Mar 15, 2024

How to build a website like Zocdoc

Zocdoc is an online marketplace that connects patients with healthcare professionals for appointment bookings. Learn to create a similar platform with this guide.

Introduction: Why build a website like Zocdoc

Zocdoc's success as an online marketplace for healthcare services can be attributed to its innovative approach to solving a common problem: the difficulty of finding and booking appointments with healthcare providers. By creating a platform that allows patients to search for doctors by specialty, location, insurance coverage, and availability, Zocdoc has significantly simplified the process of accessing healthcare. Its user-friendly interface and real-time availability updates empower patients to choose providers that best meet their needs and schedule appointments at their convenience. Furthermore, Zocdoc has continuously evolved by incorporating patient reviews, telehealth options, and a seamless booking experience, enhancing trust and satisfaction among its users. This focus on convenience, transparency, and adaptability to healthcare trends has enabled Zocdoc to attract a large user base, making it a successful model in the digital healthcare space.

How does a website like Zocdoc work?

For buyers, Zocdoc simplifies finding healthcare providers by allowing users to search based on specialty, location, insurance coverage, and available appointment times. It offers detailed provider profiles, reviews, and the convenience of booking appointments online, making it easier for patients to access and manage their healthcare needs efficiently.

For sellers, Zocdoc operates as a platform where healthcare providers can reach a wider audience by listing their services. It allows them to manage appointments, receive reviews, and improve visibility among potential patients. This marketplace model helps in optimizing their schedules, reducing no-shows, and ultimately, increasing their revenue streams.

What is Zocdoc's business model?

Zocdoc operates as an online marketplace designed to connect patients with healthcare professionals and services. Its business model primarily revolves around charging healthcare providers a subscription fee for listing their services on the platform. This fee allows providers to showcase their practice to a vast audience, manage appointments, and receive reviews. Patients, on the other hand, can use Zocdoc free of charge to search for doctors by specialty, location, insurance coverage, and availability, thus simplifying the process of finding and booking healthcare appointments. By facilitating these connections, Zocdoc aims to improve healthcare accessibility and convenience for patients, while helping providers grow their practices by reaching a broader patient base. This dual-sided marketplace approach creates value for both patients and healthcare providers, underpinning Zocdoc's business model.

Zocdoc, an online marketplace designed to connect patients with healthcare professionals, generates revenue primarily through a subscription model targeted at healthcare providers. Physicians and healthcare practices pay a monthly or annual fee to be listed on the Zocdoc platform, which in turn allows them to showcase their services to a vast audience of potential patients. This subscription fee grants providers access to Zocdoc's suite of tools designed to help manage appointments, fill last-minute cancellations, and improve their online presence. By charging healthcare providers for access to its platform, Zocdoc capitalizes on the need for medical professionals to attract new patients in an increasingly digital world, while offering patients a convenient way to find and book appointments with healthcare providers.

Key features of Zocdoc

The most important functionality of a marketplace like Zocdoc, which connects patients with healthcare providers for appointment booking, is its ability to efficiently match patients with the appropriate healthcare providers based on various criteria. This includes:

  1. Search and Discovery: Patients can search for healthcare providers by specialty, condition, or procedure. This functionality is crucial for helping patients find the right providers for their specific healthcare needs.

  2. Real-time Availability and Online Booking: Zocdoc allows patients to view real-time availability of doctors and book appointments online instantly. This eliminates the need for back-and-forth communication to find a suitable time slot, making the process more efficient for both patients and providers.

  3. Verified Reviews: Providing access to verified reviews from other patients helps individuals make informed decisions about which healthcare provider to choose. This transparency is key to building trust in the platform and the providers listed.

  4. Insurance Checker: Zocdoc's functionality to check and match patients with providers who accept their insurance simplifies the process of finding in-network doctors, which can be a complex and time-consuming process otherwise.

  5. Reminders and Notifications: Automated reminders and notifications about upcoming appointments help reduce no-shows and ensure that patients are prepared for their visits, improving the overall efficiency of healthcare delivery.

  6. Telehealth Services: Especially relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, the ability to book and conduct appointments virtually is an essential functionality that expands access to healthcare services.

  7. User-friendly Interface: A simple, intuitive interface that makes it easy for users of all ages and tech-savviness levels to navigate the platform and manage their healthcare appointments.

In summary, the core functionality of Zocdoc revolves around creating a seamless, efficient, and transparent process for connecting patients with healthcare providers, facilitating access to care, and improving the healthcare experience for all parties involved.

Building a platform like Zocdoc from scratch involves significant investment in several areas: design, development, testing, and deployment. Costs can vary widely based on the project's scope, features, and geographic location of the development team. A basic version with core features such as doctor search, appointment scheduling, and user reviews might start around $50,000 to $100,000. However, for a more advanced and scalable version including features like insurance integration, telehealth services, and advanced analytics, costs could easily exceed $200,000 to $500,000. These estimates include design, development, project management, and quality assurance but exclude ongoing maintenance and marketing expenses.

