The online booking market
The market size of the online travel booking platform alone is forecast to reach $983 billion in 2027. Although the travel industry contributes a lot to the online booking space, there are many more sectors that can take advantage of online booking platforms. We’ll use the travel industry as an example in our analysis, as booking a holiday is the most popular booking activity to do online.
Here are some key statistics:
- By 2023, it’s estimated that 700 million people will make a booking online
- 83% of US adults want to book their trips online
- In 2018, 82% of all travel bookings made globally took place without human interaction - users booked via a mobile app or website
A quick conclusion we can draw from this is that people want to book online if they can. This means that websites need to be up to standard, or users may abandon their booking and shop elsewhere.
The rise of mobile
You’re probably reading this article on your smartphone. And if you’re not, what’s the bet that your mobile is in arms reach? In 2021, there were 62.3 million mobile internet users in the UK. This is expected to rise to over 65 million by 2026.
Mobile browsing is becoming the preferred choice for many, yet desktop usage isn’t fading away as quickly as you’d expect. Users seek information on their mobile but switch to a desktop to make a booking. This could indicate that booking websites aren’t quite mobile-friendly, and users have a more pleasant experience on desktop. Businesses should cater to these consumer behaviours and make booking on mobile a smoother process.
The rise of mobile doesn’t end there. Social media now has a massive impact on our lives. No matter how hard we try, we can’t help but scroll through our feed just a little bit longer. So you won’t be surprised to hear that global users spent 145 minutes on social media every day in 2020, on average. With an estimated 64.75 million social media users by 2026 in the UK alone, it’s clear that businesses need to position themselves on these platforms if they want to win bookings.
How can online booking systems cater to these trends?
If a business is looking to keep up with these online booking trends, all they need to do is invest in an online booking system. The innovative software will enable you to streamline your booking processes, to benefit both you and your customers. We’ll explain how BookingLive can help.
Create an efficient booking process
Before the introduction of booking systems, customers would have to ring up to schedule an appointment. This can be a lengthy process as you go back and forth with different appointment times to suit everyone’s availability. Not to mention the high level of no-shows as people forget to attend their booking - costing valuable time and resources to businesses.
With an online booking system, these issues are eliminated. The software delivers complete transparency on appointment availability, allowing users to browse appointment slots at their leisure. As the data is updated in real time, there is no risk of double bookings and the system can even send automated reminders to reduce no-shows.
Connect with social media
Your audience may already be browsing your social media page to see the services you offer and could be considering booking. Instead of adding another step by directing them to your website, it makes sense to allow users to book straight from Facebook and Instagram.
With BookingLive, you can embed your booking link in your profile, or even share it in a social media post. By offering this convenience, it’s never been easier to make a booking online.
Schedule 24/7 on any device
The shift to online bookings is largely down to convenience. In the context of the travel industry, consumers no longer need to wait for the travel agents to open in the morning to book their all-inclusive holiday. The same goes for a range of industries - from training course providers to local government authorities. People want to book at a time that suits them, and an online booking system will meet those needs.
When you embed the booking widget on your website, customers can view the available dates and times, make their booking and pay for the service in advance. This can seamlessly be done on desktop, tablet and mobile. With this new flexibility, your business opens the opportunity to take more bookings, leading to increased revenue and a larger audience.
How does my business keep up with online booking trends?
The key takeaway from this blog is that businesses need to make online bookings more efficient and convenient for their customers. This can be achieved with an online booking system from BookingLive. We offer a paid plan for larger enterprises and free scheduling software for small businesses. To find out more, schedule a demo, call us on 0800 1310 342 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.