Square has introduced Square Appointments to its suite of services. Square Appointments gives businesses the ability to book clients quickly through an online or mobile app.
The addition of Square Appointments is geared toward appointment-based businesses like beauty salons, repair contractors, tutors and other service providers. Using the app, a business’ customers can book an appointment and pay for it within the Square environment. Square Appointments also allows businesses to place widgets on their websites so customers can book directly from there.
In an official announcement on the company’s website, Square explained:
“Service businesses lose sales to no-shows, waste time trying to book customers on the phone, and miss out on potential new customers who prefer the ease of booking online. With Square Appointments, sellers can easily manage appointments, ensure they never miss a sale, and offer their customers a seamless booking experience.”
The new service appears to be further indication that Square is diversifying beyond its original point-of-sale focus. The company already offers an ecommerce solution, Square Market.
Square also recently acquired Caviar, a food ordering and delivery service. The new acquisition is expected to be integrated with Square Order, an app that lets users order from favorite restaurants, pay for their meal and receive a notification when its ready.
A report from TechCrunch suggests that Square Appointments is an attempt to address other needs in the small business market. The market is one in which payment-only solutions like Square are meeting heavy competition. And that competition is coming from solutions offered not only by payment services like PayPal but also by banks now offering digital payment solutions.
Square says it tested the use of Square Appointments among 200 business owners. During that trial run, 144 of those owners said the app helped them make more money. More than half of those 200 business owners say Square Appointments saved them about one-half hour per day.
The first month of using Square Appointments is free. An individual business owner will have to pay $30 per month to continue using the booking app.
The price for businesses with between two and five employees is $50 per month. Larger companies will have to pay $90 per month to use the service.