Boston-based Pingup, which describes itself as a “transaction platform for local services,” announced a new partnership with Yahoo this morning. The move expands Pingup’s publisher network, allowing users searching for local services on Yahoo to book an appointment or order food to be delivered on-demand through the Pingup platform.
Pingup’s service is simple for consumers. When searching for local businesses on Yahoo or any of the other publishers with which Pingup partners, consumers will see an option to “book an appointment” next to the business information that pops up in their search results. A couple of clicks later, their haircut or massage can be confirmed with the provider.
Given the rise of the on-demand economy and the growing consumer expectation that services can be booked at the click of a button, the market is ripe for the direct booking that Pingup’s technology makes accessible, said Pingup CEO Mark Slater. “We’re over the question of whether this is going to happen; it’s now about when it’s going to happen.”
For businesses, Pingup is simply “a platform that sends them new customers,” Slater said. Just as consumers expect online booking, businesses are now expected to provide it, and the efficiency with which Pingup endows its partners positions them to succeed in an increasingly digital commercial environment. Pingup aggregates over 100,000 U.S. businesses, according to the press release, and it’s adding to that total at a rate of thousands per month.
Pingup’s current publisher partners, which also include YP, Citysearch, and Superpages, command a monthly user base of over 100 million and over 250 million monthly local searches, according to the press release. The addition of Yahoo boosts those numbers substantially, Slater said.
Pingup and Yahoo have been in communication for about a year, Slater said. Yahoo has been confronted with a fragmentation challenge in regards to online booking for local businesses because SMBs use scores of different software companies to power online booking. Pingup solves that fragmentation problem, allowing Yahoo to offer its searchers local online booking despite the many different software companies behind business sites.
For Pingup, the partnership with Yahoo offers an obvious advantage: access to millions of consumers it might not have reached previously and, in turn, a better value proposition for local businesses. And with Pingup’s presence expanding across the web, online booking for local businesses is gradually becoming as easy as Amazon makes e-commerce purchases — a change sure to shake up the hyperlocal space and commerce broadly, as local services are a $2.5 trillion industry, five times the size of e-commerce.
Joseph Zappa is Street Fight’s news editor.