Over the past decade, we have seen a real shift in how people are booking onto things, from booking events to activities. Purchasing things online has gone from a risky proposition to an everyday and essential part of everyday modern life. Part of that shift can be explained by online businesses making sure that your data and payment is secure as well as the rise of the internet.
The rise of ubiquitous secure payment gateways like SagePay and PayPal, alongside billions of successful transactions have meant that when it comes to booking or buying, going online is far from a risk – it’s now many people’s first choice.
For a business which relies on bookings from customers, this change could have snuck up on you. However, whilst there’s nothing inherently wrong with picking up the phone and booking directly with a member of your team, more and more customers of all ages are abandoning the traditional methods in return for online booking platforms like BookingLive.
Here are five reasons why your customers prefer to book online:
The internet age has brought with it the era of instant comparison and in-depth research. Today’s customers know exactly what they’re looking for and have all the tools at their fingertips to find it. Naturally, before your customers buy anything, they’re doing their research.
Should they find what they want on your website, the next step is to book it. It’s at this stage that the value of a secure online booking platform comes into play. Traditionally, your potential customer would then have to go find a phone, call your number, hope that a member of your team picks up and then explain to them exactly what they want to book and at what time.
It’s a system which introduces complication and uncertainty at every turn. By moving to an online booking platform they can instantly see live availability. Your customer can go from the product page to purchasing it in just a few clicks, effortlessly removing the complications inherent to phone-based bookings and boosting ‘impulse’ purchases.
One of the biggest drawbacks of phone-based booking systems is that whilst they’re a more personal experience, they’re reliant on two people to make the booking work. Naturally, that complicates matters a great deal.
On your end, the hours you can take bookings between are limited by the hours you have staff working and further limited by the numbers of calls you can take at any given time. That presents an issue for your potential customer, who then has to bend their schedule around your office hours.
With an online booking platform like BookingLive, customers can book at any time, on any platform, from anywhere in the world. Whether they’re on their smartphone in the pub, on the tablet in the airport or at their desk during lunch, your customers can book quickly and easily.
Social networks and instant messaging have fundamentally affected the way we communicate with friends, family and colleagues when we’re apart from one another. ‘Sharing’ has become the norm as we ping links, videos and stories back and forth.
As a business that relies on bookings, you’ll know that many customers book in pairs or groups, complicating the booking process. Online booking platforms allow your potential customers to share their booking with whomever they wish, greatly simplifying their experience and potentially driving more sales to your business.
Of course, it should go without saying that whilst these are obvious benefits to the customer, there are many other features which have helped to drive online booking adoption at such a remarkable rate. From live availability to built-in booking on social media platforms, online booking has taken the guesswork, uncertainty and stress out of booking, making it the #1 choice for customers in 2017.
No matter what language you speak, you can book online with ease. Modern browsers automatically translate text in foreign languages into the first language of the reader, making bookings as effortless and simple for them.
For companies who often deal with customers who don’t speak English, traditional booking methods can pose a serious problem, with customers often not getting what they want.
By transitioning to an online booking system, you can enable a more efficient and comfortable booking experience for your clients. That’s good for you and the client!
One of the underestimated aspects of the growth of online booking has been the feeling of control it gives customers in their buying process. Customers want to feel free to make decisions on their own terms without the pressure of another person sat on the other end of the phone.
It’s a shift we’ve seen emerge in retail environments too, like car showrooms, which now routinely won’t approach customers unless they’re approached first. These ‘low pressure’ buying environments make customers feel comfortable and in control of the purchase and therefore more likely to purchase. After all, nobody likes to feel like they’ve been bullied into a purchase.
To learn more about our online booking platform, contact a member of our team and learn just how secure booking can transform your businesses online presence.