Nowadays, online booking is no stranger to everyone, most people use online booking and it has become an attractive option for everyone. Almost people wants to search, choose and book their online activities, events and services from the comfort of their own homes. With a credit card at hand, it only takes a few minutes for someone to decide to book an activity or event. If you don’t have an online booking system, you might be lost a big opportunity in the ecommerce war. Timely updating of booking trends is essential, helping businesses be more active in their business activities. And if you are looking for an online booking system, you are in the right place. In this post, I will provide you with a list of things you need to know before you select an online booking system. Let’s check it out.
What you need to know before you select an online Booking System
1. Figure out what you need and want
Finding an online booking system that meets the needs of your business can be a tiring process. The reservation system has a range of features, and each businesses will have very different needs. It’s a good idea to outline what you think you’ll need before and ask lots of questions before spending too much time setting everything up.
Summarize the list of all the things you need, then organize the list into two columns: must-haves and nice-to-haves. This will help you understand the difference between what your business needs and wants. And that will ultimately affect your purchase decision. Besides, this will help you focus on the critical needs to run your operation as efficiently as possible.
Choose a list of needs and wishes you would like to have in the online booking system.
The basic needs of online booking system:
- Payment options (Credit card, bank transfer, PayPal, deferred payment processing, cash)
- Inventory system
- Real time reservation
- User friendly interface
- Customer support
More complex needs for online booking system:
- SMS and email automatically
- Language and currency settings
- Customize email
- Integrate with third party software (e.g., POS system, Rating portal, etc.)
- Detailed sales reports
- Voucher and promotion code management
- Resource management
2. Considering your budget
In the real world of business, you need to calculate how much you are willing to pay for an online booking software. If you go with a standard option, you will need to take into account the commission costs and fees as that will affect your profits. That’s why you need a solution that fits your budget. Make sure the pricing is within your budget. Here are some of the most popular price analyzes for online booking system.
Monthly usage fee
This is a fixed price you have to pay when using the platform every month. Most online booking systems offer tiered packages based on your booking volume.
Pro: it’s predictable and grows with your business
Con: you have to pay first before bookings come in
Commission based pricing
When a booking is made, you must pay a percentage of the proceeds to the software vendor. The rate can range from 1% to 25%.
Pro: you are only charged when the booking arrives
Con: commission can increase significantly over time and eventually you can pay more than you have in a fixed rate plan.
3. Is it simple and easy to use?
One of the first things you need to think while searching for the right online booking system is simplicity. How easy is it to use for customers? Will your customers find it user friendly and easy to book their tour or their hotel? Is it easy to integrate with other systems you are using? Think about your CMS system!
Time is essential in your business and a good online booking system should be simple and easy to use.
The online booking system must be able to handle payment process but also allow you to choose the payment method.
Online payment has no additional costs, so be aware. Your system must be integrated with your credit card company portal. You may also have to comply with credit card company requirements such as SSL certificates, return policies, etc. Make sure you charge these costs or ask your provider about the options they can offer you to reduce some of these costs.
Reporting is an important part of any business and is an important feature to look for in an online booking system. An in-depth report will allow you to gain a better overview of your reservations, policies and increase your level of control in adjusting to other policies and features.
The reporting tool will easily allow you to download customer details, itineraries and other important analytics data. An accurate and automatic reporting tool will collect the necessary information and will help you make the most essential and insightful analysis in your business process. Reports related to inventory and sales all reflect the bottom line of a business and need to be reviewed to uncover new trends and opportunities.
6. Is the software easy to integrate into your website?
Cloud-based online booking systems often have widgets that can be easily added to your website. Remember that although they are easy to integrate, you might get out of control over the booking flow. Users are often redirected to the booking platform to complete their booking, which means that users easily leave your site in the booking process.
You may have more control over the process if you go with a custom solution. By doing so, you will be able to better analyze how users behave during the booking process and thus can optimize conversions.
Hopefully this article of What you need to know before you select an online Booking System have brought to list of essential things you should know about before choosing an online booking system.
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