The Top Three Integrations of BookingLive

When it comes to online booking systems, there are few with as much freedom as BookingLive. Our software makes it easy for customers to book online, whether it’s via their Smartphone, Tablet or Desktop.

Online businesses expect more than a mere booking system, and that’s why at BookingLive we support more than 30 integrations that help your business reach its potential. From built in customer reviews from Tripadvisor to the useful iCal integration. This allows customers to download the iCal file on the confirmation screen, for the booking to appear on their calendar.

Of course, there’s a remarkable range of integrations supported by BookingLive, but there are a few that stand above the rest.

  • SendGrid

Bundled in to our software as standard, SendGrid is a cloud-based email infrastructure programme, which relieves businesses from spending a lot of their time on maintaining a custom email system.

With SendGrid on your side, you can automate a wide range of emails, as well as track real time analytics, offering an unprecedented look at the scale and success of your email campaigns. Information like opens, click through and bounce rates are right at your fingertips. SendGrid has a huge scalability, making it a fantastic option for businesses with growth in mind.

Automated emails are first set up in BookingLive, along with the desired scheduling. From there, SendGrid ensures that the emails are sent out efficiently, avoiding spam and other filters which may stop your important email from reaching your customers’ inbox.

  • Postcoder

Postcoder comes to us from Allies Computing, and integrates effortlessly with BookingLive’s secure platform to provide an effective and easy way to look up addresses, providing you with accurate results.

That alone is a must have feature, but with Postcoder simplifying the booking, it’s an almost essential tool for any BookingLive customer. Capture correct addresses, improve mailshot conversions and encourage repeat bookings, all with the Postcoder integration and BookingLive – it’s a match made in booking heaven.

  • MailChimp

You might be familiar with the MailChimp name for their extensive sponsoring of popular podcasts, but what you might not know is that with BookingLive’s built in support for MailChimp integration, you can create all kinds of custom mailing lists.

If a customer ticks the ‘Marketing Permission’ box as they place their order, their email will automatically be pushed into a selected mailing list in your MailChimp account. This will then allow you to build your marketing mailing list and create targeted advertising campaigns.

MailChimp’s fantastic pre-designed templates mean that creating those campaigns is easy, and they can be shared anywhere too.

sendgrid     postcoder     Image result for mailchimp

Other integrations

Whilst two of our three most popular integrations focus around emails, that’s just a thin slice of what BookingLive customers can expect from their integrations.

From the mass SMS capabilities of World Text to stunning social media integration with the likes of our Facebook and Twitter plugins, there’s no shortage of ways you can get in touch with your customers.

Once they’ve arrived on your website to book, our payment integrations mean that you can provide your customers with a wide range of secure and trusted payment gateways from the likes of Sagepay, PayPal, WorldPay and many more.

Those bookings can then be automatically exported and calculated in your financial management software with our Sage 50, QuickBooks, FreshBooks and Xero integrations built in.

We’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s possible with integrations on BookingLive. To learn more about our integrations, click here or join our free demo and see how these intergrations can enhance your bookings and business.

How To Keep Customers Engaged Once They’ve Booked

If you’ve been in business for years, or only just starting up, you know that there’s no thrill quite like seeing a customer book for the very first time. It’s a sure sign that something’s gone right, but the journey doesn’t end there. After the booking, there’s a great deal more you can do to enhance the booking experience.

The relationships you build between your customer and your business are essential, you need to be doing everything you can to not only ensure attendance, but also encourage repeat bookings.

The answer? Three emails: Confirm, Remind & Follow Up. In this article, we’re going to share with you how three simple emails can lead to higher attendances and more repeat bookings, amongst a host of other benefits.


Email #1 – The Confirmation Email

A confirmation email is something that’s familiar to everyone who’s booked or purchased something online, but the confirmation email nonetheless serves a vital function. Besides its primary function as a confirmation that a purchase has gone through, it also supplies vital information including booking IDs and contact information if anything should go wrong with their order.

Using BookingLive’s software you’re able to send an automated confirmation email as standard. By visiting your notification settings you can easily create a customised email that takes their booking experience to the next level.

Typically, these tend to be rather dry affairs, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Include a personalised message with ease, drop in special offers to recommended products or simply tell them how excited you are as a company to have them book with you. It’s the little things that really matter in a congested marketplace, so go all out to make your confirmation email special.


Email #2 – The Reminder Email

As a business that takes bookings, you’ll be fully aware of the cost and disruption that customers forgetting to turn up for their booking can have on your business.

