WooCommerce is a great launchpad for your online business journey. You can easily set up a website with a booking system by using the right WooCommerce Bookings plugin. You can convert any of your service, product or even time, into a bookable resource. This way customers can come down to your website, book the resource for any time period, and pay the necessary amount. And believe it or not, it is as simple as that.
WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments is a highly successful plugin that has been helping quite a lot of customers lately. Which is great if you are searching for one. And it makes perfect sense to go for a plugin that is popular, has good reviews, offers amazing support and has some of the most exceptional functionalities around.
But you may wonder, “do I really need a bookings plugin for my website?” or “how can this Bookings plugin help me and my business?” or “is the plugin really worth it?”.
The best answers to these obvious questions can be found in this very article. In the end, you can be the judge and decide whether this bookings plugin can really make a difference in your way of managing bookings or not. So let’s begin.
Do you really need a bookings plugin?
Before you download, install and set up the plugin, you should know if you really need a bookings plugin or not. There are few parameters given below that can help you make that decision. So feel free to go through these important points before you jump into the benefits of using this plugin.
- A bookings plugin can help you if you have a business that works on appointment-basis. Meaning, if you are running a business that involves service from a doctor, counselor, therapist, etc, then having a bookings plugin can really help you with scheduling the appointments. You can save a lot of time and be highly efficient at the same time.
- If you have a website for your hotel or any other kind of accommodation like paying guests, hostels, etc, then it really makes sense to have this bookings plugin. It will not only allow your guests to book the dates and pay for the booking amount, you can reduce your paper-work as well.
- Another area where a bookings plugin can help you with is the tours and travels business. It makes good sense to have a robust booking system to manage the time-critical bookings. Not to forget, it will take away a lot of workload from you.
- Car rentals, van rentals, or any other vehicular-rental services can also make use of a bookings plugin. And it is well known that WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments can easily handle this sort of business. So if you are running a similar business then go for it.
- Just like a car rentals business, another area where you can use a bookings plugin is the private taxi service business. You can have your taxis lined up for your customers to book. And they can book the hours in a similar fashion.
There are many such applications and areas where you can make use of a bookings plugin. So it’s really important that you understand your business requirement first and install the plugin. Doing this will also help you plan and set up the plugin in a much better way.
Benefits of using WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments plugin
Probably the first thing you should check out is the benefits of using this plugin. And this goes for any other plugin as well. This way you would know how it can assist your business.
You are always open for new bookings
Your customers can come down to your website at any point in time. So you should be prepared in every way to accept their booking request. In this case, having an automated booking system can really make your life easier.
Once you are done installing and setting up the plugin, it will start accepting your orders automatically. It ensures that you don’t miss any bookings and does not allow any sort of clash between two or more bookings. So, for instance, suppose that a customer had booked your resort for 3 days. Then other customers won’t able to book your resort for those 3 days as the booked dates are automatically blocked by the plugin.
You can offer from four booking durations
Many WordPress or WooCommerce bookings plugins out there have just one or two booking durations. Which, in fact, does not make them useful for businesses that require booking for any particular time period. For instance, if you offer educational classes for 40 mins each, then there is actually no specific plugin to help you with it.
But the WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments plugin allows you to do that. Yes, you heard that right. The plugin comes with four booking durations to choose from – minute(s), hour(s), day(s) and month(s). So, you can define any booking period of 40 mins or 39 mins or even 5 days. And just to show you the glimpse of its upper possibility, you can even offer the bookings for months. So no matter how long you want to extend your booking period, you have the liberty to do that.
Show them when you’re available and when you’re not
Business owners like you know the importance of taking a break from work. Spending every day working in your office and managing your business can really drain down your battery. So it is okay to take a break and enjoy time with your family and friends. But how would you inform your customers that the bookings for a particular service are not available for the next 15 days?
Having a big banner on your website’s homepage saying ‘Not available‘ is clearly not the way to go about it.
Booking Availability is clearly one of the USPs of this plugin. This feature lets you set multiple availability rules, and with the right combinations, you can let your customers know what days or hours are not bookable. Customers can further select the available slots and pay for the necessary booking amount.
But what if you want to restrict the bookings to a certain time period?
Another good thing to note is that the plugin also offers something called, Restrict Bookings Availability. Under this section, you have the option to restrict bookings based on two factors – Relative to today and Fixed Period.
Relative to today: With this enabled, you can show the recurring bookable days which will be relative to today. So if your business is capable of providing bookings from the 2 days from now, then you can mention it in the plugin settings. Here is an example.
