CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) (http://www.groupon.com) announced the pilot launch of Groupon Scheduler, the latest addition to its suite of merchant productivity tools. Groupon Scheduler is an online appointment service giving merchants an easy way to manage their schedules and accept bookings directly from consumers. Business owners using Groupon Scheduler can set up an appointment calendar covering all their staff, services and business locations, allowing consumers to instantly book appointments online without having to call or email. The service can be used to take appointments for Groupon features or as a freestanding tool to manage a merchant’s entire calendar.
Groupon Scheduler seamlessly integrates into the Groupon deal process. Once they’ve purchased a Groupon deal, consumers can schedule or cancel appointments through their account on Groupon.com in just seconds. Both consumers and merchants get immediate email confirmation of each booking, as well as automated email reminders 24 hours before scheduled appointments. Merchants can also add a “Book Now” button to their own website and use Groupon Scheduler to manage online bookings for all their services – not just those offered through Groupon.
“Simplicity and ease of use were top priorities for Groupon Scheduler,” said Mihir Shah, a Vice President of Product at Groupon. “We wanted to create a tool that would not only make the Groupon feature process easier for merchants, but also help them run their businesses on an ongoing basis beyond their Groupon deal. We’re excited to debut another user-friendly service created by Groupon specifically with small business owners in mind.”
Groupon Scheduler is particularly well suited to spas, salons and scheduled activities. "We’ve been looking for an online scheduling tool that can also handle multiple employee schedules and services. Groupon Scheduler does just that," said Sallie Zvolanek, owner of Wind-N-Willow Specialty Shop and Spa in Sacramento, CA who is participating in the pilot program. “Now that our scheduling is automated, our employees have more time to focus on other priorities. We especially like the fact that Groupon Scheduler automatically sends confirmation and reminder emails for appointments to cut down on no-shows.”
Groupon Scheduler can assist tens of thousands of appointment-based Groupon merchants who have been looking for an easy-to-use online scheduling solution and will be offered as a free service to merchants running Groupon deals during this pilot. The product is based on technology from OpenCal, a startup founded in 2009 in Vancouver, Canada. Groupon acquired OpenCal in September 2011.
Groupon Scheduler will be available to Groupon merchants and consumers in Sacramento and Miami beginning on December 7, 2011 and expanding to other markets soon after. Merchants can register at http://www.groupon.com/scheduler to be notified when Groupon Scheduler is available in their city.
Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) launched in November 2008 in Chicago, features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, eat, see and buy in 45 countries around the world. Groupon uses collective buying power to offer huge discounts and provide a win-win for business and consumers, delivering more than 1,000 daily deals globally. To subscribe for the best deals in your city, visit http://www.groupon.com. To learn how to become a featured business, visit http://www.grouponworks.com.