The solution to that problem? The reminder email. Put simply, as your customers booking date approaches, BookingLive’s online booking system will automatically send them an email reminding them of their booking.

They can also include vital information like an itinerary or travel information, and just like the confirmation email, you can customise it however best you see fit. At BookingLive, we understand the value that a timely reminder email can have.

BookingLive’s built in notification feature allows you to send out automated emails, meaning once you’ve written your reminder email, all you’ve got to do is choose when it gets sent! All emails sent out using our booking software is sent through SendGrid.


Email #3 – The Follow up Emailemail-for-blog-copy-2

With your customer’s transaction now fully processed and their time within your business completed, what next?

By sending a follow up email within a few days of the booking’s end, you help cement the relationship between your business and the customer. It’s a gentle reminder that that their business was valued, and in this era of impersonal online transactions, that’s a thing of real value.

These emails can also be used to encourage post-transaction interactions, like leaving a review on Yelp or TripAdvisor, following your business on a social media platform or by offering a special discount code for repeat bookings.

Of course, you don’t want to flood your customers with emails, but with these three simple steps you can dramatically improve the client/business relationship.

It’s just another fantastic feature of our comprehensive online booking platform, one which helps to keep customers coming back time and time again.


BookingLive also integrates with different email marketing programmes, like MailChimp. By integrating with Mailchimp you’re  able to build up your marketing mailing list. When a customer’s placing an order they will have the option to click ‘Marketing Permissions’, where their contact details will be pushed into Mailchimp, allowing your marketing mailing list to grow.

The MailChimp integration also means you’re able to track actions, like open and click through rates, so you can adjust your email design to best suit your clientele.


If you want to find out about more programmes we integrate with then head over to our integrations page or contact us directly, where a member of our team would be happy to find an integration that fits your needs

FileMaker Booking Systems VS. BookingLive

If your business takes bookings, then you need an online booking platform. It’s an essential part of doing business in 2017, with online booking systems saving your staff time, enabling customers to book around the clock and bringing your company in line with a modern consumers expectations.

Knowing which online booking platform to go with though? That’s the hard part.

There are a number of options on the market, from the barebones to the feature complete, but two of the most popular options are custom built FileMaker booking systems and our own solution, BookingLive. In this guide, we’re going to look at the advantages, and disadvantages of both solutions.

FileMaker Booking Systems: Pros & Cons

For those who don’t know FileMaker, they’re a company who provide the tools required to make custom apps which work seamlessly across a wide range of platforms. Whether that’s the web, iOS, Android, Windows or Mac.

The software can be used to create a wide range of applications, including your online booking system. Here’s the pros and cons of building your own online booking platform:


  • Flexible – Because you’re building the platform yourself, you’re in total control over its feature set.
  • Wide plugin support – The range of plugins that support FileMaker mean easier integration and a broader range of functionality
  • Includes starter solutions – A wide range of tutorials and strong community mean that solutions are often relatively easy to find.
  • Drag & drop programming – Simplified programming means most people shouldn’t have a problem creating apps.
  • Built in support for Excel importing – Many businesses manage their bookings via Excel, which makes this feature particularly useful.


  • Expensive – An individual license for FileMaker Pro costs $329.00 (around £265) for the base software. The Advanced version of the software will set you back an eye-watering $549.00 (around £444). For software which may not suit your needs, that’s an expensive initial layout.
  • Requires you to build apps yourself – Running a business is time consuming, so do you really have the time to build your own custom booking software? If the answer is no, then FileMaker might not be for you.
  • Coding knowledge required – If you’re uncomfortable coding, testing and launching applications, then FileMaker isn’t for you.
  • Wasted on web-only applications – The scope of FileMaker’s tools mean that developing exclusively for the web is overkill.
  • No support – If something goes wrong with your app, there’s nobody there to help you get it working. This can lead to loss of trust and decreased bookings.

BookingLive: Pros & Cons

BookingLive is our online booking solution, designed and built with years of experience supplying a huge variety of businesses with booking platforms. Free from locked in contracts, our bespoke software offers many configuration options and professional set up and support.

