Is appointment scheduling poised to be a new anchor for service promotions? That vision –“look for an appointment, get a deal or upsell ” — has been articulated by a number of scheduling vendors, such as Agendize, FullSlate and Schedulicity. Most recently, RedBeacon founder Ethan Anderson has launched MyTime as a scheduling supermarket that allows shoppers to find discounted appointments at unfilled times.
Now comes Spafinder Last Minute, which provides same day and next day appointments. Started as “bTreated” by founder Josh Brenner, the company was acquired by SpaFinder last August. SpaFinder works with over 20,000 spa and wellness locations, and has recently spun off from the Booker platform service.
Now rebranded as “Last Minute,” it has initially launching in New York, where it has 50 merchants; Miami (25 merchants) and Chicago (25 merchants). Launches are expected this Summer and Fall in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Toronto and Dallas.
Local sales teams will be hired in some of the markets, with other markets served by telemarketing efforts. The service can be filtered by category, daypart and neighborhood.
Brenner tells us that he is especially looking to see merchant defections from deals companies such as Groupon. “They are burnt out” from the high commissions. he says. Last Minute enables healthy levels of discounts.
Customers get a “really good deal,” with minimum discounts set at 30 percent to 50 percent off, says Brenner. Some spa treatment with very high margins, such has medical specialties and laser hair removal have discounted as high as 80 percent. SpaFinder, for its part, takes “sustainable” commissions of 20-25 percent (although the reality is that this isn’t far off from what many deals companies will negotiate for desirable merchants).
Brenner says the appeal of Last Minute is that it fills in empty slots. And it doesn’t “tarnish” the merchant’s brand.
At this time of year — pre-summer –most spas are booking a lot of massages, adds Brenner. Gyms are also booking a lot of classes. Most of the site’s users have been women. While men might buy spa treatments for wives or girlfriends, appointments are almost always booked by the persona receiving the actual treatment.