How To Create An Online Booking System For Your Business

Modern problems require modern solutions. For example, if people want to plan something ahead of time, they want to do everything possible to avoid wasting time. That is why people can book. Online booking helps people do many things, including buying tickets, visiting doctors, and travelling. So the creation of an online booking website or app is a must-have process for many businesses.

This article will guide you through the development, and offer tips and tricks for how you can create a booking system.

Why Businesses Need Booking Software

An online booking software allows users to set schedule details, book a meeting/ticket, or service, and then obtain it. For example, hotel room reservations, restaurant booking, air or train ticket booking, booking system for events, doctor’s appointment booking — everything can be made quickly with a booking system that ensures a hassle-free experience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant changes in many industries, and the booking process has become even more topical. So as to avoid person-to-person contact, people try to use more booking systems to order anything they need and reduce personal communication. For example, Stratos Jets, an air charter agent, has indicated that the total revenue of online travel bookings worldwide was $817 billion up to 2020. It is estimated that about 700 million people will book online by 2023.

Based on the above mentioned, companies try to improve customer experience, adapt to their needs, and provide necessary booking services for their customers. However, a booking system can become a real magic wand regardless of business type. So we want to share helpful insights into the ways to create an online booking system.

Have no time to read an article? Then, contact us to obtain a detailed consultation on your future project!

Types Of Online Booking Apps

First of all, it is necessary to identify what types of booking software exist.

On-Demand Booking Software

On-demand booking implies ordering specific services immediately when people need them right now. A good example of on-demand booking:

  • taxi services like Uber;
  • delivery services (whether it be food delivery or shipment delivery)
  • home services to order cleaning or lawn mowing services or find a specialist to repair something

In-Advance Booking Software

This type of software makes it possible for users to schedule specific activities. In-advance booking software can be the following:

  • Food & beverage delivery. Yes, it may seem similar to the on-demand booking services. However, there is one difference — a service like Uber Eats allows customers to order groceries or restaurant food delivery online and schedule their delivery.
  • Hotel booking. Hotel booking systems are the most popular examples of booking software. We have created an article about hotel booking system development which you can read to know more about it. An online room booking system is necessary for travellers who want to reserve accommodation for a specific date.
  • Flight booking. It would be an absolute disaster if we didn’t have a flight booking system. It is impossible to plan something if you cannot book a flight, and it doesn’t matter where you go — on a business trip or vacation. So today, the flight booking sector covers a significant part of the travel booking sector and the hospitality industry as a whole.
  • Beauty services. In advance, it is possible to book an appointment with a hairdresser, barber, or makeup artist.
  • Healthcare. For example, the ability to book an appointment to see your doctor through innovative software is one of the most progressive solutions in the healthcare industry. Patients can schedule appointments with doctors online, providing more convenience for both parties. So you can create an online appointment booking system.
  • Restaurant reservation. Restaurant reservation systems allow people to visit their favourite restaurants when they want.

Do you need a restaurant booking app? If you don’t know where to start, our business development team will help you — contact us!

Advantages Of Booking Apps For Businesses And Customers

Online booking systems have many advantages both for companies and customers. To gain a good general oversight,  it is necessary to list them all so that you can see that a booking system is required for your business, and you can identify the steps on how to create a booking system for a website.

Benefits for businesses:

  • Custom calendar. A custom calendar is an excellent solution both for working with customers and for internal purposes. For example, employees can track their vacations and sick leave, while managers can track customers’ requests.
  • Notifications. Notifications will always remind your employees about essential appointments or any other events. People don’t need to keep everything in their heads.
  • Convenience for customers. Businesses will benefit from their booking system available for customers. They can book services at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Analytics. Booking systems with custom features usually provide analytics to monitor a number of bookings, customers, visits.
  • Payment options. Booking systems usually have an integrated payment gateway so users can pay online for booking services.
  • Custom features. If you don’t plan to use an off-the-shelf solution, you will make use of your custom booking solution that will include custom features. Moreover, ready-made solutions usually have limited functionality, or some functions simply don’t suit your business. So it is recommended to order a booking system for a small business or large enterprise from Go Wombat.
  • Integrations. Third-party services like Google Maps API or Travelport API will enhance your booking system and improve both customer experience and staff productivity.

