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What is Online Booking Software?

Online Booking Software is designed to facilitate online reservations and bookings for customers as well as staff and agents. It goes without saying that such important process requires reliability and efficiency which a good online booking software can provide. The primary advantage of using a booking and reservation platform is the accuracy and convenience for customers when availing of your booking services online which can be done in real-time. Show moreCustomers are also afforded updated booking information, a secure payment mechanism, and a host of other features to automate and expedite booking tasks and processes. Start by checking our leader Acuity Scheduling, and other recommended solutions in this category.Show less

How was this ranking made?

To create this list of best Online Booking Software we have examined 207 various systems currently available on the market, comparing their features, ease of implementation, customer support, possible integrations with other systems and mobile support using our patented SmartScoreTM rating algorithm. This list has been prepared by Jenny Chang, our software authority dedicated to the Online Booking Software category.

List of Top 12 Online Booking Software

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1. SimplyBook.me

Our score: 9.2 User satisfaction: 100%

An online booking system accessible from mobile devices or desktop PCs for 24/7 bookings from anywhere. The platform's Class & Membership feature empowers businesses to have complete control over their booking activities. On top of its many innovative tools, SimplyBook.me's POS tool can accept both cash and credit card payments.

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2. vcita Online Scheduling

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: N/A

Award-winning, cloud-hosted scheduling, and calendar management solution. The self-service portal lets you and your clients set schedules anytime, anywhere from the web or mobile app. While, on the other hand, the calendar feature confirms the schedules automatically saving you time on constant back and forth coordination, while reducing double-booking.

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3. YArooms

Our score: 8.8 User satisfaction: 96%

Meeting room booking software for organizations looking to manage their spaces and resources such as hospitals, corporate offices, co-working spaces, and universities. More than 1000 clients use YArooms for different booking use cases to optimize shared space planning and cut double bookings.

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4. vcita

Our score: 8.8 User satisfaction: 100%

A multi-featured customer service and business management software for service providers and professionals such as consultants, accountants, lawyers, and others. This solution utilizes essential tools to manage everyday tasks such as calendar and online scheduling, email and SMS marketing, client portal and management, lead generation, and billing and invoicing.

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5. Acuity Scheduling

Our score: 9.5 User satisfaction: 96%

An easy-to-use online appointment scheduling tool that allows users to organize their schedule, and control their availability while enabling clients to self-book appointments. The platform adapts to any business, especially those that offer classes, private sessions, class backs, and other subscription-based services online.

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6. FunAway

Our score: 8.3 User satisfaction: N/A

A travel activity marketplace builder designed to enable users to create and launch custom websites that connect travelers with hosts, hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, tour guides, and more in specific locations. The platform prides itself on responsive design and a booking management module with an integrated calendar and quick approvals.

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7. YouCanBook.me

Our score: 9.5 User satisfaction: N/A

An easy-to-use online booking solution that adds customer bookings straight into the calendar to eliminate back and forth email coordination. The platform seamlessly integrates with Google Calendar, allowing you to share your availability and enable clients to self-book appointments. It also offers reminders, notifications, and SMS to reduce no-shows.

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8. Bookeo

Our score: 9.3 User satisfaction: 97%

A commission-free online scheduling and reservation system used by thousands of service providers, tour companies, and learning institutions. The platform supports different use cases including tour and activity, classes and courses, and appointment bookings. Businesses that use Bookeo enjoy increased efficiency and customer satisfaction.

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9. Checkfront

Our score: 9.1 User satisfaction: 96%

A simple yet powerful booking management software that allows you to manage all bookings and scheduling regimes with a few clicks. Businesses use Checkfront to streamline online bookings and reservations, manage resources/inventory, optimize their channels, and save time managing mission-critical activities.

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10. Setmore

Our score: 9.0 User satisfaction: 90%

A free and reliable online appointment scheduling software available to use on the web, desktop, or mobile devices. You can schedule appointments, set a recurring series of appointments, or allow clients to schedule their own appointments anytime, anywhere. Beyond that, Setmore allows you to accept online payments with ease.

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11. FlexBooker

Our score: 7.5 User satisfaction: 100%

Powerful online booking and schedule management platform for businesses of various sizes, payment collection and automatic reminders.

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12. FareHarbor

Our score: 8.8 User satisfaction: 86%

FareHarbor is a powerful booking software designed to help tour, activity and rental businesses manage and grow their online reservations.

