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Is MyTime set to become the Amazon of local services?

Now here’s a neat idea for the inno­va­tion-hun­gry e‑commerce man­ag­er: devel­op a plat­form that aims to be the Ama­zon for local ser­vices and open appointments.

That’s how Red­bea­con co-founder founder, Ethan Ander­son, describes his new start­up MyTime, which has just secured seed fund­ing of $3 mil­lion led by GRP Part­ners along with numer­ous oth­er investors.

Wip­ing the con­ver­sion time-lag

Red­bea­con was acquired by Home Depot in 2012 and allowed con­sumers to search, locate and book local home ser­vices providers like house­clean­ers, plumbers or roofers. But there was a prob­lem, Ander­son now thinks: in the time lag between a con­sumer request and the bids returned by mer­chants, some poten­tial buy­ers fell off the radar.

MyTime over­comes this prob­lem of los­ing cus­tomers dur­ing their stay in the con­ver­sion fun­nel. Cus­tomers pay online with their cred­it card as they make their book­ing. The plat­form allows users to seek out appoint­ments accord­ing to the type of ser­vice need­ed (mas­sage, for exam­ple), the cat­e­go­ry (in this case, health and beau­ty), the date and the loca­tion of the ser­vice provider. All mer­chants fea­tured on MyTime come with five (or four) star rat­ings on City­Search and/or Yelp, and their pro­files will include ser­vice descrip­tions and con­tact infor­ma­tion.  As soon as a mer­chant has been cho­sen, users can book an appoint­ment (depend­ing on avail­abil­i­ty) and pay immediately.

As the appoint­ment nears, MyTime sends out an auto­mat­ic reminder and con­sumers are guar­an­teed a full refund if they’re unhap­py with either the mer­chant or the service.

Dynam­ic pricing

For mer­chants, MyTime offers a dynam­ic pric­ing mod­el which varies the price accord­ing to traf­fic den­si­ty for those who opt in for it: all they have to do is set a price range and MyTime does the rest, sens­ing low traf­fic points like the mid­dle of the day or week and set­ting the right price for appoint­ments dynamically.

The free mod­el cre­ates a pro­file for a merchant’s busi­ness in the MyTime site, but doesn’t offer pro­mo­tion, either on-site or via Face­book mar­ket­ing, Google AdWords, etc. The pay­ing mod­el push­es ads for the mer­chant on Google and social net­works and includes the dynam­ic pric­ing option as well as pro­mot­ing spe­cif­ic appoint­ment times.

E‑commerce ana­lysts may con­cur with Ander­son that the local ser­vices mar­ket pro­vides plen­ty of unex­plored oppor­tu­ni­ties for e‑commerce. A mobile site and app is in the pipeline.

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