In today’s digital world, Online booking system is fast becoming a fundamental part of running your small business. Since an online booking system can help you do way more than just passively accept bookings and payments online, as well as helps businesses improve their workflow in many ways.
But how to create an online booking system that will do the job effectively?
In this tutorial, you will discover the most common questions concerning online booking system implementation and also show you many features you should take into consideration when creating an online booking system.
But first, let’s talk about definitions…
What is an Online Booking System?
An online booking system or online booking calendar is a piece of software used for reservation management. It allows consumers to schedule appointments for the services that you provide. In addition to saving time and simplifying administrative tasks, an online booking system gives companies and professionals the ability to take control of their schedules. By using advanced booking programs, you can build up a unique and branded booking page and send automated reminders through SMS and email to customers and prospects. These not only help you be more visible online and stay in touch with your consumers, but they also provide you the means to share your latest health and safety information to your clients.
Here is what your online booking page may look like. It will also look great on a mobile phone.
Why do you need to create an Online Booking System?
The use of online booking systems is not limited to big businesses, but also to small enterprises and freelancers. Create an online booking system can be valuable to any business, whether it is a huge chain of restaurants or a tiny mobile hair salon. Let’s find out some reasons you should choose an online booking system as a part of your business
Online booking systems allow clients to make their bookings at a time that suits them. Now they can book at any time of day or night, regardless of whether it's within business hours. Moreover, If you provide your clients with a 24/7 online booking system, you will have the highest chance of increasing the number of bookings and profit on your appointments.
In addition, One of the best things about online booking forms is that they can also be used to upsell your products or services to clients by selling things like add-ons and extras to them.
Smarter insights into the business
Bookkeeping software records each reservation and its associated information. When consumers book online, the information they offer is a valuable resource that an online booking system delivers. Therefore, This allows you to have a deep understanding of your consumers, use reports to identify which proposals bring in the most money, and have real-time insight into your cash flow.
Better guest experience
Customers want instant pleasure in modern society. With smartphones, people have been conditioned to assume that everything can be found in a matter of seconds. From booking to check-out, reservation technology expedites the whole process. Guests will book, pay, and sign necessary documents in just a few minutes, and receive an immediate confirmation in their inbox. They'll also hardly have to hear a "one moment please" upon arrival, so check-in would be as simple as a few clicks for the staff as well!
Connects your favorite software tools
Despite the software tools that you use for many reasons, online booking systems still connect to them. Some business owners use Quickbooks Online, while others prefer Xero as their accounting software. Other businesses may prefer ActiveCampaign to Mailchimp...etc. It's perfectly Ok for whatever kind of software tools you have. Using booking software doesn't have to throw everything out of whack. Instead, it could complement the systems you currently have. There are a variety of integrations and tools available with the most booking solutions that can help you develop your business and optimize your workflows.
How to Create an Online Booking System?
Below are some ways to add an online booking system to your website that will save money, time and increase your sales. Follow them to create your own online booking system.
Link to an external site
Link to an external booking engine is the fastest and easiest approach to offer an online booking option. To get started, just choose an online booking system you prefer and put a link to your website for it. This method eliminates the need to create your own unique online booking system. It saves you both time and money. Another benefit is that it's an easy and quick means of offering an online reservation system to your consumers.
The only disadvantage of using this method is that you'll be directing your website visitors to a separate location, which is outside of your own website. Thus, Customers may lose interest if they have to go to a different website, or they may not trust the booking process if something goes wrong.
There are several ways to integrate content from another website into your own, like rebroadcasting YouTube videos on your site. Since many companies give free Iframe code and the ability to connect to their system, implementing this is a simple process
There is a drawback, you're once again dependent on the code and infrastructure of a third-party online booking system provider, which might be unstable
Plugin or Extension installation
Another fantastic approach to add a booking system to your website is using plugins, extensions, or applications. Plugins are available for most CMS platforms. Thus, you should spend some time researching which plugin is ideal for your website CMS. Moreover, it also includes an inbuilt analytics feature providing insights on all bookings, which can be used to improve your services. However, Outdated plugins can cause security issues and if you have multiple plugins from different developers they could clash.
If your site runs on a special website like Magento then you can connect a special extension that adds to your site an existing online booking system or functionality for creating and configuring it. This is a good (possibly optimal) solution for small businesses, as it is fast, cheap, and reliable enough.
Booking and Reservation extension for Magento 2 at Magenest allows the store admin to easily create and manage any bookable product. It helps businesses create and manage booking & reservation products with ease. Also reducing labor costs when assigning staff to services or creating products
There are several booking providers whose sites are controlled by CMS that allow you to access their systems using an API, or application programming interface (API). Apart from self-development, this is the best and easiest technique for integrating software, as it is simple to install and allows you to keep control over the user interface and monitor user behavior, which is crucial for getting feedback from users.
Besides, You should keep your APIs up-to-date with the current version to avoid your booking system failing and becoming obsolete.
Developing your own system
As the last solution, If your business is complicated and heavily dependent on a booking system, then building a custom-coded online booking system for your website is the best, most robust solution you can have. It is the best solution for large projects that want to stand out among competitors, prevent conflicts or code bloat, manage the user interface and monitor all processes. The benefit of this approach is that it is a long-term solution. Of course, such a system is highly expensive, necessitates a professional staff, and takes a long time to establish.
5 Key features for an Online Booking System
One of the most important features when creating an online system is the calendar. With a quick glance at a simple and intuitive booking or occupancy calendar, users can see a summary of all bookings, capacity, and turnover for a given period. As a result, your resource planning will be more streamlined and easier to manage. Bookings should be synchronized with current digital diaries, such as Outlook and Gmail, ensure that they are always up to date.
Vouchers are incredibly valuable to businesses for a variety of reasons. Gift vouchers may be purchased, but there are also special promotions that encourage the marketing of your experiences. Whatever vouchers you, they should be able to be created and handled efficiently inside the booking system in a clear and comprehensible way. The ability to enter vouchers from third-party websites such as Groupon should be available as well, allowing your clients to redeem them themselves during online bookings.
There's nothing worse than having to take out old hardware or other elements of your ecosystem unnecessarily while implementing a new system - unless you’re sick of it – as it just adds to your costs. In this approach you should implement your online booking system in a pre-existing environment, providing you with the best online booking system for your circumstance.
Despite the fact that the number of features we started is five, we couldn't leave out support as a bonus feature. Unfortunately, when using software, things sometimes go wrong, and it's completely possible that you'll get stuck trying to set things at some time if you're trying to maximize the potential of your booking software, as well.
Our experience has shown us that the ability to pick up the phone or refer to an online video library is essential, and makes you feel more confident as a client that your booking system provider is there to assist you for the long haul and not just for a fast profit.
Sending out standardized e-mail messages such as booking confirmation emails or reminding customers of their bookings or canceling their bookings takes up an incredible amount of time and resources. A booking system should automate this laborious and time-consuming task. Whenever a consumer makes an online reservation, he or she should get a confirmation of the booking as soon as possible. Thus, customers may be assured of a successful transaction. Furthermore, the booking system should not only send confirmation emails to your consumers but also provide the option for you to be notified.
With the world shifting rapidly towards a technological future, now is the perfect time to create an online booking system for your business. Ѕо, іf уоu wаnt tо tаkе this advantage of online booking system to your business, Booking and Reservation extension at Magenest can be the best choice for you with these top online booking features at your disposal. Contact us now to get detailed information about our services