Study: 40% of Online Appointment Scheduling Happening After-Hours
May 4, 2016 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
Online booking platform Pingup compiled data from Q1 2016 bookings across its local publisher network and exposed some interesting trends and insights. These findings are available in an infographic; however I’ve summarized most of them below.
Online bookings grow 30%: Pingup said that online bookings have grown 30% month over month in Q1. While this is certainly good news for Pingup, the more important point is that it reflects growing consumer acceptance and interest in online scheduling.
Roughly 12% of clicks turn into appointments: the company reported that 11.9% of clicks on “book an appointment” buttons resulted in scheduled appointments.
Scheduling happening 24/7: the company observed that 60% of bookings were happening during business hours and 40% after hours. There are two points here — presumably some percentage of the 40% of bookings happening after hours would be lost but for the booking button. And among the 60% during the day, a percentage of that group doesn’t want to get on the phone and make a call. It would be interesting to see a demographic breakdown of those customers. Are the mostly Millennials?
Mobile vs. desktop: Pingup found that almost exactly 2/3 of online bookings were happening on the PC and 1/3 on mobile devices.
45 hours ahead: the average lead time between booking and the fulfillment of the requested service was 44.8 hours
Men vs. women: the gender breakdown was also very interesting — 68% of online bookers were women.
A few things stand out here for me:
- The after-hours bookings (40%)
- The gender breakdown (dominated by women)
- The relatively low number of “book an appointment” clicks that actually turn into bookings (one would assume high intent here)
Pingup argues that these data reflect a growing consumer preference for clicks/online tools vs. calls. There’s probably some merit to that point. However I don’t necessarily think it reflects call aversion or avoidance. It’s more about consumer convenience in my mind. I believe that calls and clicks in this case support and complement one another — a kind of local “omnichannel” strategy.
What are your thoughts about this data? Does anything strike you about the Pingup numbers? And how “mandatory” do you think online booking for local businesses will become in the next year or two?