9 Dec 2011

Groupon Releases Online Appointment Scheduling Feature For Merchants & Customers



By at ReadWriteWeb:
Yesterday Groupon announced its new online appointment service, Groupon Scheduler, a tool that seeks to make online appointment booking easier. It was developed by OpenCal, a Vancouver-based start-up that Groupon acquired back in September. Groupon Scheduler removes the extra step of calling the merchant to book an actual appointment. Groupon users will receive a reminder email 24 hours before the appointment.
Groupon merchants can take this concept one step further by placing the "Book Now" button on their website so that people visiting the website (non-Groupon users) can book appointments with the GrouponScheduler tool. This means that merchants could use Groupon Scheduler in lieu of their own calendar software, which could be a perk for merchants that are already offering many Groupon deals. If they're not, however, the "Book Now" button could become an annoyance.
Despite the acquisition, OpenCal will continue to operate for current users until further notice.

Is The Daily Deals War Coming To An End?

The daily deals war is far from over. Yesterday LivingSocial announced that it received $176 million in its latest round of funding according to documents from the SEC.
One year ago, LivingSocial received a $175 million investment from Amazon. LivingSocial does not have plans to go public anytime soon; it seeks to raise up to $400 million in an additional round of funding first.
On the first day of trading, Groupon's shares started off at $20, closing out at $26.11. Its shares dropped off significantly to $13 only a few weeks after the IPO. According to Yahoo! Finance, Groupon's most recent trade today went for $21.92.

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