Here are the pros and cons of BooklingLive as a platform for hosting your online bookings:


  • Trusted, tried and proven – Thousands of businesses across sectors as varied as travel, education and health have opted to use BookingLive as their online booking solution, and 9 out of 10 would recommend it.
  • Loaded with features – BookingLive has evolved over time to better fit the ever changing market of online commerce. That’s meant that over the years, we’ve added much demanded, premium features like a responsive design to work across all platforms and screens, as well as integration with social networks for booking through Facebook.
  • Secure payment support – BookingLive is compatible with some of the most popular secure payment gateways in the world, such as; PayPal, Safe Pay, WorldPay and many, many more.
  • No assembly required – Simply sign up and let our team get your online booking platform set up for you. Deep customisation options mean you can tailor the booking experience for your clients and a huge range of plugins mean compatibility with almost anything you can imagine.
  • Expert support as standard – All BookingLive plans come with support as standard, so if you’re experiencing an issue with your booking platform or don’t understand a feature, we’re on hand to help.


  • Monthly subscription – Most businesses enjoy the flexibility that a rolling monthly subscription offers their business, though some may prefer a lump sum.
  • Externally hosted software – Because BookingLive isn’t priced as licensed software, we do not allow copies of our software to be sold for use on private servers. For various commercial reasons we’d have to license out some of our core infrastructure systems, which would be both expensive and complicated.

So if BookingLive is the Online Booking solution you’ve been looking for then contact us us today, where a member of our sales team would be more than happy to help meet your needs! Or sign up to our weekly webinar to find out more about our product!


Four Ways Online Booking Will Boost Your Business

Sometimes the old ways are still the best. Shaking hands, good customer service and striking deals in person are all essential tools of the modern business, just as they have been for centuries. However there are some tools which should be left in the past.

For many of us, our trusty appointment book remains a vital part of the functioning of our business, but what if it could be improved? Technology has alleviated much of the stress that micromanaging a business involves, so why not your booking process?

Here at BookingLive, we’ve seen how beneficial an online booking system can be to businesses of all shapes and sizes, but what are the five ways online booking will help boost your business.

  • Time Saved for Customers and Staff

Without an online booking system in place, booking happens in one of a few ways: either they book in person, over the phone or via email. Whichever way your customer chooses to book, the process is a time consuming one. Scheduling bookings this way takes valuable time away from your staff, requiring back and forth on dates and times, as well in regards to payment.

By operating an online booking system, you’re automating the entire process. Customers can only book dates which have spaces available and pay up front for their booking, requiring no intervention by your staff. It’s the fast, simple way for your customers to book, and frees up your staff to focus on other tasks around your business – perfect!Features of an online booking system

  • Never Missing a Customer

One of the biggest opportunities that online booking platforms offer comes from out-of-office-hours booking. Booking over the phone can be great for a
customer, but it requires the stars to align, making it rather limited. By booking online, your customers can book as and when it suits them, rather than bending to your office hours.

Online booking also means that multiple customers can book simultaneously and from any internet-enabled platform they have to hand, whether that’s a smartphone at midnight or a desktop at 3pm.

  • Increased Revenue with Upselling

Any business will tell you that the key to growth is turning a customer buying one thing once into a customer buying multiple things often, which is why we built BookingLive with upselling support out of the box.

Before your customer confirms their booking, you can present them with a limitless range of options for expanding their purchase. Whether that’s special discounts on multi-buys, extra equipment or anything else, BookingLive enables you to offer it. Our customers have seen an increase of over 40% when offering related products and services alongside their primary bookings, can you afford to miss out on that kind of revenue boost?

  • Boost Customer Engagement with a Built-In Blogging Platform

Writing a blog is a fantastic way to get customers engaged with your business, and can really help push you up the search rankings. BookingLive has a built in blogging platform, which lets you create fully integrated and customisable blog posts with ease.

Regular news pieces and updates regarding events, products and stock help to build a relationship between you and your customers, earn valuable legitimacy and boost sales.


If you’re interested in finding out more about how our online booking software could boost your business, feel free to contact us today or sign up for a free demo!

Top Tips to Grow your Small Activity Centre

The beauty of a small business lies in the ease in which changes can be made. Alterations to your strategy can be tried out with little by way of dramatic consequence. However, running a small business also brings many challenges with it too.

That small & nimble nature means that growth is absolutely essential and tied tightly to sales. For small activity centres that means finding more customers to fill your activities. And with the nature of small businesses, we know how tough this can be!

It’s no secret that the internet has presented a huge opportunity for small activity centres to grow, but how exactly do you take advantage of it?

1. Make full use of social media

We’re sure that you don’t need to be told just how important social media has become in growing small businesses, but for the uninitiated, it can be a confusing world out there.

