This morning we read with interest that two long-time players in the local space are teaming up. Mono Solutions and Brandify are partnering to deliver Mono’s appointment booking solution to Brandify’s large base of multi-location accounts.
This deal gives Brandify a way to add another feature to its stack of solutions to help retain its customer base. For Mono, the deal likely offers some sort of revenue share.
Our sense is that the pandemic is accelerating the adoption appointment booking, as it is for so many SaaS features. After all, consumers will now in many instances require appointments to engage with local businesses. Even though it’s long been an obvious need for certain types of businesses (e.g., salons), not all SMBs had gone down the appointment booking path. Now, with capacity constraints, it’s a no brainer for any business that interacts with the public.
For its part, many of Brandify’s customers are national retail brands. These stores face capacity limits for the foreseeable future. Imagine you want to visit a NorthFace retail location, for example, but you don’t want to stand in some line while in-store shopping capacity is limited. Now, with Mono’s booking solution, shoppers can pick a time to show up and do their shopping. This is all about the right solution at the right time.
The Beginning of Something Bigger?
More broadly, we wonder whether this initial partnership will lead to a more comprehensive engagement. Mono has always focused on the small, independent local providers, which it reaches through channel partners. Brandify, on the other hand, has always served the multi-location market.
We imagine each has looked at the other’s market coverage and wondered how they could expand into that territory. What’s to stop Mono from offering Brandify’s digital presence solutions to its customers’ customers. Nothing, other than perhaps to avoid conflicts with Brandify rivals like YEXT or Uberall.
This deal comes right on the heels of Dr. Natasha Zharinova joining the Bauer (owner of Mono) team as the head of SME services. Perhaps this deal marks the beginning of an aggressive partnership push under her leadership. Mono is certainly signaling plans to pursue more deals like this one.
“This partnership underlines the value of Mono’s API-first approach to development and the flexibility of our platform,” said Matt Matergia, Mono’s general manager of Americas and VP of sales. “This gives us the potential for a multitude of unique and creative ways to go to market with partners across the full spectrum of SMBs, platforms, and digital service providers and SaaS platforms.”
We certainly believe the rapidly changing landscape in local will bring more players like Mono and Brandify together. This may come in the form of more partnerships like today’s announcement. Or it could involve acquisitions like Bauer’s deals to buy Mono and Camilyo. There are many changes coming in local. We will do our best to continue to anticipate them in the coming weeks, months, and years.