Google is making it easier for businesses everywhere to offer online bookings directly through their Google listing.
By way of a quick recap, the internet giant first piloted its Reserve with Google service in Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area last December, allowing fitness enthusiasts to book nearby classes through Google Maps and Google Search. The company later launched the service nationwide and has also expanded the scope of its offering to include the broader wellness and beauty realm.
For the initiative, Google partnered with a number of scheduling providers, such as SimpleSpa, TimeTrade, Genbook, Booksy, and SuperSalon, among others. But now Google is allowing businesses to register with scheduling partners directly from their Google My Business account, which is a free service for adding and updating business-related information such as contact details, opening hours, photos, and so on.
Now, when a business owner logs into their Google My Business account, they’ll see a Sign Up For Bookings option through which they can enroll directly with a booking provider. If a business already has an account with one of the supported scheduling providers, the booking button will automatically be added to their Google listing.
Though Reserve with Google is still only available in the U.S., and it still only officially supports fitness and beauty businesses, the service will be opening to “other countries and business categories soon,” wrote Google My Business product manager Paul Cole, in a blog post.
Indeed, according to this refreshed list of supported scheduling providers, it does actually now work in conjunction with Bookatable, a European-focused online restaurant booking service.
This does give some indication of what we can expect from Reserve with Google moving forward. In a nutshell, the company wants to be the first and last stop for all your booking needs. For business owners and consumers, this ultimately means less friction between search and completing an actual booking.
As for the inclusion of Bookatable, a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat:
We’re experimenting with allowing users in the U.K. to make a restaurant reservation entirely on Google Maps and Search. We’re currently monitoring feedback, but believe this new integration will be beneficial for both consumers and businesses. We’ll share more information when this rolls out more broadly.
Analytics will play a pivotal role in the Reserve with Google offering too, with businesses able to track all of their bookings that emanate specifically from Google.
Today’s news comes a month after Google introduced a new way for companies to edit their online business listings directly from Google Search. Again, this feature was designed to remove friction and encourage business owners to keep their online information up-to-date.