How to create a successful alternative to Zocdoc

Identify gaps in Zocdoc's service or areas of user dissatisfaction to address in your platform.

Conduct thorough market research to understand the needs of both healthcare providers and patients.

Develop a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process of finding doctors, booking appointments, and managing healthcare needs.

Incorporate a broader range of healthcare services, including telehealth, mental health services, and alternative medicine practitioners.

Offer a robust review and rating system that helps users make informed decisions based on reliable feedback.

Ensure the platform complies with healthcare regulations and data protection laws to secure user information.

Implement an efficient customer support system to assist users and healthcare providers with any issues or questions.

Create a flexible scheduling system that accommodates the varying availability of healthcare providers and patient needs.

Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to build brand awareness and attract users and healthcare providers to the platform.

Leverage advanced technologies like AI and machine learning to personalize user experiences and improve service recommendations.

Offer competitive pricing and subscription models for healthcare providers to encourage them to join and stay with the platform.

Establish partnerships with healthcare institutions, insurance companies, and wellness programs to expand the platform's offerings and reach.

Continuously gather user feedback and adapt the platform to meet evolving needs and expectations in the healthcare industry.

Successful Zocdoc competitors

  1. Healthgrades is a significant competitor to Zocdoc, focusing more broadly on healthcare provider reviews alongside appointment booking capabilities. Unlike Zocdoc, which emphasizes ease of scheduling appointments with doctors and dentists, Healthgrades provides patients with detailed information about doctors' backgrounds, including their education and patient satisfaction scores. This platform allows users to make more informed decisions by comparing providers on various metrics before booking.

  2. Vitals is another competitor, offering a similar blend of healthcare provider reviews and appointment scheduling. Vitals distinguishes itself with a rewards program that incentivizes users to leave reviews about their doctor visits, which Zocdoc does not offer. This approach not only encourages more patient feedback but also helps build a comprehensive database of doctor reviews, aiding others in their search for the right healthcare provider.

  3. specializes in a wide range of online healthcare provider services, including profile management and patient review collection, which directly competes with Zocdoc's offerings. However, extends its services to include online reputation management and patient engagement tools for healthcare providers, which Zocdoc does not explicitly focus on. This makes a more versatile tool for healthcare professionals looking to manage their online presence and patient relationships.

  4. Solv is a newer entrant in the market, focusing specifically on urgent care and same-day appointment bookings, which positions it as a direct competitor to Zocdoc in this niche. Solv differentiates itself with a user-friendly interface and a strong emphasis on mobile users, reflecting the growing trend of patients seeking healthcare solutions on-the-go. While Zocdoc offers a broader range of specialties, Solv's focus on immediate care meets a specific market demand that complements traditional healthcare appointments.

  5. Practo is an international competitor to Zocdoc, with a strong presence in countries like India, where it is a leading healthcare appointment platform. Practo offers a wider range of services than Zocdoc, including telemedicine, diagnostics appointments, and even medicine delivery, making it a one-stop healthcare solution. This comprehensive approach to healthcare services, combined with its geographical reach, makes Practo a formidable competitor to Zocdoc in markets outside the United States.

Options to develop a website similar to Zocdoc

Creating a Zocdoc-style online marketplace from the ground up is a significant, costly endeavor. However, nowadays, there are numerous methods to construct a marketplace that don't demand a large budget.

The choice you should make depends on:

  • The functionalities you believe your marketplace requires
  • Your technical abilities (or those present in your team)
  • Your financial plan
  • The time you have available.

The various methods to create a marketplace include:

  • Utilizing WordPress and add-ons
  • Constructing atop open-source software
  • Employing a mix of no-code instruments
  • Utilizing a specialized no-code marketplace SaaS platform
  • Developing atop an API-based marketplace SaaS platform

Besides your limitations regarding skills and finances, you should also consider the pace of learning. Launching your Zocdoc-style platform swiftly allows you to begin understanding your audience rapidly. These insights assist you in crafting the type of platform that users prefer over any other existing alternatives.

Sharetribe’s marketplace software is designed with this cyclical learning process in mind.

Initially, we assist you in launching a platform akin to Zocdoc in a single day without any programming. The construction phase is complimentary indefinitely, and all the essential functionality is pre-configured.

Once you've launched, you discover what sorts of extra features and functionalities your platform needs to cater to your audience. You might wish to alter the design and workflow entirely, incorporate numerous third-party services, or develop a mobile application. With Sharetribe, you can effortlessly custom-code all these modifications and much more, either on your own or with assistance from our Expert partners.

At Sharetribe, we’ve been crafting marketplaces for over ten years. Our knowledge and proficiency are at your service through our content resources, which you can access and utilize regardless of your chosen method to build your platform.

Wishing you the best with your Zocdoc-style venture!

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