Benefits for customers:

  • Booking. Of course, the booking process is the first reason users want to use the booking system. As we noted, online bookings prevail, and users even don’t need to dial a phone number for booking.
  • Reminder. Customers will never neglect upcoming appointments or flight bookings due to the reminder feature that will timely notify customers.
  • Rating system. Customers have more satisfaction with the booking process when they can rate it once they have finished.
  • Editing option. If customers want to reschedule an appointment or cancel it, they can do it quickly with a few taps or clicks. They don’t need to go somewhere to stay in line to cancel their booking.
  • Accessibility. Finally, all customers want to deal with a service that is always available. There are no business hours or days off. So online systems rule the world.

Features Your Booking System May Include

An online booking software will certainly have different features both for customers and software management. Furthermore, features may vary depending on the booking system type. Therefore, we will identify the common ones as an example.

Customer panel features: 

  • Sign-up. The registration process is a must-have stage in almost any software, so users must register themselves. As you value your customers’ time, let them sign in via Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google credentials. It will be beneficial to your service.
  • Select time/date. When users choose a service, they plan to book, and they should be able to select the time and date of booking.
  • Payment gateway. Use trustworthy payment systems like Braintree, Stripe, or PayPal to secure the payment process and ensure that it will function correctly.
  • Calendar. It is impossible to book something without a calendar, so booking systems always have access to a calendar with a simple and intuitive interface.
  • Integration with relevant services. It would be preferable for your service to synchronise with third-party services like social media pages, calendars, CRMs, etc.
  • Ratings and reviews. Let users rate your services and leave their feedback to make your booking system transparent for other users.
  • Customer support. If something goes wrong, customers should have an opportunity to communicate with someone in charge of troubleshooting. So chatting with a customer care team will be necessary.
  • Reminders. Pop-up notifications will alert the user about all upcoming bookings and appointments.

Management panel features:

  • Data management. Your employees will use a content management system (CMS) to manage, edit and delete data contained in the booking system.
  • Customer-support chat. This feature is crucial for you to see how the customer support team communicates with users so that you can control them. Don’t forget that you will need to hire a support team if you plan to build an online booking system.
  • Updates. You will update current information in a system, and users will receive notifications about all updates.
  • Revenue management. The integrated statistics and reporting system will help you control income, the number of refunds, filter profit by date or time, etc.

Contact us right now to build your booking system properly!

How To Create A Booking System

So as not to fail and build the right booking system you need, Go Wombat recommends the following five steps.

Market Research

If you don’t need to integrate a booking system into an existing product and want to launch a new business, you should start with detailed research. First, analyse your competitors and evaluate your idea to ensure that it has potential.

However, at Go Wombat, our business analysts also conduct research and analysis before starting your software development. This has proved to be a more productive use of resources.  Therefore, we will be your assistants.

Find Contractors For Your Project

Your next step is to find service providers which will build your online booking system properly. We recommend you start with online resources like Clutch.co or GoodFirms — these are trustworthy websites where you can find an outsourcing software development company, read feedback and clients’ reviews, filter company by region, rate, etc.

Why outsource software development? It is the most convenient approach if you want to save your money and work with skilled specialists. In addition, outsourcing provides you with access to a large talent pool, cost-efficiency,  process acceleration, flexibility. However, you find more information in our article about the benefits and risks of outsourcing.

UX Strategy Elaboration

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. So when you choose Go Wombat, we proceed to UX strategy research. Our UI/UX specialists think about how to create a custom booking system with a user-friendly design and smooth navigation.

It doesn’t matter whether you need a hotel booking system design or design for an Uber-like taxi app. It always must be captivating.

Minimum Viable Product Development

We highly recommend creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first. It will let you validate the concept, test it with a focus group of beta users, and build an authentic product that will meet users’ expectations.

Furthermore, MVP development will help you reduce costs and avoid unnecessary risks. You can start with a proof of concept, minimise features, use low-code development platforms, etc. However, our recent article about reducing MVP development costs will provide you with more helpful tips to save the budget.

Final Product Development And Release

If the prototype of your booking system was accepted by beta users successfully, we create a product with all the necessary features, release and keep maintaining it because you will certainly need to update it in the future. At Go Wombat, we adhere to the Python/Django tech stack to develop any project. Python has many capabilities to build even complex software.

Bottom Line

Developing an online booking system requires a well-thought-out approach to avoid risks and failures. You need to determine the type of your booking system, its features, business model, and other vital characteristics.

However, if you entrust your project software development to Go Wombat, you can be confident that your software will be built considering all your requirements and expectations.

After each sprint, we continuously communicate with our clients, discuss all nuances, and fix everything to agreed deadlines. The satisfaction of our clients is the primary aim for us.

Let’s build your project together — contact us right away!