Groupon Makes New Move in the Battle to Stay Relevant

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) has launched an innovative new online service that allows customers to schedule appointments with small businesses for which they buy deal coupons. Customers will be able to use the Groupon Scheduler to make appointments for haircuts, massages, tours, and other services However, restaurants and hotels are outside its purview.

The scheduling service is offered free of charge to businesses that using Groupon to post daily deals. Even merchants who have not offered Groupon deals may use the service for free, provided they enroll within three months. The tool enables merchants to monitor clients, their appointments and spending habits

Customers can book appointments when they buy a Groupon coupon, or may do so later at a more convenient time. Appointments may also be changed or cancelled.

Aimed at getting small businesses to route more business through the company, the tool works with technology sourced from Canadian company, OpenCal, which was acquired last fall by Groupon.

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