Discounting website Groupon has launched a new online e-booking service, which it says offers businesses an easy way to manage their schedules.

Called Groupon Scheduler, the company said the piece of software improves the visibility and management of merchant partners’ schedules and allows these business owners to set up an appointment calendar covering all their staff, services and locations.

The discount site has proved a huge hit in the cash-strapped economic times, but it hit the headlines last year when one cupcake maker accused it of nearly ruining her company. Rachel Brown, of Need a Cake bakery in Reading, Berkshire, saw 8,500 people sign up for a 75% reduced offer of a £6.50 deal for 12 cupcakes.

Roy Blanga, managing director of Groupon UK, commenting on the new selling tool, said. “Constant innovation, based on partner and customer feedback, is vital to keep Groupon at the front of the young and dynamic daily deals market. Our product and technology teams are focused on how they can make the Groupon experience the best it can be, looking at everything from user-friendly apps, through to online infrastructure such as Scheduler.”

• Separately, Qype, the leading consumer reviews site, has launched a brand new business package, which allows businesses to trial their own daily deal, at no additional cost. By signing up to Qype’s platinum package, businesses can enjoy all the benefits of a premium listing on Qype, with the addition of a free daily deal mail-out to QypeDeals’ growing database.