Google gets in shape with new reservation tool for fitness fans
- Google launched a new service last week enabling users to search for nearby fitness studios, use filters to narrow down their search, get recommendations, reserve a spot, access introductory offers and pay for a class, the company said in a blog post.
- The service is available on desktop and mobile via the Reserve with Google site and on Google Search. An option on Google Maps is currently only available on desktop.
- A handful of scheduling services have partnered with Google to provide the service with real-time class inventory across the U.S. including Mindbody, MyTime, GenBook, Full Slate, Front Desk, Appointy and others.
Mobile and fitness are a strong match as consumers frequently have their smartphone close by while working out to listen to music, monitor their workouts and be part of a community of other enthusiasts. For example, a Flurry report found that fitness apps are among the most frequently used apps, with users loyal to them over time.
Google already plays in the fitness area with Google Fit, its own exercise monitoring software. However, as both sales and use of wearables has stagnated, Google may be extending its efforts into locating and reserving classes to deepen its knowledge of fitness users.
Recommendations for Reserve with Google will be made based on previous classes users have taken and the service will soon add notifications to alert users of new classes they might like, according to Mashable.
With mobile search volume exceeding desktop, the fitness play also dovetails with Google's strategy around making it easy for searchers to complete a number of tasks directly from the search window. For example, search users can find and book a plane ticket or hotel. The blog post announcing Reserve with Google points to one potential use case for travelers looking to find a nearby class. While these services are also available for desktop, they are targeted at on-the-go mobile users looking for convenience.
Of course, Reserve with Google will need to offer a comprehensive list of nearby classes in order to attract loyal users and a recent trial of the service in the New England area revealed only a small percentage of classes actually available in the area are found on Reserve with Google.