Local Scheduling Platforms: An Anchor for Commerce
More than 75 scheduling programs currently compete for a potential marketplace of 2.6 million SMBs. Which types of scheduling platforms and which specific companies will ultimately win in the marketplace?
These questions are answered in this insight paper, which also includes our projected business models for scheduling services and best practices.
Online and mobile appointment scheduling is being integrated as an anchor for a wide range of SMB closed loop marketing and back office activities. Many scheduling solutions are incorporating cloud-based email, point of sale processing and billing. Scheduling is also effectively applied for deals and offers.
Part of scheduling’s potential lies in the fact that it provides businesses with so much intelligence. Businesses that utilize and track scheduled appointments will know roughly what consumers are interested in, how much they will spend, when they have appointments and where they will be. Scheduling’s development is also driven by the widespread use of mobile tablet and smartphone apps.
Scheduling programs currently competing in this space include vertically integrated SMB marketing players that provide a wide range of services, such as Intuit and Square; horizontal SaaS scheduling providers, such as Booker and Agendize; and vertical subject specialists, such as MindBody.
This paper addresses several key industry issues:
- Which types of scheduling platforms are best positioned?
- Which specific companies will ultimately win in the marketplace?
- Is scheduling a true SMB anchor, or just one feature in a platform?
Table of Contents
The Rise of Scheduling as an Anchor for Commerce
An Industry Developing in Fits and Starts
Scheduling Features and Targets
Verticalization: The Hardest Part
Vertical Integration or Standalone?
Aggregators: Scheduling as a Trojan Horse
Final Thoughts: Five Questions About Scheduling
Number of Pages: 9
“Scheduling software has seen its ups and downs. But it is currently poised to take off, due to the emergence of a cloud-based environment marked by on-the-go mobile services and scheduling’s integration with email, point of sale systems and billing. Indeed, scheduling has been seen as a key connector for the next phase of closed loop marketing. At the top of the sales funnel, it is directly associated with search and discovery.”
Peter Krasilovsky, Vice President and Chief Analyst, BIA/Kelsey, Report Author