Online scheduling appears to be one of the break-out features in the marketplaces space this year. Nineteen percent of respondents to BIA/Kelsey’s most recent User View say they made a non-restaurant online appointment in the past six months.
Major appointment sites include BookFresh, Full Slate, ZocDoc, Agendize and MaxiPage. Each hopes to be the OpenTable of the services world. While they each have different focus points, they tend to provide an online scheduling platform, with additional services, such as enhanced profiles, pricing, etc.
The latest entrant we’ve become aware of is Atlanta-based AppointmentCity. The site launched last September with an effort initially aimed at dentists.
Founder Sherwin Krug, a former CPA, says he is targeting a market in which more than 7 million searches a month are performed for dentists. An online appointment is a more definitive source of leads since you know where and when consumers want to go. The enhanced profile that the site provides makes it more of a Yellow Pages-style considered purchase.
The original model had a monthly fee of $100 and a success fee of $50 per job. But Krug says the monthly fees were eliminated after three months and refunds were provided since the site really wants to build its volume. Looking forward, the site will expand to other media specialities, such as Lasik, Podiatrists, Chiropractors and Plastic Surgeons.
Other verticals are also being eyed by the site. Since they each have different pricing characteristics, AppointmentCity is likely to vary its fee structure for different verticals. Podiatrists, for instance, assign high lifetime values to each account, but individual job fees should be smaller since jobs tend to be lower value.