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Online Booking Software Guide

Table of contents

You can be overcome by the sheer number of online booking software programs currently available, all of which are claimed by their vendors as the best ones. But what’s best for your business is something only you can determine. It is wise that when you go out looking for an online booking software you are knowledgeable of what would work for you based on your specific requirements. Below, we have prepared a comprehensive array of information to guide you in your decision.

Get to Know Each Product with a Free Trial

The first logical thing you can do in your exploration of the online booking software landscape is to try out some of the popular platforms. You can do this through the free trial plans or demo commonly offered by online booking software providers, giving you the chance to test and do a comparison of the claimed features and capabilities. Your first-hand assessment can be complemented by reading the findings of experts who have subjected the products to an in-depth review and scored them based on industry standards and user satisfaction, just like we do here in our site. By considering tools that garner high review ratings, you further narrow down your options. You can try out such products as Checkfront, SimplyBook.me, Bookeo, or Booker as they have received impressive rankings in our online booking software reviews.

Targeted Businesses

There is a simple determinant if an online booking software will be useful for you: if you have an online presence (company website, social media page) and your business involves taking reservations and bookings, then an online booking software would definitely make things a whole lot easier. Running a business in today’s interconnected world means leveraging current technology to keep processes as straightforward as possible, reduce procedures between customers and their purchases, and hasten the closing of sales. Fewer steps in sales transaction mean more engagement and retention of customers and, of course, a better bottom line. Many business solutions are designed to do just that, and an online booking software is one of them intended for a particular operation.

If your company, organization or business accepts any kind of bookings or reservations, having an online booking system should be a priority. The online booking software is regarded as one of the most beneficial and widely used tools by businesses today. The following sectors and industries are the intended and ideal users of the platform:

  • Accommodation Services (hotels, lodging houses)
  • Travel Services (airlines, cruise lines)
  • Tours Operators (adventure/vacation packages)
  • Hospitality and Leisure (restaurant, clubs, resorts, theme parks)
  • Rentals (car, boat, yacht)
  • Schools, Classes and Training Sessions (language, cooking, dance, art, music, computer)
  • Entertainment & Events (movie houses, theaters, operas, concerts)
  • Health, Beauty, and Wellness (gyms, yoga, spa, massage, salon)
  • Medical Services Providers (labs, clinics, doctors, dentists)
  • Local Governments
  • Childcare Providers
  • Activities Companies
  • Real Estate

What are Examples of Online Booking Software?

  • Checkfront: An online booking and customer management solution that comes with many useful features including integration support with popular online services, payment processing, and analytic tools to obtain insights from your data.
  • SimplyBook.me: Highly customizable online booking system used by a variety of businesses to streamline and automate their scheduling and booking procedures. It also has a client feedback feature that you can use to improve service and customer experience.
  • Bookeo: The Bookeo Class & Courses and Bookeo Tours & Activities are industry-specific online reservation and booking platforms. The former is ideal for art classes, yoga sessions, cooking schools, and similar activities, while the latter is perfect for guided tours, charters, and escape rooms to name a few.
  • YouCanBook.me: A booking platform that allows customer bookings straight into the calendar, and integrates seamlessly with Google and iCloud Calendar. It offers a personalized scheduling page, enabling customers to easily book their appointments, and be notified when the time comes.
  • Booker: A user-friendly, all-in-one business management solution that makes it easy for your customers to book appointments from your social accounts, website, or mobile app. It can also manage employee, inventory and customer data, and handle payment processing.
  • Reservationengine: A complete, cloud-based booking and management system optimized for motorbike, boat, and car rental services as well as travel agents. It allows users to apply solutions for bookings, workflows, invoicing, rental contracts, and inventories.
  • Acuity Scheduling. A simple yet powerful online appointment scheduling software built to help users organize schedules and control their availability.

Types of Online Booking Software

Though there are online booking tools built specifically for certain industries and activities like tour booking, hotel reservation, and property rental, online booking software can be classified into two general types: first, for small booking operations and, second, for big volume businesses. Of course, you can go for all-in-one online booking systems that can handle any type of business of whatever size. But you may also prefer one that is scaled to suit your business and fit your budget.

  • For Small to Medium Enterprises – requires only a small staff to maintain and handle your online booking system. This can be useful for businesses with limited monthly individual or group reservations such as those offering training sessions and classes as well as “by appointment only” services like clinics and medical labs.
  • For Large Businesses – this type is designed for businesses that handle hundreds of bookings and reservations per month like large hotels and major airlines which regularly encounter robust activity both on company side (agents, salespeople, counter staff) and their target customers (travelers, vacationers, businessmen).