Social media allows people to connect to your business in unprecedented ways via comments, videos, reviews and more. It also allows anyone looking at your content to instantly share it with friends and family, potentially turning a reach of hundreds into thousands

If you’re about to start a tour company or small activity centre, planning your social media campaigns should be of high priority. With that said, it’s important to note that the big two social networks (Facebook and Twitter) both have their distinct advantages and uses.

Facebook has the much more complete feature set for a small activity centre. You can post statuses about upcoming events,facebook_circle_green populate your page’s
profile with useful information, allow reviews, share videos and even build in online booking software right into the page. It’s a great way for potential customers to learn what your activities are like, as well as to ask any questions they might have. With Facebook’s comprehensive advertising solutions you can directly target customers who might be interested in booking one of your activities

Meanwhile, Twitter is fantastic for getting the word out about your business. Instant updates regarding meeting times, location and any other information is Twitter’s speciality, but it’s equally as useful for sharing promotional information. What you won’t find is twitter_circle_greenthe comprehensive brand support that Facebook offers.

Other social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest or Flickr place an explicit emphasis on photography as a means of storytelling. Once again, this is an excellent way of promoting the experience aspect of your activities, but shouldn’t be treated as your primary brand outlet online.

So, if you’ve asked yourself “how do I promote my small business”, the answer lies somewhere between the social networks listed above.

2. Move to an online booking solution

If you haven’t already done so, making the move to an online booking system like BookingLive can be very beneficial to small activity business. Why?

There are multiple answers to that question, but the most simple is convenience – for both you and your customers.

As a small tour business, the amount of staff you can employ is limited, which means a good portion of your job becomes managing their time effectively.

Traditional booking methods require a member of staff to manage your phone lines or regularly check the businesses emails for booking requests, therefore taking time away from their regular duties. It’s a system that’s rife with inefficiencies and very prone to human error.

BookingLive meanwhile automates the whole system, with customers able to direct from your website, paying securely as they complete their order. With our booking system, you can see availability levels for your activities and tours, ensuring you’re never overbooked.

For your customers too, online booking systems are vastly preferred, with around 40% of activities and being booked online. Automatic support for mobile devices means your customers can book from any mobile platform, and the online nature of BookingLive software means that it can be completed at any time, with out of hour’s bookings helping to increase sales.

What does that mean for you? Well, it means staff making the most of their working hours and happier customers, not to mention much more efficient online tour marketing.

3. Don’t be afraid of discounts

When you’re operating a small tour business or activity centre, it’s likely that profit is one of your main priorities.  Of course, that’s perfectly natural for a small business, but you shouldn’t be afraid of giving up a little of that profit in favour of getting customers through the door. Voucher sites and group discount websites have become one of the best ways to market a small business, as well as a great way of getting new customers through the door and generate buzz.

As a tour and activity business, you’ll be firmly aware that word of mouth generates a huge amount of business, and a successful event not only brings short term gain, but also longer term success. Limited time vouchers encourage customers who might be on the fence about signing up for your service to take the plunge.

discount booking system

Linking back to our first two tips for growing your tour business, vouchers are an excellent way to boost social engagement with potential customers feeling they’re getting a great deal. Additionally, online booking systems like BookingLive have full support for vouchers, letting you generate them automatically and setting things like maximum number of uses before expiry or how long they’re to be active.

It’s just smart tour marketing strategy, and shouldn’t be ignored.

Mobile Booking Software – Do you need it?

l a| Right now in 2016, 2.1 billion people have a smartphone. For many of those people, it’s the only way they access and interact with the internet. By 2020, smartphone ownership is estimated to reach an astonishing 2.87 billion people, helping to expand the World Wide Web to more people than ever before.

With such a rapid expansion of mobile internet usage, the web itself has changed dramatically. The mobile web has blossomed, and a mobile-friendly website is now the least customers expect when they land on your ‘site.

However, with all that change, there’s one area many businesses have neglected to adapt to, and that’s mobile booking platforms. But what is a mobile booking platform, and do you need one?

Mobile Booking for Beginners

Mobile booking systems are, at their very basic, a mobile-friendly version of an online booking system. With mobile booking software embedded in your website, a potential customer can arrive on your website via their mobile, discover your service and book directly from their smartphone or tablet.

Best of all, because the software has been optimised for mobile usage, the design is automatically reformatted to fit perfectly onto whatever screen is displaying it. That means no tiny icons, zooming in to read text or misplaced button presses.

That might sound like a minor usability improvement for customers, but it dramatically increases the level of engagement that we see from customers, many of whom are ‘impulse’ booking via their mobile_booking_softwaresmartphone on the recommendation of a friend, colleague or family member.
By forcing your customer to return to a full computer or, even worse, a phone in order to book in person, you’re creating an unnecessary barrier between a potential customer’s desire and your product or service that reduces the likelihood of them booking at all.

