Why and How to Use Online Booking on Websites
Learn why it's important to set yourself up for booking on websites, advantages and disadvantages, options and how to add a booking calendar for your website.
Taking bookings on your website is becoming easier to do with a wealth of technology providers out there. It's also becoming evermore important as more consumers look for ease-of-use and convenience.
What's more, it can also drive engagement, sales and reduce admin. We recently did an experiment showing instant booking of activities and tours can improve bookings by over 120% compared to enquiries by phone, email and website forms.
In this article:
- Advantages and disadvantages of booking on website
- Who it works best for
- Taking booking on your website vs. sending to other websites for booking
- How to add different options of booking system to your website
Advantages for enabling booking on websites:
- 60% of bookings are made out of office hours. Make it easier for consumers to book with you, rather than over the phone, email or through a website form
- With an increased expectation for convenience and simplicity, give instant confirmation that their place is secured and reduce the sales leakage of customers booking elsewhere
- Happier customers equals more repeat visits and recommendations. providing a super easy to use service will help to make visitors happiest
- Minimise your admin. Rather than having to fit people in manually, by easily setting the capacity of a slot, you can make sure you don't accidentally overbook
- Drive reporting of your events, to see how many people attend, see longer-term trends and aggregate values!
- Take payments directly without the awkward moment when your customers forgot cash!
- Use our pending bookings feature which allows customers to request to book with you, when you accept the money is taken automatically. This gives you the benefits of instant booking, locking in visitor commitment, but the flexibility of phone calls, being able to check your availability.
Disadvantages for enabling booking on websites:
- You don't know who is going to book with you , there is no pre-vetting. One way to overcome this is to add pre-checkout questions to gather information on the customer and use our pending bookings feature so you can ensure the customer is suitable before the money is taken.
- A common misconception is that if you have instantly bookable dates, consumers will be put off from enquiring for alternate dates you haven't made available. Our research does not back this up - in fact if you have bookable dates, it adds authority that your trip is running and can even promote more enquiries for bespoke trips
- The misconception that in the short term it could cause a lot of admin. Nowadays, it can be easy to add a booking calendar for your website. Our booking solution can be added by linking to a URL or adding a snippet of code to your website - similar to adding a YouTube video and removes the need for manual payments, pen and paper diary management and human error.
- Cost. With systems like Beyonk you can pass on a small checkout fee to get a free booking system.
- Personal touch. You like to speak to all your customers first and worry by using online bookings you'll lose this. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Online booking can help to provide a better experience by making it easier and less admin intensive for your customers, then setting up automated emails to provide consistent and important imformation. You can then follow up by phone to speak to customers too. Using online booking can be a great way to supplement the personal touch you already provide.
Why get set up for booking on your website, who does it help most?
- If you're going to promote your website, it makes sense to optimise the results on your website. Helping people book with you, will reduce barriers for bookings and will increase bookings.
- If you're expecting a number big enough that tracking availability and bookings could be challenging, then online booking through your website can make it easier to manage
- If you're running recurring or multiple events, booking on your website will help to streamline all places and always give a real-time availability
Adding booking software to your website vs on other websites
There are websites such as Eventbrite that you can link to for customers to go to and book your event. But this always feels less professional and you lose customers from your website that you spent so longer trying to get there in the first place! It doesn't have to be difficult to add an online booking system to your website, so if you're running events regularly, it's simple to add a system to your website for bookings.
How to Add a Booking System on your Website?
If you want a simple calendar to take direct bookings for an activity, tour or event, use Beyonks Online Booking system, with no up-front costs and just a 4% booking fee (similar to Paypal). You can add it to your website in minutes and voila - you're good to go.
Beyonk Software for Booking for Website Other booking systems for your website include:
- Those provided native to Wix and Squarespace marketplace that can help you sell spaces on basic events
- Acquity scheduling for meeting room events
- ThinkBooker for a bespoke system for whatever your needs
- Beyonk Booking software is set up for leisure and tourism organisations
How to add a booking system to your website?
How to add a booking system to your website depends on what website provider you use and what booking system you use. You'll be given instructions by the provider you choose and a good booking software provider will have help manual and a great support team.
With Beyonk it's easy. We can add a system for you, or sit on a video call and show you how. From adding a simple link, to embedding a booking widget, we've got you covered.
Where should you add your booking system on your website?
It's important to make your booking system stand out so consumers know where to click to book with you. If you hide it on only one webpage out of many, or by using colours that blend in, it could be missed. Here's some things to consider:
- Make it visible by adding across multiple pages
- Make the button or form suit your branding by having your colours. Make sure they stand out from the rest of the background of the website though
- Consider having a separate menu item to 'Book Now' so consumers can always find a way back to your main booking page
- On your 'product' page, make sure the booking system is clear and shows live availability