Key Features of Online Booking Software

A good online booking software must not make the booking process difficult for you and your clients. It must have intuitive functions that make it easy for clients to get information, updates and support; fillable forms; scheduling bookings; and process payment. Remember, booking and reservation is literally closing a sale and, thus, a revenue generator. In the same manner, for your convenience and peace of mind, your online booking software should be flawless and reliable. You would not want a client to go to another booking service because your system experienced a glitch. An online booking software must have the following basic features:

  • User-friendly – must be understandable and usable to any kind of user. If a user finds it challenging to book with the system on your site, he can easily search for another site.
  • Data management – it must have the functionalities you need to collect and analyze data such as daily, weekly and monthly booking volumes. Also, it must be equipped with reporting tools and a centralized repository for customer information and other pertinent data.
  • Payment processing – your booking software should never falter on this and be able to accept and process deposits or payment in the most timely, secure and efficient manner.
  • Inventory management system – it must be able to sort out and itemize every booking service you offer whether it is rental, accommodation or tour, and adjust or update items in your inventory.
  • Calendar and scheduling – synched with your website, integrated with your office apps and connected with your payment system, a calendar keeps track and informs you of booking commitments, schedules and changes.
  • Customer and vendor support – must be responsive and have a feedback mechanism so customers can relay their concerns and you can address them quickly. Similarly, you must be able to immediately reach the vendor if issues crop up in the system.
  • Automated updates – it is vital that there is real-time and automatic updating of booking information, booking form generation, price rates, invoices and the like, as well as being able to remotely access all information.
  • Social media integration – allows you to take and accept bookings directly from customers on social media platforms.
  • Mobile device compatibility – for anytime, anywhere access of real-time booking information by agents, staff and other concerned personnel.
  • Language and currency settings Incredible features that come in handy for companies that accept bookings across different countries. Allowing users to book appointments and make payments in their local language and currency is a good way to enhance the customer experience.

Benefits from Online Booking Software

The basic features alone in the preceding section may have already convinced you of the importance of an online booking software. Knowing its numerous potential benefits may further prove its indispensability for your booking operations. We’ve itemized a number of them so you don’t miss out with what you can gain from adopting an online booking software:

  • Productivity. Lessen man hours for managing booking activities.
  • Efficiency. Trim down on your customer service requirements.
  • Accessibility. Get data you need from a centralized location wherever you are.
  • Payment Security. Enable instant, secured, assured payment.
  • Bookings 24/7. Take any time, any day, anywhere bookings.
  • Mobility. Manage bookings with your mobile device.
  • Simplification. Effortless bookings and procedures for customers.
  • Automation. Real-time information, data, emails and communication.
  • Integration. Work with third-party platforms, apps, and sites.

While online booking platforms have the necessary features to carry out their purpose, there are trends in the market brought about by emerging technology that you need to be aware of.

  • Mobile booking is king. According to a 2016 study, mobile bookings in travel increased by 1,700% from 2011 to 2015, and 45% of connected travelers used their smartphone to book travel activities. This only means one thing – your OBS should be mobile-friendly, capable and responsive as you’ll likely be expecting more bookings and reservations from clients through their mobile devices.
  • New reservation and distribution channels. The use of chatbots and messaging apps for reservations, especially for hotels and accommodation, is on the upswing. You would do well to have an OBS that can ably function with these apps or better yet have a product with built-in messaging, email and chat functions.
  • Big data management. Now more than ever, big data is indispensable for business. New data comes in every single day and needs to be sorted, filtered, compiled, analyzed and stored. There are specialized, dedicated platforms to process and handle large volumes of data and your OBS is not meant to do that. However, you OBS should have the facility to manage your most important information, track and update relevant data, look over your inventory, and provide you insights and KPIs.

Potential Issues

It is essential to keep in mind some of the issues that may crop up involving your online booking tools as these may impact your business.