With BookingLive, our software automatically re-flows to fit whatever device is viewing it, making it effortless for customers to book and pay you instantly without ever leaving their smart device.

Mobile Booking Software is the Future

Between 2011 and 2015, mobile bookings in the travel industry have risen an astonishing 1700% – a move which meant the difference between 1% of online revenues to 18%. Consider for a moment that those statistics are in spite of the fact that many businesses in the sector still cling to desktop only booking systems and you’ve got a measure of just how popular online bookings have become.

It didn’t stop in 2015 though, as growth has continued unabated in a world where the mobile web is, increasingly, the ‘real’ web.

The evidence of this is everywhere, but a recent comScore report into US web usage found that mobile internet usage now accounted for 65% of all internet usage, up from just 53% in December 2013. Meanwhile, desktop internet usage has gone from a solid 47% in December 2013 to a woeful 35% – a downwards slide which seems unlikely to end in the short term.

Of course, desktop internet usage is unlikely to come to a juddering halt anytime soon, thanks to many legacy computers and businesses utilising them, but for the rest of us, mobile internet will continue to become ubiquitous in its usage.

For businesses which offer bookings, then, mobile booking platforms aren’t a luxury for the distant future, they’re a necessity now that will only grow more crucial as the days pass.

Reservation Management out of Office

It’s not just your customers which benefit from mobile reservation systems, it’s you too.mobile_booking

As a modern business, we know that whether you’re in the office or not, you’re business hours never truly stop. Today, we manage much of our business from the comfort of our living room via our laptops. Whether it’s firing a quick email off in the evening or managing your supply chain as you pick up a cup of coffee.

So, with BookingLive we designed our visual booking dashboard management software to work whenever and wherever you need it, all you need is the software and your login. So, if you receive a booking as you’re settling in for your evenings TV, you can manage it right from the sofa.

What Kind of Businesses Benefit from Mobile Booking Software?

If your business takes bookings, then you need mobile booking software. Just as though it’s no longer acceptable to force customers to book over the phone, forcing customers to use desktop booking interfaces on their mobile is unacceptable.

So, whether you’re in the leisure industry, a tour provider, a hotel, restaurant or any other business which relies on bookings, don’t settle for ‘good enough’. Accept only the best, and that means a dedicated mobile booking platform.

What do you need to do?

Whilst many competing online reservation platforms make their customers pay extra for access to mobile versions of their systems, we at BookingLive believe that our customers should never pay more for such a crucial and basic feature.

Since we launched mobile booking in 2013, we’ve worked continuously alongside our customers to understand what’s required to increase sales, improve usability and drive new business. Today, we continue to do so.

As such, every customer who joins BookingLive gets free, instant and automatic mobile reservation software as a matter of course. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on our base or top level plan, you’ll have mobile booking software as standard. It’s just our way of helping you be ready for the future.


To find out more, contact us where one of our sales team would be more than happy to discuss our online booking software to you.

Why use an Online Booking System?

Running a business has, over the last two decades, changed in ways that could scarcely be predicted. The way we do business has gone from a handshake to a click of a digital button, physical locations have been replaced by websites and myriad other shifts have meant that for traditional businesses, times have changed dramatically.

Perhaps most notable in amongst the changes, however, has been the way in which customers approach businesses to book. Gone are the days in which staff members sat eagerly awaiting calls with a calendar by their side, replaced with online booking systems which take the hassle out of booking for customer and business alike.

But what are the uses of online reservation systems for your business? Join us as we explain, starting with the basics.

What is an online booking system?

At its most basic, an online booking system is software which allows a potential customer to book and pay for an activity or service directly through your website. That means from the moment a customer decides they want to book to choosing a date, picking a time and paying for the booking, everything is handled online.

Advanced systems like ours allow customers to book through a variety of methods online, including mobile and Facebook.

Why would you move bookings online?

In business, oftentimes it’s best to leave a functioning system alone. However, when it comes to your booking system, merely functional isn’t good enough. Many businesses employ a small number dedicated customer service staff tasked with handling, managing and confirming your bookings.

With a growth in customers comes increased demands on your staff, longer wait times and a greater chance of mistakes within your bookings. Couple that with the extensive time spent sorting and manually recording each individual booking and you’ve got an exceptionally inefficient system.

