Online Bookings with Groupon and Checkfront

Groupon and other collective buying sites can be a great way to attract new customers and quickly drive revenue to your business.

Here’s the idea behind Groupon if you haven’t come across it before: if you are willing to offer up a significant discount based on a minimum number of bookings, they are able to deliver the traffic and buyers necessary to fill the deal.

Groupon works well for retail products, but offers a challenge when the offering is time. The problem with a schedule based product is that although the customer has already paid for the product through Groupon, they haven’t scheduled it with you, and those sales exist outside of your booking system. If you aren’t prepared in advanced for a burst of bookings, you could otherwise end up with an administrative mess, and a Groupon of unhappy customers.

With Groupon, when your deal is completed, customers receive a voucher (paid for at to redeem your service. They also provide you as the merchant a list of corresponding voucher codes to verify the sales.

With Checkfront, we offer merchants the ability to import voucher codes into the system, and allow customers to schedule and book online, as if they were paying with credit a credit card.

With our powerful event and discount system, you can set specific rules to control when and how your promotional rates are available.

Once your vouchers have been uploaded, customers can be directed to your website to make a booking and enter in their voucher code. This significantly reduces call volumes and starts the customer experience on the right foot.

Using Groupon vouchers with Checkfront

Importing vouchers into Checkfront couldn’t be easier. If you are familiar with our event system, you’re 80% there.

From your Inventory > Discounts menu, click + New Discount.

For full details on how to fill out each field, see our Discount Codes support document.

  1. In the Discount Code field, click Upload Vouchers and supply the file (CSV) of voucher codes. Make sure the voucher codes are in column A.
  2. Select the discount amount, generally 100% per booking.
  3. Set any additional parameters for the discount  (start / expire date, rules etc).
  4. Select the item(s) you wish to apply the promotion to (defaults to All Items).
  5. Save your discount, and you are done!

Once uploaded, you can see a list of your available vouchers by visiting the Reports > Promotions menu in your Checkfront dashboard. This report will not only show you the vouchers, but also when they were added, used and to which booking they were applied to. The vouchers are also accessible in the discount edit mode. You can come back here to add more voucher codes at a later date. Just upload another CSV file as before.

Checkfront will schedule bookings for each voucher and close the deal once all vouchers have been used, or when you have set the deal to expire. If the item is fully booked for the day or time, it will not allow the customer to continue, and ask that they choose an alternate date.

Q: Can I still process group bookings over the phone?
A: Of course. Just login to Checkfront and process the booking internally. This will ensure the booking, inventory and customer are properly tracked.

Q: Can I add on optional up-sell to a promotion that isn’t free?
A: YES! This is a great opportunity to make up some of the revenues lost to Groupon. You can add optional items from your inventory to the product (for example a t-shirt). In the event there is a balance due after the voucher code is applied, the customer will continue through the checkout process.