  • Internet Access. As with all online processing systems, you have to be connected with the internet. Even in this day and age, there are times you may lose internet access (power outage, hardware/software failure), and you may be in a location where there is no connectivity for your mobile device. There must be a backup system in place for situations like these to avoid interruptions in your service.
  • Data Security. Hacks and breaches can happen even to the most secure and fortified systems. Whether you store important data in the cloud or on a central company server, make sure only authorized personnel can access it and that authentication protocols are always followed and updated.
  • Tech Support. A most frustrating scenario is when you can’t reach the vendor when you need him most. Even the most perfect systems can break down and they need periodic maintenance. Ensure that your vendor is there to provide prompt technical support in dire situations.
  • Integration. Although this is a common feature in most business software, check that your product can work smoothly with the everyday applications you use in your office or business. The more apps your product can integrate with, the faster you can work and the more things you can do without having to shift from one software to another to accomplish different tasks.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Online Booking Software

Ideally, you shouldn’t base your decision to buy an online booking system on the cost. However, reality advises us differently. With the complexities of the business arena, you need to give the cost a serious consideration. As you evaluate pricing plans, these are the main factors you should consider to make an informed decision. 

  1. Does the vendor offer basic or premium support at a cost? 
  2. What about the setup and training? Some solutions are too complex to set up on your own. As such, you may require the hand of the vendor to accurately configure the system travel policies to ensure optimal performance. In other cases, the onboarding process can be too steep for you. Check whether the vendor charges a fee for these two vital services or they provide them for free. 
  3. What kind of licensing cost do they offer? Is it a fixed fee or by commission?
  4. Is the license charged per user?

Travel Policy for Corporate Clients

If you intend to deal with corporate clients, you should give the travel policy setting a serious consideration. Check to ensure that the solution you’re about to pick can help you manage bookings and travel within the parameters of your clients’ specific travel policies. Ideally, a good booking solution should enable you to create multiple profiles to cater to different corporate users, price restrictions, travel restrictions, and types of services allowed.

List of Online Booking Software Companies

Order by:

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Product name:
Category:
Smart Score:
Price:
User Satisf.
User reviews:
Ticketsetup reviews

Ticketsetup

Online Booking Software
8.0
$29
100%
Pure Planner reviews

Pure Planner

Online Booking Software
8.0
By quote
100%
DXTravela reviews

DXTravela

Online Booking Software
8.7
By quote
100%
HoneyBook reviews

HoneyBook

Online Booking Software
8.8
$34
97%
YArooms reviews

YArooms

Online Booking Software
8.8
$0.35
96%
Workadu reviews

Workadu

Online Booking Software
8.0
€9.90
100%
PTC Wizard reviews

PTC Wizard

Online Booking Software
8.0
$1
100%
Python Events reviews

Python Events

Online Booking Software
8.0
By quote
-
TravelBank reviews

TravelBank

Online Booking Software
7.6
By quote
-
Jumbula reviews

Jumbula

Online Booking Software
8.2
$5
-
Bokun reviews

Bokun

Online Booking Software
8.6
By quote
-
Studio Ninja reviews

Studio Ninja

Online Booking Software
8.6
$17.95
-
Gigwell reviews

Gigwell

Online Booking Software
8.3
$49
100%
ReservationKey reviews

ReservationKey

Online Booking Software
8.4
$25
-
SimpleTix reviews

SimpleTix

Online Booking Software
8.0
$49
-

Things to consider when you invest in a SaaS

Pricing details are an important consideration when you analyze SaaS vendors. Ask the vendor if they offer price protection and contractual flexibility. “Shelfware” has become a major concern in SaaS licensing as customers end up paying for more than they need. Plus, to get pricing predictability, buyers are forced to subscribe to long-term agreements. Make sure you don’t get saddled with perpetual licensing and get locked in for a long period with a single provider. Ask about easy exit policies that enable you to move on to another vendor if you are not satisfied with the services provided by the current one. Select a provider that offers a convenient standard annual termination facility as well as long-term cost protection.

Another important aspect to consider is whether the cloud vendor meets compliance and security requirements. Your firm is answerable to staff members, consumers, business partners, and regulators. Therefore, you should choose a provider that has deployed a technically sound and comprehensive security system. Map your security control needs such as availability, integrity, confidentiality, privacy, and accountability to the vendor’s capabilities. Ask the potential provider about the processes and systems they use to protect your confidential data. Do they meet general as well as industry-specific compliance and security standards? Do they provide special measures to meet the unique security needs of your specific industry? Get satisfactory answers to these questions before you make the investment.

Frequently asked questions about Online Booking Software

What is the best online booking software?

The best online booking software is SimplyBook.me, a simple yet powerful solution that works best for different types of companies. The platform provides robust tools that your business needs to accept bookings from your website, Booking.page, or social media. It also integrates with calendar software so it’s easy to “sell” your availability to potential clients and help them self-book appointments anytime, anywhere.

