Photo courtesy of Mainstream
Google Reserve program makes it possible to book appointments with spas and salons in the US directly through Google Search and Maps.
You can do this by searching for the name of a salon or spa in google search, and clicking the “book” button on the business listing.
You can select their appointment time, see pricing and submit their information to reserve a time. If you have a Google Wallet enabled, you can also pay for services if supported.
You may also visit Reserve with Google to look through the various spas and salons in your area that are available for direct booking through Google.
Photo courtesy of Search Engine Land
This feature by Google first started testing booking appointments right from a business listing in Search back in 2015. Merchants must be using one of the booking partners apps or APIs to be eligible for Reserve with Google. Nowadays, Google partners with MINDBODY, Full Slate, Front Desk, Appointy, zingFit, Genbook, SalonRunner, Rosy, Yocale and Wellness Living.
Eventually Google will also be partnering with Booksy, Envision, MyTime, Schedulicity, Setmore, Shore, SimpleSpa, SuperSalon and TimeTrade.
So, if a spa or salon business is set up to take bookings from those sites, it will also be able to take bookings through Google Search and Maps through proper integration. You might need to check out these partners support how to integrate their app with Google Reserve. Some merchants may ask businesses to have a Google My Business account to be eligible for Reserve with Google, but that is not in fact a requirement.
Google also confirmed that it will be adding more types of bookable services in the future. Fitness and beauty are just the beginning, says Google.
The Online Bookings Race is On
With Google’s announcement, it would appear that there’s something of a booking arms race now going on. Yelp and Facebook’s Local Reservation are also playing in this space.
Online booking has become a practice for many users and business owners. It is a significant part of a larger set of developments in local that also include online payments. Though online booking has been around for a long time from Open Table, to Schedulicity, MindBody, etc., the market has been highly fragmented by vertical and appeared, until fairly recently, to be stalled. Google, Facebook and Yelp are now accelerating adoption and creating critical mass for these services.
Local search is becoming much more transactional. Online booking represents a new tool and metric for local business owners, which very clearly demonstrates the value of digital marketing and media. And for consumers, it represents a convenience that may result to local businesses winning and losing, depending on whether these services have been adopted.