With Reserve Google is capitalizing on consumer’s preference for convenience: by integrating voice calls, with search engine results and using this data to complete actions on behalf of the user could potentially catapult Google into the next generation services company.
In a significant development that marks Google transitioning its search engine capabilities to the next generation, Reuters has learned that Google is attracting thousands of new customers in salons and gym, every month, through its appointment-booking tool which it released last year.
Google’s new service, Reserve with Google, does away with the need for users to make phone calls, online searches and form filling – matters that are typically associated with appointments.
For example, say you want to eat at a restaurant at a place within a mile from work. Google.com/maps/reserve will display openings at nearby businesses and allows users to book, and pay for reservation without the need to call or visit another website.
Google declined to comment on performance of the tool, which it launched in March 2017.
According to software companies that supply data to Google, since the launch of ‘Reserve with Google’ bookings representing new customers have jumped by 75%.
These results are an early indicator to Google’s emerging search strategy. It appears that Google wants to do more than supply users with a list of search results, it also wants to complete their tasks and provide them solutions.
As you may have correctly surmised, this effort revolves around – Google Assistant.
As oer sources familiar with the matter at hand, Google Assistant will allow consumers to make reservations via voice commands later this year; something that Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa currently lack.
In May 2018, at Google I/O, Google showed off its Assistant placing robo-calls to businesses to make bookings once a suitable option is not available through Reserve.
“There’s a competitive race to be the established consumer brand for appointment booking,” said Marc Woodward, vice president at scheduling software maker Genbook. “But you’re going to need this omniscient understanding of availability” at businesses.
Currently Google’s Reserve is free for use both both businesses and users. It has not disclosed to its schedule partners how it would make money on the service. It is probable that businesses could place advertising with Google if Reserve drives customers to their doorsteps. Another possibility is that Google could charge a businesses transaction fees.
What is certain is that the tool has a commercial value.
In April, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told analysts that completing actions on users’ behalf “obviously…has a commercial impact.”
Google can potentially stand apart from other companies provided it master the integration with Google Assistant, said Genbook’s Woodward. Especially since search data is growing increasingly complex with consumers throwing queries such as “where to get a Swedish massage nearby at a discount today.”
If Google can deliver the answer, with a seamless voice activated booking, it will definitely stand out from the crowd.
“It’s going to be about what you can achieve on the platform,” said Woodward.