Find out more about Online Booking Software
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. Customers 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 Checkfront, and other recommended solutions in this category.
Top 12 Most Popular Online Booking Software
How To Choose The Best Online Booking Software
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 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.
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 Trainings (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 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.
Types of Online Booking Software
Though there are online booking software 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 trainings 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.
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 anytime, 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 volume 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.
It is essential to keep in mind some of the issues that may crop up involving your product and which may impact on 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.
List of Online Booking Software Companies
Our Score Read More
Our review platform utilizes our special SmartScore™ system to test all the applications in the Online Booking Software category in orded to help you choose the best possible software. It pays attention to the following metrics: core components, collaboration elements, customization, integration, user friendliness, help & support, security, mobility, scores in other media. Currently, YouCanBook.me is the leader in this category and our experts are really satisfied with it. Following detailed examination it got the best results among its competitors and our experts strongly suggest that you consider it as one of the options for your company.
User Satisfaction Read More
An overview of total user satisfaction with the services in our Online Booking Software category based on our unique algorythm that gathers client reviews, comments and opinions across a broad set of social media platforms in order to help you make an informed investment choice.
Pricing Read More
Every vendor in the Online Booking Software category will have a different set of pricing plans for its app and each plan will include a unique set of features. Below we list the general pricing for the cheapest package available for each app. Keep in mind that advanced features may have an extra cost.
Devices Supported Read More
A summary of what type of devices and operating systems are supported by the listed B2B services in the Online Booking Software category, including mobile platforms and web-based solutions.
Laguages Supported Read More
Check which languages and geographies are served by the best B2B apps in the Online Booking Software category, including services designed for international markets and prepared for multi-cultural teams of employees.
Pricing Model Read More
Find out which pricing packages are offered by the vendors in the Online Booking Software category to check which one suits your business requirements and expenses best. Be aware that specific apps can offer free or freemium accounts for you to try out first.
Customer Types Read More
An analysis of what types of customers a specific B2B software in the Online Booking Software category provides for, from small businesses and non-profits to big enterprises.
Deployment Read More
A summary of what kinds of software deployement are provided by every B2B vendor in the Online Booking Software category. Even though most of modern SaaS solutions are cloud-based certain solutions might offer an on-site deployment model as well.
Post by Alex Hillsberg