Cheap online booking software, on the other hand, takes all of the stress, strain, mistakes and time out of arranging bookings for your business. Once set up, you can control every aspect of your booking procedure and allow customers to quickly and easily book online.

Of course, having an online seat booking system doesn’t preclude you from operating a more traditional phone-based booking system. It simply means that for customers who prefer it, they can book instantly through their device of choice. For customers and your business, it’s a no-brainer.

What are the applications of an online booking system?

Online booking systems have a huge variety of practical applications, especially if your business is one which requires a customer to make a booking. For activity Features of an online booking systemcentres and tour operators in particular, the benefits of an online booking system are clear to see.

Going online has helped thousands of activity centres and tours across the UK raise their profile, find more customers and get the good word out about they do, so, it makes perfect sense that you’d utilise that increased visibility to drive more bookings.

No longer do potential customers need to call just to find out the availability of your business; they simply need to visit your website. From there, they can book and pay within minutes, letting your guests begin to look forward to their fantastic activity day or tour.

For your business, this represents a huge lifting of workload from staff and dramatically improves the customers buying experience. Customers can make seat reservations through your online booking system and get real-time information on which sears are currently available – minimising reservation errors and unnecessary stress from your bookings.

Which other types of businesses can benefit from an online booking system?

The uses of online booking systems are manyfold, and that makes them ideal for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Put plainly, if your business takes bookings of any kind, it can benefit from BookingLive® software.

One of the best loved features of BookingLive® is our multi-platform support, which allows you accept bookings on platforms other than your own website. With our social media tools, you could launch bookings direct through your Facebook page, helping you reach more people than ever before.

With BookingLive® you can even set up an online shop where merchandise can be sold alongside your bookings, or upsell your clients with special offers as they complete their purchase.

Over the years, we’ve helped countless businesses turn their online presence into a money generating, reservation booking and customer management hub which drives new and recurring business. Whether you’re a restaurant, training operator, childcare provider even a local gym, online booking systems can revolutionise the way you operate.

What are the other benefits of a BookingLive® online booking system?

Although customer convenience and reduced staff workload can’t be overestimated, you might be wondering what other benefits an online reservation system like BookingLive® offers your business.

Well, for one, they offer a degree of security that traditional booking methods simply do not. These days, online payment channels like Sage Pay and PayPal have become so ubiquitous in our daily lives that the notion of speaking your card details over the phone feels incredibly insecure.

By offering a secure online booking environment, BookingLive® not only enables instant payment for your services, but also ensures that all payments are kept entirely secure, helping to build trust within your business.

So, in truth, the question should be, why wouldn’t you use an online booking system? With more of us than ever browsing, booking and buying online it makes superb business sense, and as business moves increasingly mobile, our tools allow both customers and businesses alike to take their bookings on the road.

Couple that with support for analytics software, custom branding and an integrated blog platform and you’ve got the perfect all-purpose cheap online booking system for your business.

Beginner’s Guide to Online Booking Systems

The internet has fundamentally altered every aspect of running a business, and that includes the way we make and take bookings. Gone are the days in which customers would pick up the phone, pull out our diary and pick a date which worked for both parties.

In 2016, we book online through social networks, dedicated websites and third party comparison sites. Our calendars automatically update to reflect our booking and we’re instantly emailed a reminder of our upcoming bookings. Put simply, we’ve entered an age of overwhelming simplicity for the customer, but what about for the business?

If you’re interested in online booking systems but don’t know how booking works or any other detail around online booking, you’re in luck. In this guide, we’re going to break down everything you need to know in this beginners guide to online booking systems.

What is an online booking system?

Put simply, an online booking system is software which allows a potential customer to book and pay for an activity or service through your website. Advanced booking systems like ours also allow customers to book through social networks and even on their mobile phones, helping deliver bookings wherever your customers happen to be.

Online booking has grown rapidly to supersede traditional phone booking systems, which required members of staff to be on hand to take bookings and manage them manually.

How does an online booking system work?

An online reservation and booking system exists entirely within your website, and requires no installation from your customer to continue with their purchase.

A customer will land on your website and choose which activity or service they’d like to book, and then will click through to the booking page. At this stage, the customer will fill in a booking form. Custom forms can also be set, allowing you to harvest whatever information you require in order to complete the booking.

The customer will then give their card details to pay through a secure payment gateway, and the payment will be transferred to you. This information is displayed in our secure Content Management System, which is only accessible via a login and password, offering greater security than competing booking methods.

Are online booking payment secure?

