Merchant Innovation

LivingSocial Goes Real-Time For Beauty Booking

"Real time" is one of the biggest buzzwords in today's payments and commerce ecosystem.

Now, LivingSocial is piloting a new program for select customers to test out FastBook, its new real-time service to book beauty appointments. The local marketplace will debut the service in Austin before branching it out to other markets.

Introducing: FastBook.

“FastBook really means what the name implies,” said Nick Macey, SVP and head of product at LivingSocial. “We’re making it faster and more convenient for consumers to meet a last-minute beauty need or to plan a pampering session, eliminating the time and stress of finding a high-quality spa or salon that is right for them.”

“This is the latest step in LivingSocial’s journey toward becoming the leading experiences marketplace. The health and beauty category is a strong market for us as our customers enjoy pampering themselves, as a group activity with their friends or when looking to gift a great experience,” Macey noted.

The features of FastBook include: booking and confirming appointments on the same day, scheduling appointments up to two weeks in advance, comparing prices and finding the best time and date to get the desired service completed. This includes beauty services like massages, facials and nail appointments.

For its launch, it's piloting at dozens of spas in Austin and is available on desktop and mobile using LivingSocial.

“FastBook is LivingSocial’s newest initiative that delivers on our passion of offering a rich customer experience with real value,” added Macey. “Both of our pilots [FastBook and Restaurants Plus] pair new functionality for an improved customer solution with added advantages for merchant partners and are designed to bring the best experiences to our users, whether it’s right at their desk or in the palm of their hands.”

From a merchant perspective, the value of FastBook is that they can fill appointment slots quicker and also serve the customer base who wants to book last-minute beauty appointments. This can help with managing customer flows and staffing levels.

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About: Accelerating The Real-Time Payments Demand Curve:What Banks Need To Know About What Consumers Want And Need, PYMNTS  examines consumers’ understanding of real-time payments and the methods they use for different types of payments. The report explores consumers’ interest in real-time payments and their willingness to switch to financial institutions that offer such capabilities.