Every booking doesn’t always result in an honored appointment—sometimes clients fail to show up. Further, some clients arrive late for their appointment forcing you to change your schedule and cancel other important activities. To prevent no-shows from eroding your revenue, SimplyBook.me offers reminders and notifications to help clients show up on time. In addition, when your bookings pipeline runs dry, you can leverage promotions and offer discounts to woo clients.

What are the benefits of online booking software?

Using online booking software can deliver a series of benefits, which include:

  • Improved productivity. The solutions cut the admin time required to manually collect, schedule, and input booking details into a system. They connect directly with your calendar, allowing clients to view your availability and pick a time slot that suits their schedule. This not only reduces scheduling mistakes but also takes the load off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on delivering quality service. 
  • Increased bookings. You no longer have to rely on walk-ins or receive bookings only during working hours online. With online booking software, clients can book an appointment, anytime, anywhere, and on any device. This means, even when you’re not in the office—during holidays and weekends—bookings won’t stop streaming in. 
  • Reduced no-shows. In addition to effortless booking, this type of platform keeps the appointments ringing in your client’s ear. Features like reminders ensure clients are always aware of an upcoming appointment. This way, they feel obligated to honor the appointment or at least reschedule it at a later date. This way, no-shows and late comings are minimized, thus helping you see more clients. 
  • Revenue gains. Limited manual work, increased bookings, and reduced no-shows result in increased revenue. When the trend is maintained, one thing happens: the bottom line grows significantly and consistently.
What are the features of online booking software?

You can get the benefits mentioned above, and many others, by using a platform with the standard online booking management features. These features include: 

  • Real-time booking. Booking is the main feature of every online booking software. Initially, email and phone were the predominant tools used to facilitate the booking. Today, however, booking systems have evolved into advanced tools that facilitate real-time bookings. They allow clients to book appointments anytime anywhere, and receive confirmation almost instantaneously. 
  • Calendar. The visual calendar works hand in hand with the booking feature. It displays your availability, allowing clients to book an appointment for a time that’s convenient for the involved parties. 
  • Reminder and notifications. Booking an appointment is the start of a long process that ought to culminate in a sale. But in between the day of booking and the day of the appointment, a lot of things can happen and cause the client to forget or want to reschedule an appointment. Reminders ensure that the clients never forget about the appointment, whereas notifications come in handy when either party cancels or reschedules the appointment. 
  • Payment options. A convenient feature that works in favor of the client and the business. For clients, it gives them an easy option to make payments online without leaving their credit card details. While, on the other hand, businesses benefit from quick payment processing. 
  • Language and currency settings. Great features for companies that accept bookings worldwide. Making your booking system available in multiple languages and availing multiple currencies, and enhance the customer experience.
What is the easiest online booking software to use?

In addition to offering the aforementioned features, a booking system should be easy to use. Your customers should spend time booking an appointment and not learning the system. The same applies to your employees. Here are some easy-to-use online booking software you might want to consider:

  • Acuity Scheduling. A robust online booking software built to help businesses increase their bookings. With the platform, clients can view your availability in real-time and book an appointment or reschedule with just a few clicks. Moreover, it helps you organize and automate your schedule to maximize your time. 
  • YouCanBook.me. Another simple online booking system designed to eliminate the time-consuming back-and-forth emails coordination. Every booking is slotted straight into your calendar. As a result, your schedule stacks up automatically with little to no effort required from you. 
  • NexTravel. If you want a solution to streamline travel booking for your company, invest in NexTravel. The time between the initial setup and travel policy setting to the first travel booking can be as short as a few hours.
What is a good free online booking software?

One of the benefits of using online booking software is revenue gain. The beauty of it all is that you don’t have to spend a premium to increase your revenue and grow the bottom line. You can do it at no cost using the following free software:

  • SimplyBook.me. This platform has one of the most generous free plans you can get. The plan works particularly well for small companies that take less than 50 bookings per month. On top of free bookings, you get a booking widget, booking website, and directory listing features. To top it all off, the free plan also supports 1 custom feature and access to their Android and iOS admin app. 
  • Setmore. Another good free online booking software for small companies and service-oriented businesses. With the Setmore Basic plan, you can manage your calendar, send automated email notifications, process Square payments, and create a public-facing booking page. A free online booking system doesn’t get any better. 
  • Acuity Scheduling. The platform also offers a freebie. Although its feature set isn’t as generous as SimplBook.me or Setmore, it still offers a good way to get started with online bookings.
Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.

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