Computerised booking systems are, on the whole, extremely secure. Gone are the dark days of the Internet where every transaction felt like it might be a scam, replaced instead by a broadly secure framework which supports consumers.

All transactions placed through BookingLive’s software are very space. Every payment gateway that we use is chosen to help keep payments secure and customers safe from fraud. That means the use of HTTPS and proprietary security protocols which ensure trust in your business is never eroded by unscrupulous scammers.

What payment methods do online booking systems accept?

BookingLive online booking software enables payments through a variety of methods, accepting all Visa and Visa Debit cards, credit cards and trusted online payment providers like PayPal and Google Wallet.

Which types of businesses can benefit from an OBS?

If your business, company or organisation takes bookings of any kinds, it too can benefit from an online booking and reservation system. The following are examples of businesses which we’ve helped implement successful online booking platforms:

  • Schools
  • Leisure centres
  • Gyms
  • Local government
  • Childcare providers
  • Activities companies
  • SMEs
  • Training providers
  • Tour operators

So, if you’re wondering what impact an online booking system has on your business, the answer is a huge one. Put plainly, if you’ve got a business that takes bookings and a website, you need to join an online booking system.

How much do online booking systems cost?

Online booking systems are cheaper than many imagine them to be, and are scalable for businesses, making them a compelling option for businesses of all sizes.

BookingLive software costs from £50 a month for companies with less than 100 transactions a month, that’s 50p per booking – an entirely reasonable cost given the time and effort you’ll save from manually managing your own bookings.

Do online booking systems take a cut of my bookings?

Many free online booking software platforms make their money by taking a hefty slice of your transaction in return for connecting you with your customer. At BookingLive, we never charge per transaction, instead working on a flat, fair rate that works for everybody.

Advantages of online booking software

Online booking software platforms have a huge number of potential benefits for businesses and consumers alike. Here are just a few examples:

  • Reduced number of man hours managing booking activity.
  • Centralised customer data for easy customer management.
  • Bookings can happen at any time, from anywhere in the world.
  • Reduced customer service requirements.
  • Instant payment, reducing the need to chase up on deposits or cheques.
  • Effortless integration with social networks and with coupon websites.
  • Bookings can be managed from a mobile device, perfect for small businesses
  • Simplified booking procedure for customers.

These are just a selection of the countless benefits an online booking platform can bring to your business.

Does my business need an online booking system?

By now, we’ve covered every aspect of online booking systems and answered many of the most commonly asked questions that are put to us on a near daily basis. However, we haven’t touched on perhaps the most vital of all – does my business need an online booking system?


The simple answer is; if you have a business that takes bookings and you have a website, absolutely, yes. The big trend in e-commerce over the last five years has been simplification. Research has revealed that the more steps between your customer and their purchase, the less likely they are to go through with it.

By forcing your customer to book over the phone, you’re severely limiting the number of bookings you can receive, and in tough economic times, that’s an ill-advised position to take.

Getting started with an online booking system couldn’t be easier. Simply request a free demo from our team and we’ll work with you to help get you set up within 30 minutes. A dedicated member of our staff will be with you every step of the way and before you know it, you’ll be taking orders and managing customers online with ease.

Have more questions? Look at BookingLive’s frequently asked questions or contact us.

BookingLive® Software Recognised as Ideal Small Business Solution

It’s no secret that if you’re looking to launch a new small business, you need every tool at your disposal to make yourself a success.

In 2016, the average customer looks for convenience, speed and competency from every business they encounter, both online and in real life. Those requirements mean that for a fledgling small business, the grace period for acceptable shortcomings is diminished massively.

Technology like ours, however, has long made the process of engaging customers, increasing sales and organising bookings across any business easier. With over 10 years’ experience, our name and profile has risen dramatically, so much that our software platform is being recommended by publications like and – two websites which, combined, have over 1.3 million social media followers.

We’re delighted to see our name out there, but what exactly about our class leading booking software makes it perfect for small businesses? Join us as we share 7 features.

