What Is The Best Booking App?
August 23, 2021
There are so many booking apps on the market that it can be difficult to narrow down the best options out there. You may think that they all do pretty much the same thing – book and manage your appointments – but there are so many more features of booking software that can streamline your business processes and help it grow. No matter the size or industry of your business, there’s a booking app to suit you. We’ll give you a run down of the best booking apps for each sector, and the all important costs.
BookingLive is one of the world’s leading booking apps; they manage the complex booking needs of businesses in over 75 countries. BookingLive also offers training, workshops, development and more to help your business grow.
Who is it for?
BookingLive is perfect for a huge range of industries, including:
BookingLive’s top features include:
- Over 12 booking types
- Over 3000 integrations
- Design your booking app with your own branding
- High level of customisation
- Sync bookings to your calendar
Calendly eliminates the back-and-forth nature of sending emails to schedule appointments. Simply create your calendar parameters and share them on your booking page, and customers can start setting up their appointments.
Who is it for?
Calendly is an all-rounder and ideal for general business.
Calendly’s top features include:
- Flexible meeting type options
- Advanced analytics
- Up to 700 app integrations
- Connect up to 6 calendars
- Define limits on meetings per day
Calendly can prove to be costly for bigger teams as it charges per user rather than charging a set price for multiple users, so you may have to take some time to weigh up whether it’s worth the price.
OpenTable is the leading restaurant reservation software, with locations in the UK, USA, Australia, India and Mexico. Customers can easily book a table at their favourite restaurant or explore new up and coming bars in their area.
Who is it for?
OpenTable is a great fit for the majority of the hospitality industry, such as:
- Restaurant groups
- Pubs and bars
OpenTable’s top features include:
- Simple user interface
- Set up custom floor plans to optimise your dining space
- Reach the largest diner network with 31 million diners a month
- The waitlist feature notifies diners when their table is ready
- Analyse customer spend and visit frequency
Unfortunately, there’s no free version of the OpenTable booking software. You have the choice of three packages, ranging from £19 for a basic subscription to a whopping £299 per month for their pro scheme. The only extra features included with pro are automated email campaigns and staff scorecards, so you may want to consider if this is really important to your business before you splurge.
Manage your salon with ease with Versum. 46,000 professionals currently use their booking software to manage their bookings, accounts, products and equipment.
Who is it for?
Versum is designed for business such as:
- Beauty salons
- Nail studios
- Physiotherapists and massage therapists
- Tattoo studios
Versum’s top featured include:
- Stock control
- Before and after gallery
- Settle tips for employees – keeps a record and settles all tips from happy clients
- Marketing automation
- Integrated customer loyalty program
Versum offers a range of pricing structures to suit the size of your salon; their packages range from £25 per month to cater to one employee, to £109 per month for unlimited employees. The best bet is to test out their software before you commit with a 14-day free trial. Another bonus is that Versum offer free implementation of your booking app and are on hand to support you.
If your business has multiple branches across the globe, SimplyBook could be a good option to consider. The booking app is available in 13 languages including:
Who is it for?
SimplyBook is designed for international businesses with multiple branches in different countries.
SimplyBook’s top features include:
- Schedule appointments in 13 languages
- Your website will be listed on Booking.Page Marketplace
- Booking bot allows clients to book through Facebook messenger
- Can create a new business logo
- Admin App – manage bookings on the go
SimplyBook offers a free version of their booking app but there are very limited features and you can only take 50 bookings. After that, you can choose from their basic package for $9.90 to their premium offering for $59.90 a month.
If customisation is what you’re looking for, you’re going to have to fork out for it with SimplyBook. Unlimited custom features are only available with their premium package.
GigaBook is a slightly more affordable option and may be suitable for small businesses just starting out with booking software. They also offer some free website development tools which are handy if you’re looking to save costs and maintain your site yourself.
Who is it for?
Gigabook best suits:
- Professional industries
- Technology teams
- General business
Gigabook’s top features include:
- Advanced dashboard and reporting
- Simple pricing structure
- Easy rescheduling
- Fast and easy setup
- Automated reminders
GigaBook has a straightforward pricing structure. Simply select the number of staff members you have and their calculator will work out your monthly or yearly payment. All account levels have the same features, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out, unlike the other booking apps.
We hope our guide has helped you to reach a decision on which booking app is best for you. If you’d like to learn more about our booking app at BookingLive, why not book a demo with one of our booking system experts?
The Booking Journey
It’s all systems go. Your database is up and running, but what does your customer see and what does scheduling a booking actually entail? What we refer to as the “booking journey” is a sequence of seven key steps (this number can be reduced if needed) for the customer to negotiate their way through.
1. Your Website
Your website is the platform where all your information and services are displayed. If you wish to link from your site to the booking system, you can either link to a page within the CMS that has a product display widget or link directly to a product’s booking page.
2. The Booking Page
This page catalogues all the various options and attributes to inform the customer what it is they are booking onto.
3. The Basket Page
Offers an overview of the current contents of the purchaser’s order (and applies any discount if applicable) to give a total price.
4. Login Page
Here the customer must provide their email address. If this is their first time using the booking system they will then be passed to the next step. Previous users will already have an account and will be asked to log in with their details, which then automatically generates their data on the billing page (step 5).
5. Billing Page
Presents the customer with their booking forms for completion.
6. Billing Admin / Payment Gateway
Where the payment is taken from the customer to complete the booking transaction. Customers will generally be passed to the relevant Payment Gateway to process the payments. Only administrators are able to access the billing admin page which enables you to make changes to payments and other payment-related features.
7. The Confirmation Screen
This screen corroborates the booking to let the customer know that their booking and payment has been processed successfully. A printable confirmation sheet is also provided at this stage.
See live examples of online booking systems here: Live Systems
Customer Booking Modifications
‘My Account’ is the section on Booking Live where customers can easily retrieve, check and edit their booking, documents and personal information. A member record is automatically created for that person once their details have been entered into a booking form as a part of a completed order. If they have an email address, then the records are connected together by this data point.
Customers can easily download their data, as well as any attachments and notifications they have been sent for added convenience. Even if they don’t delve back into their account prior to their appointment, they still have the peace of mind of receiving automated email and/or SMS reminders close to the time of their booking.
We’re Never Far Away
Easily accessible customer support is critical for any booking platform. Our customer support desk is contactable during working hours. We also assist you with a comprehensive user manual, free demos and webinars. Some of our pricing plans will even afford you your very own dedicated account manager.
But what about those customers that frequently book when your business is closed? Simply turn to our online knowledge base which is available 24/7 and provides you with an in-depth resource to help understand the system’s main functions and capabilities for effective operation.
Our adaptable CMS structure permits you to roll out any improvements you wish to the booking framework and to your website, which means you can make changes any time which are tailored to your business. This keeps your customers constantly in the loop with any developments (even during unsociable hours). All it takes is the click of a button and a browse of our step-by-step guide.
It’s Never Been Easier
In just a few simple actions, your customers can book onto classes/activities/events/meetings and much more to reduce disappointment and last minute appointment panics.
Online software tends to be easy to manage and more efficient, essentially making your life easier, as well as your customers.
Get started on your online booking system journey today with a free account below