As you can clearly see, this booking window of two days will shift forward everyday.
Fixed Period: This feature allows you to show a booking window. So you can have the booking dates available for the dates between 08/02/18 and 08/25/18. Have a look at the following image:
You can vary the booking cost for any period of time
As a business owner, you understand why prices for certain things increase during the weekends and holidays. Supply and demand can be a really good thing for you as more potential customers tend to look out for their needs in the market. It could be anything, movie tickets prices, food prices, hotel room prices, all rise up as Friday and Christmas fall upon. And looking at this trend, you might also want to take advantage of these auspicious events.
And yes, the plugin gives you the privilege to change the booking prices based on the day of the week, an hour of the day or even for a couple of months in a year. You can decide when the booking prices should increase and when it should be reasonably low. For that, the plugin offers the following section where you can define multiple pricing rules at one place. This area, in fact, can help you achieve your business case even more easily than you might think.
One may compare this particular feature with a dynamic pricing plugin that performs the similar task. Here is a video that can help you understand how you can set up varying booking prices using this plugin.
Let your customers mention the quantity
You may want a system that allows your customers to specify the number of people who are going to stay at your hotel. Or your customers may want additional chairs for their birthday party. You may even want to charge for those extra chairs. But using the conventional methods like specifying the details via emails or phone calls can go wrong any time.
In order to help you in such situations, the plugin has a feature that lets your customers define the quantity. You can also set the maximum and minimum numbers of extra items that a person can add to his or her booking. And based on that, you charge any amount of money. The plugin can also multiply the cost by the number of quantity or participants in that particular event, but only if you want it to.
An area to up-sell while offering bookings
Business owners have been making use of up-sell marketing in order to sell more and more products. And you have to agree, it works really well. If you look at big giants like Amazon, they use up-selling all the time. That’s why whenever you enter an item into the cart, the website starts displaying other items along with it. Many people do fall for that and end up buying more than they want.
The WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments plugin also allows you to up-sell other items along with a booking. It has a section that is dedicated to Bookings Resources. Basically, this feature allows you to add additional or extra items that can be bought along with any bookings. So you have the option to either add extra items to the booking automatically or let your customers choose them. And of course, you can set the prices for these items as well.
Stay updated with the Google Calendar sync
There can be times when you’ll forget to check your WooCommerce for new bookings. As a consequence, you may wind up late to accept the booking(s) which is not good for both you and your customers. And considering the fact that in most booking-based businesses, people tend to book the resource or service for the near future. So any delay in the booking fulfillment process can be really bad for your business. Not only that, your customers might even leave a negative feedback on your website.
Well, to sort it out, the plugin offers the Google Calendar Sync feature. This life-saving option lets you sync your WooCommerce Bookings with your personal Google Calendar. As a result, you’ll always be in the loop and stay updated at all times. And to top that, the Google Calendar app installed on your smartphone will also provide you the notification on the new booking. You can check out this article to know more about it.
Enjoy the well-known Bookings Management section
Just like offering any other bookable resources on your WooCommerce website, it is even more important to manage your bookings efficiently. Things can really start getting out of hand if you don’t manage them properly. For one, as explained in the previous section, you may miss to confirm a particular booking on time and make your customers really unhappy. Not just that, if you don’t have a proper management method to manage your bookings, you might even lose your new customers. Not a good thing, right?
But no worries. With this plugin, you get a dedicated bookings management section that allows you to manage your bookings at one place. You can choose to confirm the booking, cancel a booking or even delete a booking if you want to. And not just that, you can know more about a particular booking if you open one. You see, as soon as you click on a booking, the plugin takes you to its WooCommerce orders page where you can check out the payment method, booking duration, address of your customers, etc. This is a very convenient way to check out the booking details.
Handling or managing bookings on a WordPress website has its own reward. You can explore the further possibilities of your business capabilities while keeping your bank balance in check. You will also find this plugin to be the most suitable for your business. And as mentioned before, it works really with almost every business that necessitates a booking solution. WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments has been designed keeping these things in mind.
Well, there you have the answer to why you need to use the WooCommerce Bookings plugin on your website. You and your co-workers can really enjoy its services. As you have already seen before, there are many good features that make this plugin so special and unique. And there are many to come along as well.
So if you now think that this plugin is the one for your business then feel free to check out the demo. You can also check out the WooCommerce Bookings Free version that also offers some of the best features around.
Check out the review of our plugin by WP Buffs in their article, Most Used WordPress Bookings Plugins(Free+Premium).