Living life in a pandemic-filled society has been our reality for a year and a half. Business owners have done their best to hang on through uncertainty, and it appears as though the end is in sight. As vaccine distribution continues to increase, the economic recovery we have been waiting for is within reach according to Yelp’s recent report on the second quarter of 2021.
Now that 59 percent of American adults are fully vaccinated, nearly all fifty states have reopened, with the exception of Hawaii. Yelp’s June 2021 Economic Recovery Report tells us that vaccines are driving interest in pre-pandemic activities on their platform, which include dining out, in-person shopping, and working in-office.
Using data from specific geolocations in which the percentage of vaccinated people increased in April 2021, Yelp has concluded that consumer interest went up in those same areas in May and June. Consumers began viewing Yelp pages and posting photos and reviews in these areas at a higher rate, showing promising engagement with local businesses. Due to differences in each state’s reopening plans and vaccination trends, consumer interest varied.
Yelp’s report showed promising results for many northern states. Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts had the highest increases in percentage of vaccinated individuals in April. These states also averaged monthly consumer interest rates that climbed 25 percent or more in May and June.
States with the lowest increase in vaccinated individuals did not experience this increase in consumer engagement. Eight of the 10 states with the lowest increase in April vaccinations experienced average consumer interest rates of less than 25 percent in May and June. These include Arizona, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi among others.
The South has the largest portion of small increases in vaccinated populations, leading to lesser increases in average consumer interest levels per month. Though their consumer interest is lower, Southern states are experiencing a boom in new business compared to pre-pandemic life in Q2 2019, taking 9 out of the top 10 spots for Q2 2021 new business. Mississippi saw an increase of 52 percent, while Georgia (39%), Kentucky(37%) and Louisiana (35%) followed closely. Over 65 percent of all states saw this increase in new business from Q2 2019, while only a few states saw more than a 5 percent decrease in new business.
These increases are driven by the shift back to a routine that more closely resembles pre-pandemic life. Transportation to and from work, family functions, and social events have increased new business growth in the automotive industry by 13 percent from Q2 2019. Food delivery services are still booming, seeing an increase in new business of 166 percent as people are still hesitant to go out.
Professional services also saw an increase by 21 percent, with office cleaning (126%), billing services (52%) and personal assistants (57%) seeing the most growth in the industry. Local services saw an increase of 30 percent, while home services increased 48 percent as people returned to their communities.
Business reopening also saw a spike in Q2 2021, a total of 60,502 for the quarter. Popular industries for reopening inc,ude restaurant and food businesses and retail stores as people move back to shopping in person. Personal care services also saw a spike, as gyms, waxing salons, hair salons, brunch restaurants, massage therapy locations, and cosmetic stores saw the biggest jumps. This is likely due to the loosening of social distancing guidelines in many states as the vaccine becomes widely available.
As consumer interest begins to shift back to pre-pandemic norms in some areas, making sure your advertisers are visible where consumers are looking is critical to success. With more than 90 million monthly unique visitors across a range of categories, paid advertising on Yelp is an effective way to generate leads for your advertisers’ businesses.
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