Woo Commerce Booking plugins have become really advanced in response to your specific requirements and details. It’s pretty easy to set up a reservation system for your website; if you have the right tools for you. So it is essential that you look for a plugin that offers the benefits you are looking for.
In this guide, we look at the ’12 Must-Have Features’ that will help you choose the right WooCommerce Booking Plugin for your business.
Set pre-order availability
You are free to offer reservations based on the availability of your services / products without any compromise. But for that, you should have a very flexible WooCommerce Booking plugin that allows you to implement any pre-condition. Only some excellent plugins allow you to set up such advanced booking rules.
For example, the Advanced Bookings plugin will allow you to book a reserve and not on individual days of the week. This way, you can book a regular booking time per day. You can also set non-preset hours between preset hours that you can use as breaks. Some plugins even allow you to set the availability of reservations compared to today. This will allow you to set, say 3 days, the time period to set the availability will change based on the current date. Learn more about how to set up booking status.
Dynamic reservation price / cost calculation
The Visual Preset plugin will be able to dynamically calculate the price directly on the product page. Since availability and pricing go hand in hand in most business scenarios, any booking and all booking criteria are equally important. Many plugins allow users to set prices based on availability, so you can change your reservation price based on time (minutes or hours), days or even months.
Really good plugins will allow you to accept partial payments for your bookings, that’s if your business requests it. Some businesses like hotel reservations can easily charge for additional resources like ‘Prepaid WI-FI’ and ‘Exclusive Spa’. Regardless of your requirements, the plugin should be able to add these on the go and show the final cost to your client.
Staff / group management
You will be able to manage your staff / team member responsibilities. That way, you can streamline your booking and deliver a better overall experience for your guests / guests. A few good plugins will allow you to create memberships and set up flexible costing rules for each plugin.
Some plugins allow administrators to set employee schedules which will then reflect on the calendar. That is, the calendar will show booking status based on your staff’s schedule. This eliminates post-booking hassles which used to be a fairly common issue in additional staff-related bookings in businesses such as salon / spa appointments or fitness courses.
Provide additional resources
Maximize revenue without overbooking is always an issue if your preset plugin can’t manage the resources for you. That way, you’ll always have the resources / equipment on hand to serve as many customers as possible. So it is very essential to get the correct amount of resources / devices used every time someone confirms a reservation.
Some WooCommerce Bookings plugins will allow you to provide a field on your website where the customer can enter the desired amount of resources / devices. This way, you never run the risk of overbooking without the resources to distribute. For example, in the case of hotel reservations, you can allow the customer to pre-determine the amount of parking required to avoid any last-minute trouble. This will allow you to better manage your space, and if needed, you can even charge for any additional parking spaces.
Global content creation and synchronization
In online booking terms, content commonly referred to as an item / resource can be used on your bookable products. You can set the availability for your content, which most likely helps you reach your business case. The content is really useful in situations where several people provide multiple services and need to synchronize time intervals or when the same resource is used between different products. Let’s take an example to better understand the term.
Let’s say you own a hairdressing spa business where you and your team members make online appointments to style your clients’ hair. To avoid any last-minute troubles, you can use your members as an asset and assign them to different appointments like hair coloring, straightening hair, etc. Your client can choose an appointment type, and the group member present at the time will block that content (member) from the entire reservation. You can learn more about content in Reservations.
Set a buffer time between presets
Businesses that require active online bookings need time to set things up again, and most likely, you too. An ideal WooCommerce Booking plugin should be smart enough to allow you to define ‘buffer’ time between your bookings. Some even allow you to set up custom buffers before as well as after your booking.
You can take advantage of this extra time to prepare for your next booking or simply to relax and take a break from work. Whatever the case, being able to define buffer times between your bookings / appointments can really help you to serve your customers better.
Recurring / repeat preset
The need to set up recurring reservations is more than you imagine. Businesses such as booking a classroom or online course continuously require automatic recurring reservations. In a recurring booking scenario, a customer can book a reservation and specify the length of time after which the reservation is automatically scheduled.
One must-have feature that every booking plugin should have is Manage Booking. Managing your reservations at the back-end is really important and it’s not just for account purposes. Being able to manage reservations yourself gives you a sense of control over the flow of bookings coming through each day.
Most plugins come with a separate dashboard where you can see the progress of the reservation. You can choose to delete, cancel or confirm your reservation (s). And each reservation will display the same information as any other normal Woo Commerce Order. So you’ll be able to view payment info, customer contact details, and more. Alternatively, you can also create a manual reservation if the situation requires.
Cancellation and confirmation
The feature mentioned above gives you the power to manage your reservations from your side. But what if you have hundreds of bookings? Can you cancel or confirm the reservation in that case? Even if you can, you should pass the workload on to your customers i.e. your customers should cancel their own reservations. Imagine how much time you will save.
Some good Booking plugins allow users to provide confirmation and cancellation options to their customers. In particular, the validation option is a very useful feature that gives you optimal control. You can allow guests to send you a confirmation request. And only when you confirm this request will your client be able to pay for the reservation amount, giving you control over what enters and what comes out.
Email notifications and reminders
The Booking Confirmation Email includes everything from the customer’s booking details to the confirmation. When it comes to online booking, email reminder emails and email notifications play an important role in ensuring a great post-booking experience. Many good Booking plugins will ensure your customers don’t miss an appointment by sending a reminder email before the appointment starts. Some plugins even allow you to send personalized email notifications to your customers.
You can book an email notification for a new booking, confirm your reservation and cancel. Some plugins even allow you to set up review emails that you can use to receive valuable feedback and reviews from your past clients. Learn more about how to send a Booking to a customer email.
Sync 2-way Google Calendar
The ability to organize and streamline your reservations is essential. The Google Calendar is an important factor when it comes to managing our daily lives. And what’s better than syncing all WooCommerce Bookings with your own personal calendar? Well, many booking plugins let you set up 2-way Google Calendar Sync keeping you up to date.
The term ‘2-way’ means that you can make a reservation on your website directly from your Google Calendar. While this contributes to the manual effort, you’ll be grateful for when you need to make quick changes to your booking when you’re away from your office. It can also help you keep all of your bookings up to date by avoiding double bookings.
Customize the calendar design
Calendar design is one of the most important features when it comes to online booking. You spend a lot of time creating a website that looks elegant, fits your business, and captures your business idea. It would be nice to find a booking solution that offers the same level of design customization to match the look and feel of your website.
Tips for beginners
Many WooCommerce Booking plugins allow users to convert their regular products into a preset resource. Yes, you heard that right away! Creating a product preset is as simple as creating one with WooCommerce. Learn more about how to create WooCommerce preset products
It is clear that online booking solutions are increasing current and future bookings for all types of businesses. For more of us than ever before to browse, order, and shop online, that makes great business sense. And as businesses increasingly move online, WooCommerce Scheduling and Appointment plugins allow both customers and businesses to make their reservations on the road.
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