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Google Maps Adds ‘Spa And Salon Day’ Direct Reservations

Reserve With Google offers recommendations and reservations for spas, salons, yoga, and more self-care options that are nearby.

After making it easy to find travel recommendations and restaurant menus, Google is improving the connections for booking and discovering nearby spas, salons, yoga studios, and more self-care through its Reserve With Google feature.

The year-old feature is available through a dedicated site, as well as through search and Google Maps.

Back in December, the search giant simplified its tools to book fitness appointments following the revamping of search results to include its mapped “three-pack” of results — the first thing users would see after a search for “hardware store near me” or even just “hardware store.” Location became an automatic filter — and the businesses that ranked highly were the ones with correct and comprehensive location data, as well as detailed listings prioritizing the right keywords.

The update to Reserve With Google reflects the changes that it has embedded over the past year.

“This feature is made possible through partnerships with the top scheduling providers you might already use, including Genbook, SalonRunner, Rosy, Yocale and WellnessLiving,” writes Alex Russell, a Google Maps product manager, in a blog post.

Google Puzzle Pieces Fit Together

There are several ways the salon/spa category can take advantage of Reserve With Google amid other features within the broader Google My Business umbrella for local marketers.

For example, last month, GMB clients were given a new discovery tool that will let their announcements, promotions, events, and other news be found directly in query results and on their Google Maps listings.

Dubbed Google Post, the feature was first offered to select major brands, celebrities, and to the presidential candidates who wanted an easy way of getting the word out about location-based news they had, such as special appearances and events.

Now, with the Reserve program, a yoga studio or a hair care center could post an update that encourages potential local customers to book a class or an appointment.

Like the direct-to-search and maps feature for menus, Posts takes the friction out of having to leave Google Maps, wait for an outside menu site to load, and then have to return to the main app for directions and other details such as reviews, directions, and hours.

It all stems from Google’s determination to offer users a complete walled garden where they don’t have to lose the ease of staying in its search app functions, whether it’s to hail a car or make a restaurant reservation via OpenTable.

Next Steps For Google Reserve

Similar to its third-party relationship with OpenTable, Reserve With Google is also in the process of adding more wellness reservation tools including Booksy, Envision, MyTime, Schedulicity, Setmore, Shore, SimpleSpa, SuperSalon and TimeTrade.

Given that 80 percent of US internet users turn to a search engine and the business reviews that accompany the links and location information, it stands to reason that Google’s ability to promote bookings for spas and salons would be viewed as incredibly valuable.

“It will be more accessible to consumers and to smart spas that use good marketing techniques,” said Mark A. McKenney (aka @MarktheSpaman), a marketing manager for spas and salons. “I really believe in ‘the everywhere’ brand. The [Reserve With Google] will also be a good way to promote specials for spas.”

In his assessment of the value of the Reserve With Google feature, Wells Fargo internet analyst Peter Stabler notes that despite years of growing competition in the space, the local/SMB markets remain under-penetrated in terms of digital spend.

“We believe the high cross-over between mobile and local commercial search queries suggests Google Reserve could make significant in-roads over time,” Stabler wrote in an analyst note. “We expect the new ad product cadence in local to accelerate as we see Google becoming more focused on competing for local digital spending.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.