Bob Tedeschi’s NY Times column today examines online booking/calendaring and three sites that are competing in more or less the same segment: Hourtown, Booking Angel and GenBook.
GenBook appears farthest along with business development and Hourtown is using a subscription model rather than CPA/PPBooking, which the other two favor. OpenTable and online hotel reservations before it have proven these systems will work.
It’s a very interesting segment that has value to bring to publishers and SMBs. It’s also not without challenges — not the least of which is how the sales channel partners position these products beside clicks, calls, placement, etc. There’s also some potential consumer behavior issues, which might vary by industry segment.
ZocDoc is addressing potential consumer hesitation to book unknown doctors and dentists online by building a Yelp-like directory site around the booking functionality.
Don’t have time to say much more . . . off to CTIA.