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Groupon launches Scheduler, online booking tool for businesses

March 20, 2012|By Shan Li
  • The Groupon logo is displayed inside the online coupon company's offices in Chicago.
The Groupon logo is displayed inside the online coupon company's… (Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated…)

Daily Deals site Groupon is trying to take the pain out of booking appointments with the launch of Scheduler, an online scheduling tool for small businesses.

With Scheduler, which officially launched Monday in beta form, bargain hunters can buy coupons -- say for a manicure, cooking class or haircut -- and then book an appointment for that service through their Groupon account. The tool is free for all small appointment-based merchants in the U.S. and Canada.

“Effectively managing appointments and staffing schedules is critical for small businesses, but it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy,” said David Katz, general manager of Scheduler for Groupon. “Scheduler streamlines these time-consuming tasks."

Merchants can use Scheduler to manage all their services, not just those offered on Groupon. The tool can also send customers booking confirmations and email reminders before scheduled appointments, as well as providing a system for tracking customers and coupon redemptions.

Groupon, which went public in November, acquired the technology behind Scheduler after purchasing OpenCal, a Vancouver, Canada, tech company, in September.

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