Square expands beyond payments with Bookfresh appointment booking tool
Square, a payment solutions provider, is moving beyond creating technological solutions to help retailers accept payments. The company has recently acquired Bookfresh, a provider of software that allows business to book appointments with customers online.The two companies announced the acquisition on their respective blogs on February 26, 2014, saying that by coming together both companies would be able to continue to do what the do best: creating tools that make conducting commerce easier for retailers. No changes will be made to Bookfresh or its products, and both companies are reassuring their customers that it will be “business as usual” for Bookfresh. For now, Square’s products (Square Register, Square Market, Square Wallet, and Square Stand) and Bookfresh’s appointment booking tool will remain separate.
Bookfresh allows customers to book and pay for appointments online. They are able to view a business’s services, prices and available staff and instantly book a time that works for them without having to call. The tool also allows customers to pay for their appointment online, as Bookfresh accepts Visa, MasterCard, Amex, debit cards, bank transfers and PayPal. Once an appointment has been made, the business is able to send automated messages to the customer reminding them of their upcoming appointment via text message or e-mail.
All businesses have to do to use the tool is copy and paste the widget code directly into their website. Bookfresh also allows businesses to accept appointments on Facebook, WordPress and Twitter. All staff members’ schedules can be individually managed and are synced along with calendars that a business may already manage on Google, iCal, iPhone, Android, or Outlook.
One pure play online retailer already using a scheduling system is Rent the Runway. The e-retailer opened a shop at the Henri Bendal department store on Fifth Avenue in New York in October 2013. Customers make an appointment online at renttherunway.com with a personal Go-to-Girl, a fashion expert and stylist, to curate dresses that are ready and waiting when the customer arrives for her appointment. The showroom operates as a solution to one of the biggest problems fashion e-retailers face, the inability for customers to try on and touch and feel garments before purchase