  • Mobile booking management – Business in the modern world means being light on your feet, and for most of us, that means being glued to our smartphones even when we’re away from the office.With our mobile booking tools, you can manage the admin side of your booking system directly from your smartphone or tablet, but it doesn’t end there. Your customers can also book directly from their mobile devices too – making your business fully compatible with the modern world.
  • Brilliant customer management tools – As a small business, customer management is absolutely crucial. The art of small business management is keeping multiple plates spinning simultaneously, and with our BookingLive® customer management software, you can do that with ease.BookingLive® presents you with a raft of customisable data collection forms, alongside single sign on options for your customers with dedicated profiles for easy logins in the future.
  • Simple visual booking – If you’ve ever spent any time inside large business, you’ve likely been amazed at the complexity of their often antiquated booking systems. Well, with Booking Live, that’s never the case.BookingLive® offers a simple but powerful visual booking dashboard with everything you need to know about your hourly, daily and weekly schedules. Bookable products like activities, courses and classes can all be managed with supreme ease.
  • Affordable small business pricing – Unlike many of our competitors, we believe in offering an affordable and scalable solution for businesses of all sizes. For small businesses and start-ups, that means offering the tools to grow as a business without acting as a drag on profits.Our plans start at just £50 per month for companies with less than 100 transactions a month and can scale up to over 1000 bookings per month and 100 admin users, making it possible for businesses of all sizes to transform their booking processes.
  • Support for a huge range of industries – If your small business takes bookings, then it needs Booking SoftwareBookingLive®.From leisure activities to seminars, resource management, motor repair and almost anything else you can think of, BookingLive® offers a customisable, brandable solution that can benefit any business.
  • Built-in social media support – These days, so much of a small businesses promotional work goes on social media. Advertising tools on Facebook and Twitter allow you to zero in on your intended market and serve up adverts directly to their feed. Once they’re on your product page, that’s where BookingLive® comes in to play.Our social media tools mean you can set up live availability on your Facebook page, making it easier than ever for your customers to book in without ever leaving their favourite social network.
  • Expert support – Time is precious, so don’t spend hours slaving over a problem when you can just contact our experts. Every BookingLive® system comes with support, ranging from phone support to on-site training for staff, we’re confident we’ve got the perfect solution for you.Additionally, every business which signs up for BookingLive® is assigned a dedicated Account Manager who will be with you every step of the way, helping you get up and running successfully in no time.


To find out more about how our service can help you then contact us or sign up to our weekly Free Demo!

Online Booking Systems For The Public Sector

Everybody knows government offices and businesses that cater to the public sector in general adhere to strict regulations and budgets. So it is understandable that online booking systems for the public sector is not a priority among department heads. But we at Booking Live want to change this view. Online booking software can tremendously improve the efficiency of public sector offices. Not only that, it can also increase revenue so the cost of installing the system will be covered over time.

What Can Online Booking Systems For the Public Sector Do For You?

If you believe that your office is missing out on earning revenues because you have to turn away customers and direct them to other sites for online bookings, then online booking systems for the public sector is the answer to your problem. With an online booking system in your site, you attract more customers because they can conveniently schedule their holiday vacations, business meetings and other events and services whilst you can charge partial or full payments for these.

According to research, most public companies use email or phones for booking instead of doing it online. This system works if customers don’t have questions or you are only entertaining a few number of people. However, when you are catering to thousands of customers and your website has high traffic, it’s time to seriously consider an online booking system. Not only will you be able to cut down on man hours, you will also have a higher customer retention rate. Why? Because customers get frustrated with a slow manual booking process which also has a higher tendency of having errors. With online booking systems for the public sector, you can increase your sales while also avoiding negative reviews.

What Are The Features of An Online Booking System

Online booking systems are feature-heavy, meaning you are sure to find a feature or two that will fit your needs as a business in the public sector. With a clientele that includes Sports for Schools and Merton Council, Booking Live is familiar with working with public companies.

The processing of VAT, concession rates and invoices is now a standard among Booking Live software. Apart from these, the company also offers a comprehensive business management, tracking and reporting package together with a professional support team. When you avail of Booking Live’s software, you will be given your personal Account Manager that will help you in the set-up so you could instantly offer an online booking feature in your site the soonest time possible.

One of the top features of the company’s online booking system is its upload option. This allows customers to upload pertinent documents required for a booking to push through. For example, parents can upload their family’s passports if they are booking tickets for a trip abroad. This is quite essential since most bookings of the public entail age verification. Booking Live is even part of local authority networks so you are guaranteed that all your transactions follow through smoothly. The system can also be customized so you can feature options, like availability calendars, easily into your page. Booking Live also provides website design so your website can be compatible with mobile gadgets.

The following are the top uses of Booking Live in the public sector:

  • Activity bookings
  • Hotel and venue bookings
  • Event ticket sales
  • Sale and redemption of vouchers
  • Leisure area bookings like pitch bookings
  • Mobile and epos bookings
  • Club memberships with monthly premiums

To know more about this booking system, hurry over to now!