Marketing to Women: Babysitting goes social!
June 16, 2012 § 1 Comment
We are definitely in the world of instant gratification where benefits of convenience, access and speed are becoming more and more important. We can order countless things on line and have them delivered. Our smartphones navigate our life in restaurants and stores, but there are still some services that require cash and forward planning – until now.
My friends and I were discussing the woes of scheduling a babysitter – like finding a sitter on short notice and the emergency trip to an ATM or convenience store to make sure we had the right cash to pay the babysitter. Imagine my surprise when I ran across this Techcrunch story about SittingAround,a Boston-based online babysitting network.
Thinking this sounds like a matchmaker you would never use? Well, the service has more than 7,000 families and 1,500 babysitters registered. And that payment problem? Just scan your credit card or debit card when you get home. CEO Erica Zidel has announced that all sitters are being offered a free Square dongle as a part of the signup process on the website, and can then indicate whether or not they accept credit cards in their online profile. For those who think a dongle is some type of character in a Shrek movie, its a plug-and-play swipe-card reader that facilitates easy payments via the smartphone.
This type of on-the-spot payment system is also being used by small businesses and will eventually move into the world of more service retailers.
It reminds me of my cousin who first introduced me to credit. When we were children, we were allowed to walk around the whole two-block section of downtown from the dime store to the drugstore where the banana splits and malts were sublime. Walking into the drugstore, I realized that I didn’t have any money. In those days before credit cards when house accounts still prevailed, he grinned and said, “That’s okay. We can just charge it.” While the methods change, the concept still stays the same.