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via:usatoday.com

Savvy marketers have one surefire way to get smartphone-toting customers in the door: let them book appointments through an appDroid- and iPhone-carrying consumers can now use apps to book a place in line at the hair salon, nab a tee time on the golf course, sign up for personal-trainer sessions at the health club and even book a bikini wax.

Mobile technology is utterly changing the way consumers do businesses. It may even be the beginning of the end of standing in lines, suggests digital marketing consultant Rebecca Lieb.

“Mobile technology is affecting walk-in businesses in big, big ways,” she says. “The technology is leapfrogging.”

Even into the hair salon.

In a move bound to shake up the hair care industry, Great Clips, one of the nation’s largest hair care chains, this week will announce plans to roll out an app that gives customers a place in line before they reach any of its 3,000 stores.

While the app doesn’t technically book an appointment time, it puts your name up on the virtual board so that when you walk in the door, you’re ahead of anyone who walked in or used the app after you.

Other activities to book with an app:

•Personal training.LA Fitness’ app lets folks sign up for a session with a trainer or time on the racquetball court.

•Parking. With the Parking In Motion app, which launched about a month ago, folks can find available parking spaces and even reserve and pay for them on their iPhones. The company has links to 1,000 major parking lots in urban cores and airports. Folks who use the app typically save a little on parking costs, too, CEO Sam Friedman says.

•Tee times. GolfNow has a new app that lets folks book tee times at 3,000 different golf courses. The app has been used to book more than 10,000 rounds of golf since January, says Will McKintosh, vice president of product development.

•Body waxing. At OC Waxing & Aesthetics in Orange County, Calif., customers can book appointments on their smartphones. Since launching its app about four months ago, business has doubled, says owner Carolyn Staples: “It’s the No. 1 way I get appointments.”

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