Tag Archives: opencal

Groupon Scheduler–how Groupon plans to survive

I guess it would be futile to introduce Groupon, the daily-deal site that changed the service market all around the world only two years ago. Well, since the business is not going so smooth after all, and many who tried Groupon have some complaints, it makes sense that Groupon tries to take advantage of their tremendous sales-presence in so many US cities by introducing new services for their target group – the businesses that offer services.

So here comes Groupon Scheduler – branded OpenCal with Groupon behind the wheel. We tried it as soon as we could.

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You cannot choose any county outside the US for now, and Groupon Scheduler is only available for some cities. In order to test it, we had to make stuff up…

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The system is basically a nicer version of OpenCal – clean, mac-like graphics, simplified user interface, lots of white space and sort of smallish buttons.

 

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In order to solve different style of businesses in one package, Groupon Scheduler distinctly distinguishes between classes (group appointments where capacity is at stake) and individual appointments. It does so in an OK way, might be very confusing to somebody who never thought about it, though.

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There is not much settings (which is probably a good thing) and the calendar looks fairly bland and washed-up. Usability is fairly basic: no drag&drop to start a booking, for example (which is sort of annoying since that is, in my opinion, the easiest and most common way to enter new events into the calendar). Also, the views of the Calendar are really basic and might not suit everybody. For example: there is no way of viewing the weekly calendar while seeing appointments of more than just one staff (you need to filter them in the left panel).

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Overall, Groupon Scheduler is a nice start with clean interface, but might annoy you with the things that it just doesn’t do, doesn’t allow. Groupon is a big company with prime business elsewhere, and this is still a sort of BETA, so trying it won’t hurt, but think carefully before switching your business to this completely…


OpenCal review–decent option, limitations, just buttons

OpneCal.com has a great, simple look, and all the promises sound, well, promising. On-line booking system with PayPal and SSL for customers, with all the options at hand. Well, we’ll see about that.

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The introduction to the system is well-written and the screenshots are clear and clean. Time to try OpenCal out.

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As with Genbook, only one staff member allowed for the cheaper version. No free plan either, just a trial – you can try 10 appointments for free.opencal-review-online-booking 10

Registration

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Signing up for OpenCal was straightforward and without much hassle. The guide that opens up after you sign-up, however, is not all that helpful. It took me quite some time to figure out what all needs to be filled. Frankly, for many flexible businesses this system is just too rigid, it won’t let you set flexible hours, break in the middle of the day (you can mark times as closed, but probably only one at a time) and the setting up was not as straightforward as I hoped.

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Limitations

Apart from only one staff member for the cheaper plan, this bothers me the most – no option for embedding a calendar into your website, just a button. This is, for many, including myself, a deal-breaker.

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OpenCal rating

OpenCal.com is an understandable tool with nice set of features. The guide for beginners was somewhat helpful, but a bit confusing. Again, only buttons, no embedded. Nice design, so three stars overall, but check other systems before signing up for this one. Luckily, you can try it out for free if you have time.