Square is perhaps best known for its core payments product that allows any merchant to accept card payments through a mobile device. But the company also offers a number of complementary services, such as food delivery from local restaurants via Caviar, small business financing via Square Capital, and a bookings service called Square Appointments.
In a nutshell, the service is designed to help small businesses, such as salons and gym instructors, increase their bookings by making it easier to schedule appointments. Naturally, this ties into Square’s broader payments and point-of-sale infrastructure, so customers can pay online in advance or upon arrival at the front desk.
Today, Square announced that it will integrate Appointments with Instagram and Google, meaning that merchants can chase new customers through two of the biggest properties on the internet.
Earlier this year Instagram rolled out new call-to-action (CTA) buttons for businesses in conjunction with a bunch of reservation partners, including Booksy, OpenTable, Yelp, GrubHub, and Eventbrite. This meant that service providers on Instagram no longer had to link to a website or other online property — customers could buy tickets, book classes, or order all manner of goods through Instagram directly. Now Square’s Appointments service is part of the mix, too.
All merchants have to do is add a relevant CTA button to their Instagram profile and they can generate bookings directly from their photo-obsessed followers.
Up until now, business owners accessing their Google My Business account could choose from a number of scheduling providers, such as Booksy, SuperSalon, and SimpleSpa, to enable bookings directly from Google Search or Google Maps.
Sellers using Square Appointments can now get involved too.
Google is essentially synonymous with the internet for many consumers, as it serves as a portal into just about every facet of modern life — including searching for and booking appointments. And given that Instagram is a gargantuan social network in its own right, with 1 billion users, that integration too will serve as an easy way to remove the friction from booking classes online.
Though the web still plays a key part of ecommerce for millions of business, it is no longer essential to securing customers online. Indeed, according to Square, 50 percent of Appointments users do not have their own website — and with these latest integrations, they may never need one either.
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