Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) recently launched a new product, the Groupon Scheduler,  in a bid to differentiate itself in the highly competitive daily deal market with the likes of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and LivingSocial. The new product aims to further close the gap between merchants and consumers by enabling the former to better manage their schedules. However, the Groupon growth story still remains a mixed bag with the company facing legal troubles, including the OFT investigation in the U.K. as well as a lawsuit from its merchant base in the U.S. 
Scheduler Aimed to Fit With Groupon’s Deals
The Groupon scheduler gives much more independence to customers for booking their appointments with merchants directly. The merchants from their side can embed a “Book Now” button on their own websites, a feature somewhat reminiscent of LinkedIn’s “Apply with LinkedIn” button.  The feature itself goes beyond daily deals, which means that Groupon merchants would be able to use Scheduler even if the merchant is not running a Groupon deal. Additionally of course, it provides merchants with a facility to better plan their service schedule, so as to avoid incidents like the UK bakery one.
All in all, the Scheduler looks more promising than Groupon’s previous products aimed at generating higher personalization and merchant loyalty (such as Groupon Rewards). With Groupon NOW not showing the whirlwind results that Groupon expected, the company does need a differentiator from the otherwise highly duplicable daily deal market.
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We recently launched coverage on our analysis of Groupon with a $13 price estimate. Refer to our note on why Groupon’s valuation has fluctuated significantly over the past 2 years.Notes: