Are you eligible for ‘Reserve with Google’?
Marketing is an essential part of building any business. It drives customers towards the business, thus generating revenue.
But, it’s no easy task, is it?
We know how difficult it is for local business owners like you; the marketing channels presently available are costly and aren’t truly effective. This means that while you are spending a lot on marketing, you aren’t really getting very much in return.
This piece is for all of you out there who are looking to boost their business and increase their earnings. So, is there a marketing channel which:
🗹 Increases your clientele
🗹 Widens your reach
🗹 Is easy on your pocket
Well, there is! – Reserve with Google.
Chances are you must’ve heard about it by now, and even if you haven’t, don’t worry, we’ve got your back. You can go through our whole RwG blog series here. New businesses are getting listed every day and adding immense value to their business, so we suggest y’all hasten up. Don’t listen to us; see what business owners have to say.
Convinced now, huh?
And, for those of you who wish to get listed and have no clue how to go about it, you’re in the right place.
Okay! So, first things first!
Did you know not all businesses can get listed on Reserve with Google?
But don’t worry, most can! Sounds confusing? Let me elaborate.
Why can’t everyone get listed on RwG?
1. Reserve with Google is still in its initial stages; hence, it is not available worldwide.
2. Presently, it doesn’t support all types of services.
3. There are some conditions you need to comply with.
All this can be consolidated as eligibility criteria, upon satisfying which, your business can get listed on RwG.
How can we help you get listed?
We were one of the initial official launch partners of RwG. We’ve helped many of our clients fulfill the eligibility criteria and get listed on RwG and will be happy to help you as well.
What can you expect from this blog?
We’ve written this piece to answer any question you might have about Reserve with Google and its eligibility criteria. We’ll also guide you through the full process of getting listed, and how by making a few changes in your booking flow, you can become eligible.
A few questions that we are going to answer in this blog:
Geographies: Is it available in your country?
Reserve with Google has not launched worldwide yet. It was piloted in only three cities in the USA, but is live in over 40 countries now and will launch in many more shortly.
You can find out if it’s available in your country here.
You don’t see your country up there?
Main Business Verticals
Primarily, RwG caters to 4 business verticals- Dining, Activities, Beauty and Fitness. This is because Google is trying to avoid more complicated booking flows at this point.
At the time of the initial launch, RwG did not cater to the dining industry or the pet grooming industry, but they are supported currently. So, we know that there are some verticals which aren’t supported yet, but they would be soon.✌
Services: Supported & Unsupported
Reserve with Google has created an online marketplace for local businesses. These businesses offer numerous services and RwG supports a wide array of these services:
5. Basic Ticketing
6. General admission day tours
7. Consults and evaluations
8. Sign-ups and trials
Well, that’s a lot, isn’t it?
Most of the service types listed above are generic and can include different sub-types. RwG supports most of these sub-types, but there are some things you need to take care of. Let us delve into some details and see what roadblocks you may hit.
Every service has a cost associated with it, right? Well, you might argue that some are free of cost too. So this is the first criterion Google has kept; the services offered should have a price associated with it.
Moreover, there are two types of services:
1. Metered service: This is also called pay-per-use or one-time usage service. You pay for the service after you use it once, e.g., in a Hair salon.
2. Membership based service: In this, the customer must pay a recurring price at regular intervals for access to the services, e.g., Gym memberships.
Businesses offering membership-based services can’t be listed.
Services can be provided at the business address, e.g., spa; or can be dispensed at the customer’s location, e.g., mobile haircuts, locksmiths. The services that are given out at the client’s place can’t get listed on RwG. The service has to be provided at the location of the business.
This means all the below services won’t be eligible:
1. A stylist that comes to your workplace
2. In-home trainers
3. A pet grooming truck
4. Field services, plumbers, or contractors
5. Mobile mechanics
A merchant requires the client’s basic info like name, email address, and phone number for booking an appointment. Users are required to fill in this data in a form which we call an ‘Intake form’. At present, while booking through RwG, no additional details are taken.
Custom fields include any fields beyond the first name, last name, email address, and phone number.
Some services have specific requirements; for instance, insurance is necessary for certain services. There are legal requirements for some services, e.g., adult entertainment, childcare.
Companies that deal with protected health information (PHI) must have the physical, network, and process security measures in place and follow them to ensure HIPAA Compliance. This prevents healthcare facilities like doctors, dentists from getting listed.
The list of services that RwG doesn’t support seems to go on and on! TBH, it can be a little overwhelming. It took us almost a month to figure it out completely so if you find it a bit complicated; you’re not alone.
Not eligible: What can you do to get listed?
Now there will be some of you who might be disappointed because they missed by a whisker and thus, are not eligible. Perhaps, we can help you out!
We have observed in many cases that vendors have a mix of service types. Some of which are supported by RwG while some aren’t. If that’s the case, you can use RwG for some selected services which satisfy the eligibility criteria and exclude the ones which don’t. This way, you can still benefit from it.
That wasn’t difficult, was it?
Being one of the initial launch partners of RwG, we have studied the whole process carefully and have developed many workarounds, which will be of great use to you. Appointy has a dedicated RwG Expert team for this purpose only. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a call from here.
Step by step guide: How to get Reserve(d)?
If your business fulfills the eligibility criteria, well congrats! You’re just a few steps away from getting listed.
Step 1: Register on Google my business
In order to be live on Reserve with Google, a business should have an address and a telephone number which should be registered on Google My Business. This is important to prevent unvetted businesses. The address and telephone of a business is a determinant for how Google detects which merchant goes to which Google Maps listing.
Register right now! If you’re already registered, skip to the next step.
Step 2: Make an account with a Scheduling partner
Scheduling partner is third-party online scheduling software that helps your customers book your services. You need to have an account with one of RwG’s scheduling partners (like Appointy) to enable customers to book your services. You can set up your account right now. After filling in the details of your business, a quick setup process will start.
NOTE 1: In order to go live on RwG, a business has to have one or more services in the Services feed. A service needs to include a valid description. If the service’s description is missing, we strongly encourage you to provide one. This allows important details to the users who need to know what they’re booking.
NOTE 2: A merchant needs to have one or more future availabilities in the Availability feed. If the merchant doesn’t have at least one future availability in the Availability feed, the merchant cannot be live on Reserve with Google.
Step 3: Sit back and leave it to us
We’ll take it from hereon. Our RwG team will check whether you’re eligible or not. We’ll contact you in case of any discrepancies. Then we’ll send over your business details to Google.
Usually, it takes about two weeks for a business to go live on RwG. After it is done, you will see an RwG button on your business listing when you search for your business on Google.
If you encounter any issues, shoot an email to the Appointy’s RwG expert team on email@example.com.
*All the data mentioned above is true as of today i.e. 7 July 2019.
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog, or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
We love a good talk!