Shopify Event Booking Systems

If your website was built using Shopify, it’s likely that your primary goal was to create a storefront. However, there are multiple options at your disposal to setting up a booking system for your Shopify website.

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Shopify Event Booking Systems | Beyonk Blog
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If your website was built using Shopify, it’s likely that your primary goal was to create a storefront. However, there are multiple options at your disposal to setting up a booking system for your Shopify website.
Shopify is an online website builder with a heavy focus on E-commerce for selling products rather than tickets for events and activities. It’s subscription-based and enables you to create a shop online, with a wealth of tools available. As standard, it provides templates, selling tools, payment processing and marketing tools.
If your website was built using Shopify, it’s likely that your primary goal was to create a storefront. However, there are multiple options at your disposal to setting up a booking system for your shopify website. For example, if you’re a lifestyle brand or focus on selling merchandise on your shopify website, organising events and experiences can be the next step in growing your brand, creating a loyal following and exciting your customers.
In our guide we’ve carefully reviewed all the options for Shopify bookings systems, including those available on the Shopify App store. Keep reading to see the pros and cons of each approach, plus our analysis of the solutions you can find on the app store.
Read on to understand:
  1. Why running events using your Shopify website can benefit your brand.
  1. What booking systems are available for Shopify websites
  1. A review of the top 10 recommended event booking systems
  1. Using an external event booking website
  1. Building a bespoke booking system
  1. The pros and cons of using a specialist event booking platform for your shopify websites

Why events can benefit your brand

If your business isn’t primarily focused on organising events & experiences, let’s look at why these can be beneficial to your brand.
Establish your brand and your story – Events are a great way to connect with your customers and demonstrate what your brand represents. Events are the perfect way to make your mark and leave lasting impressions, establishing who you are and what you stand for.

Attract new customers and build awareness

It’s no secret that events can both capture public attention and PR coverage. If you’ve ensured your event embodies everything your brand values, events are the perfect way to create a buzz within the community & online. What’s best is that it’s not just your customers or followers who’ll attend. The intrinsically social nature of events means customers are highly likely to bring friends & family along too.

Drive customer loyalty

Not only are events a great PR opportunity, they get customers excited about your brand. Events help create a following of customers and by creating memories, you’re creating a positive association for each customer who attends. Events generally create an opportunity to surround your brand with your target demographic and connect with them.

Social media opportunities

A huge upside to hosting events is that visitors typically share their experience online. The more of a lasting memory your customers have, the more likely they’ll share on social media. Events are a great way to turn happy customers into advocates of your brand, in a place where credibility and recommendations can be crucial.

Up-sell opportunities

Events mean real engagement with your customers. Furthermore, they can open the door to up-sells, as positive interactions with customers can help secure and retain their business.

Revenue

With all the other points considered, let’s not forget: your events can make you money. With careful planning, successful events can become an additional revenue stream for your business, providing both direct income and indirect uplifts in sales.
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What booking systems are available for Shopify?

Whether you’re a brand looking to start hosting events, or an experience provider looking to start selling tickets online, you’ll need an online booking system to get started. If you’ve decided to start using an online booking system for Shopify, there are multiple options that might suit you. Let’s look at the following options:
  1. Linking to a 3rd party website
  1. Using the Shopify Store
  1. Building a bespoke solution
  1. Using a specialist integrated provider

Linking to a third party booking system

One of the quickest ways to create an event online is through a third party website such as Eventbrite. This might not be the best option, but typically allows you to setup an event very quickly. These sites can also offer a large audience of customers looking to try experiences nearby.
Whilst this can be quick and easy, this might not be the best booking system for Shopify. It also might not be the best option for your brand, and typically 3rd party booking sites can take a large cut. A key consideration with third party websites is your audience and customers. Whilst they offer a way to connect with more customers, the downside is that it’s often tricky to connect with the right audience. Another downside is that your competitors can potentially target your customers, thus reducing customer loyalty.
This brings us onto a more pertinent point: Customer relationship. The positive association with the experience can sometimes be with the 3rd party website, not yourselves. Instead of being your customer, they become the customer of the 3rd party website. This means customer loyalty and their recommendations are directed at them, not you.

Booking systems on the Shopify app store

The Shopify app store makes it easy to add widgets and extras onto your Shopify website. It comes with customer ratings & reviews to help your decision process. We reviewed the 10 most recommended Shopify booking apps available on the Shopify app store, and here’s what we found.

Booking management

All solutions were able to take and manage bookings without any issues, all of them allowed good visibility, amendments & cancellations.

Mobile Friendly

Another plus here, every solution we reviewed was mobile friendly, responsive and didn’t cause any issues

Ticket selling

30% of booking platforms we reviewed, including the most recommended solution, didn’t actually allow you to sell tickets. Whilst they worked as a scheduling app, they weren’t event-focused and therefore didn’t fit our objective of creating an event booking.

Real-time updates

We found that only one of the solutions we reviewed gave us real-time updates, something that’s crucial when trying not to miss out on bookings when a customer cancels. It’s important that slots are instantly freed up when this happens and everything is instantly in sync.

Reminders

80% of the booking apps we tried let us send reminders to customers. However, the single app that gave us real-time updates didn’t support reminders. Reminders not only get customers excited for their visit, a well-timed reminder will sit at the top of a customer’s inbox, making it easier for them to access their information. This in turn reduces queue times and confusion.

