Startup Model — Online Booking of Beauty & Wellness Services

The Model: A platform where users can discover the different beauty and wellness outlets around them, read about them, get customer reviews and then make a booking as well. Discovery is great, but if you can add a booking facility as well, the customer experience grows multifold.

Startup Doing It: Treatwell (Dutch startup)

What I Like:

Core Idea — End to end services, from discovery to booking, for beauty and wellness. Experience is great and more complete for a user.

Revenue Model — Commission on bookings is the obvious. Even advertising can kick in.

Barrier to Entry — Since bookings involve setting up a proper booking management system (which includes inventory management and bookings management), the barrier for a new entrant to enter is higher than the barrier in say a discovery only tool.

My Concerns:

Difficult to Scale — A lot of time and effort has to be invested to scale this model, vis-à-vis a discovery only tool. Outlets need to be contacted, convinced and a system has to be put in place.

Requires Better Control on Processes — If a customer makes a booking, which the outlet does not honor, it will impact your brand at the end of the day. Startups need to establish and work on the back-end systems, so that the process flow is smooth and customer experience is not hampered.