $8000.
  • User-Interface Design: As per market price, UI design is going to take 80-200 hours and the cost will differ from $4000-$10000.

Location of the App Development Company: The cost of the app hugely depends on the location of the app development company, like the charges are high in Western Europe & America, whereas in India, the cost is significantly lesser.

U.S. based developers: – $50 to $250 per hour
Eastern Europe based developers: – $30 to $150 per hour
India based developers: – $20 to $80 per hour

You can get the entire app ready with basic features and for a single platform from $8000-$15000. Meanwhile, if you require the app for both platforms and add advanced features, then the cost will be $25000.

Ultimately, the app’s main goal is drawing most possible number of users and that can be possible by integrate right features and functionalities into your app.