Extras

This was a mixed bag, with many positives and negatives. Some offered group appointments, some allowed multiple team members to work on them, some supported manual bookings. However revenue-driving extras like cross-sell, ticket tiers, discount codes and gift vouchers were lacking.
Overall, we found these apps were satisfactory to let you set up a booking system but lacked more developed functionality specific for running events and activity or attraction businesses. A huge bonus is how easy the app store makes it to integrate them into your Shopify website.
If you’re not planning many events, this is usually a quick way to get set up, to get you started with taking bookings. If you’re looking for a system to maximise your ticket sales for your events, activities, festival or attraction, then a specialist booking system may be more suitable for you.

Developing a bespoke booking system

For large-scale businesses, going bespoke allows them to solve highly specific challenges or meet specific needs. These are built from scratch using providers such as ThinkBooker. This option comes with integration experts who work with you to understand your needs, as this option typically takes many months to complete.
Whilst this helps large businesses with huge amounts of data, for most this option would be excessive. It’s a very expensive method and requires staff to maintain & update constantly. For large businesses, this option can help with bringing everything in-house and tying into large internal systems. However even for very large companies, this option should be very carefully considered as bespoke solutions fall out of date very quickly.

Using a specialist booking system

This is what we consider the perfect middle ground, which is why we’ve focused on creating a solution that’s available to all platforms. This typically won’t come with any expensive upfront costs like a bespoke solution, but also provides advanced features not available on the booking systems found on the Shopify app store. Let’s look at some key benefits and drawbacks to this solution.

Pricing

Whilst this varies per provider, pricing is usually clear and more cost effective than using a 3rd party website. As there’s no lengthy integration like a bespoke option, there’s typically no setup cost.

Advanced features

Advanced scheduling, drip-feed emails, staff and inventory management are among the many features that specialist booking systems can provide. We believe a specialist system excels the most in this area, as these providers are always focused on improving their product. Typically, they have their finger on the pulse of the industry and offer the best features.

Customisability

Some of the Shopify app store options scored well in this area, whereas a 3rd party website doesn’t allow you to truly create a branded booking experience. Specialist booking systems usually allow you a lot of control over the look, feel and options available in your booking system.

Incremental Revenue

Specialist booking systems provide you with a range of levers to pull to drive incremental revenue or support your marketing campaigns. This includes add-on purchases, ticket tiers for higher ticket revenues, or volume drivers such as discount codes for affiliate partners, group discounts to encourage larger groups and membership rates for customer loyalty.

Increase your reach

Most of the solutions we’ve listed usually can’t help in this area, except using a 3rd party website. 3rd party booking systems often have a large user base, however as we showed earlier, this can be a double-edged sword. Whilst most specialist providers have limited ability to promote your brand, at Beyonk we’ve created both a booking system and a network to promote your events and experiences. We’ve partnered with key tourist boards to put your experience where customers are searching. Keep reading to see how we help experience providers grow their reach online.
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Choosing Beyonk

If you want to provide the best experience for your customers, take a look at Beyonk, the simple yet powerful booking system to help you delight your customers, maximise your revenue & reduce your admin.
Our mission is clear: to make it easier to manage and grow your business. Beyonk is packed with experience-focused features, 24-hour support, free sign up and no contracts or minimum term lengths.
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More than just a Shopify booking system

At Beyonk, we’ve created a fast, all-in-one system that lets you manage your business from any device. We provide powerful customisation options to give you full control of how your booking system looks and feels. We’ve created a platform that’s easy to integrate, so you can continue to focus on creating breath-taking experiences for your customers.
Unlike other providers, we provide access to an exclusive distribution network of leading tourist boards, parks, forests, accommodation platforms and more, such as Visit Cornwall and Visit Cumbria. We actively work on your behalf to get leading tourist boards to share your tours, activities, and experiences. We’re passionate about the events industry, and we’re constantly listening to our community to create a system they love.

What our customers say:

“We’re very happy with Beyonk who are very responsive and helpful. It’s an easy platform to use and navigate around and it’s great we can customise our own information to make it suit our business.”
Bath Running Tours
“Excellent system, easy to use and see all your bookings. Very easy to learn to use with all the online videos. Great customer care, look forward to working with Beyonk more moving forward”
IOW Mountain bikes

Adding our code to your Shopify site

  • Login to Shopify and navigate to the admin screen https://your_store_name.myshopify.com/admin
  • On the menu on the left-hand side, click the "Online store" option.
  • Choose "Pages" from the menu.
  • Now select the page that you want to add the widget to, or add a new page by clicking the "Add page" button.
  • Once you’re in the page you want to edit, there should be an editor on the content field. From here, change to HTML editing mode by click on the button in the top right-hand corner with the " <>" symbol. This allows you to add your own code.
  • Paste our code into the page in Shopify, but make sure you’re still in HTML editing mode.
  • Click save, and our booking widget should show up on the page.

Get started with us

Beyonk is run by a friendly UK based team. We’re passionate about delivering the best service, software and support to ensure our users are always happy.
Your success is our success, we’re here to help you grow your business. or book a free demo to speak to us directly.
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