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How to Set up Buffer Time in WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments?

In this article, we will show you how to easily set up a time-gap between consecutive bookings in WooCommerce Bookings and Appointment plugin. The plugin blocks the buffer time and thus allows your customers to know that the booking will not be available for that time period. You can define the time period for this delay and set any buffer time before and after every booking. You can even use this feature to give yourself or the team a preparation time after every booking.

Customers would be allowed to book a resource, service or time, only after this time-gap. You can easily use this feature where you need some additional time to prepare for the next booking. You can choose to have the buffer before and after, just before, or after every booking. This feature can help you in many business cases and get the maximum out of it. Some of the common examples where this feature can be used.

  • Therapy service business – You can have a time window before each booking and after each booking to allow you the time to travel and set up for the next client or customer
  • Party organizer business – You can set the time window to prepare and decorate the place for the party

Setting up Buffer Time

You need to log in to your WordPress as admin and get into the Edit product page of your desired product. Click on Bookings and then enable the Allow buffer time between bookings option as shown in the image below.

WooCommerce Bookings
Allow buffer time between bookings

Buffer time configuration options:

  • Buffer time before every booking – Minute(s), Hour(s), Day(s)
  • Buffer time after every booking – Minute(s), Hour(s), Day(s)

Set buffer time before every booking

Go to Bookings and define the Booking Period with any desired time duration. You can either choose the Fixed Blocks of or Enable Calendar Range with Blocks of. After that enable the Allow buffer time between bookings option as shown in the image above. You have to now define the time duration inside the Buffer time before every booking.

Assume that you own a business where you need the preparation-time of one hour before you can actually deliver the bookable item or resource to your customers. In this case, you need to choose the Booking Period in Hour(s) and then mention the value 1 under the option shown below.

WooCommerce Bookings
Set the Buffer time before the booking

Assume that your customer needs to book between 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM. He or she comes to the calendar, selects the date, and then selects the time as shown in the image below.

WooCommerce Bookings
Selecting the booking slot of 1 hour(11:00 AM to 12:00 PM)

The result:

So when the next customer goes to the same calendar, he or she would see something like the following.

WooCommerce Bookings
What other customers would see

Set Buffer time after every booking

Go to Bookings section and define any desired time duration under the Booking Period option. You can either choose the Fixed Blocks of or Enable Calendar Range with Blocks of. After that enable the Allow buffer time between bookings option as shown in the image above. You have to now define the time duration inside the Buffer time after every booking.

You may use this time to restock your inventory or start preparing for the next booking or simply take time off to relax. Let’s take an example where you need a time gap of one entire day after every booking.

WooCommerce Bookings
Set Buffer time after every booking

Assume that a customer has to book for three days. He or she then has to come to your website and then select the days as shown in the image below.

WooCommerce Bookings
3 days of booking

The result:

So when the next customer goes to the same calendar, he or she would see something like the following.

WooCommerce Bookings
The next is not bookable

Set Buffer time before and after every booking

Go to Bookings section and define any desired time duration under the Booking Period option. You can either choose the Fixed Blocks of or Enable Calendar Range with Blocks of. After that enable the Allow buffer time between bookings option as shown in the image above. You have to now define the time duration inside the Buffer time before every booking as well as inside the Buffer time after every booking.

With the combination of the two options, you can have any desired time-gap between your bookings. So suppose your team takes a maximum of 40 mins to reach your client’s place to organize their birthday event. And they further take about 80 mins to prepare for the booking and reach to the next client’s place.

WooCommerce Bookings
Set Buffer time before and after every booking

Now suppose that a customer has to book between 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Here is how they can book those two hours.

WooCommerce Bookings
Buffer time of 40 mins before and 1 hour 20 mins after every booking

The result:

So when the next customer goes to the same calendar, he or she would see something like the following.

WooCommerce Bookings

Additional information:

Since the buffer time after the booking is 1 hour and 20 mins(80 mins), the buffer time for the next booking(40 mins) will be included in it. Meaning, if another client tries to book at 2:00 PM then the 40 mins buffer time will be included in the previous buffer time. So in this example, the booking will start at 2:00 PM and the buffer time after the booking will be restricted to 4:00 PM. Refer the following image to understand this better.

WooCommerce Bookings
The next consequent booking at 2:00 PM

Let us know if you find this article useful. And if you have any query regarding the Booking Availability setup then feel free to comment down below!

You can also check out this article to know more about the plugin.

Last Updated On September 15, 2018