Online scheduling vendor Agendize has bolstered its fleet of local media partners through a deal with weblocal.ca, a leading Canadian local search site. Weblocal.ca will utilize Agendize’s Online Scheduling as an implementable feature for clients that are using its business search platform. The ultimate goal: to “bring users and businesses together” through the search portal in order to convert traffic into transactions.
Businesses listed on weblocal.ca can simply integrate a “book an appointment” button. Customers can access the scheduling function anytime to book directly, and subsequently receive confirmations and notifications. Agendize outfits participating advertisers with a dashboard that manages all customer conversations and appointments and provides a history of these interactions.
BIA/Kelsey’s Peter Krasilovsky has extensively researched the amplified role that online scheduling is beginning to play in SMB marketing. Companies such as Agendize are ideally suited to service businesses that rely heavily on appointment booking, and many local business categories — medical, health and beauty, recreation, repair — fall into relevant scheduling verticals.
With online scheduling as an assumed “next step” for many SMBs, competition for local merchants and the requisite partners to deliver them is ramping up. Maxipage, Full Slate and BookFresh are among a host of general scheduling sites that compete directly with Agendize. Additionally, several specialists have emerged in specific verticals.
The online scheduling category faces a number of key hurdles. One is motivating new customer adoption, which means clearly articulating a need for these services. Further, technology platforms must integrate quickly and seamlessly with existing SMB systems to be effective.