The world economy is experiencing a huge surge in new businesses since the last few years. Every single sector or genre have either gone digital or offer their services or product digitally. Since the number of service-based businesses grows, they create a necessity for a flexible and smart appointment booking system.
Most of the businesses on the planet have a website or are in the process of creating one. They use these online platforms to display or promote their services and products, but the problem arises when the business can’t handle the incoming traffic and deliver their services on time. That’s where an efficient online booking system for appointments comes into the picture. Every customer on the internet is looking for faster solutions and save time; with a web scheduling system, you can deliver a unique shopping experience to the customers.
Various industries are deploying their booking system to serve the customer better and efficiently. Serving the customers efficiently have two benefits, the customers leave good feedback most of the time, and second, you get free publicity through your customers. Now the question arises of how to create an online booking system that keeps your business ahead of the competitors. Let’s find out the solution with an easy process.
What is Online Booking System & Why do You Need it for Your Business?
Have you ever visited a business that sells a variety of services such as salons, restaurants, etc.? Yes, you have; everybody does. Overcrowding is a real issue with these businesses, especially in rush hours or special days. You have to wait for hours or book in advance with the staff for any special occasion. Well, what if you come across a system that helps you in booking a slot for you at your favourite spa, restaurant, gym, and much more; an appointment booking system does exactly that. As a business, you can benefit from such a system greatly.
Let’s understand it with an example, suppose you start a day with a physical activity session such as yoga or gym; booking a slot in advance will save you time for the next event of the day. Now, you want to get the coffee on the way or want to enjoy it peacefully in a cafe, just book a slot, and you are good to go. Later in the day, you want to head out to dinner with friends or colleagues, just book a table in advance and enjoy a smooth night. Now imagine if you have to wait for every activity of the day in a line or in a virtual queue. Yeah, that’s the importance of an appointment booking system.
Let’s understand it from a business’s point of view. As a business, you want customers to repeatedly avail of your services and deliver excellent reviews online that contribute to a healthy cash flow. With an online booking system, you don’t have to manually remind the customers of their appointments; you don’t have to follow up; the software does it all.
You save time and invest it somewhere more productive, not only this, you will not have to be present at your business 24×7 to receive appointments. Apart from this, you receive a fewer number of phone calls and more genuine customers. With regular reminders, the cloud-based appointment booking system eliminates no-shows and ultimately enhances the revenue figures. Now imagine all the mentioned processes but without any booking software or system. Got the importance of an online booking system? Now let’s understand the market trends of this industry.
Market Scenario of Online Booking System
The market trends of the appointment scheduling software market depict a tremendous growth in the number of users and revenue figures.
- The majority of the users hails from sectors like healthcare, personal care services, and restaurants.
- The revenue projections state that the global market size would grow at a CAGR of 13 percent and reach a figure of 546 million US dollars by the year 2026.
- Earlier the market valuation of web scheduling systems stood at a mark of 200 million US dollars in the year 2018. From an enterprise point of view, it is quite a promising figure.
- The market is further divided into types of applications such as web and mobile applications. More than 67 percent of the retailers prefer the use of booking systems to schedule the customer’s flow.
- More than 35 percent of the customers prefer to have a booking beforehand.
The current generation of people is more attracted towards the use of these applications to get the booking at the last minute. Overall, the waves are flowing in the direction of these intelligent cloud-based appointment booking systems. If you are planning to create an appointment booking software, this may be the right time as due to the pandemic and various restrictions, the services are delivered at the doorstep of the customers, and booking a slot is mandatory. Let’s dig into the process.
How to Create an Online Booking System?
The development timeline of an efficient appointment booking system can be bifurcated into mainly three points or processes; research, planning, and execution. Any new software or product requires a lot of research that delivers some insights useful to the process. Since there is a number of online booking systems in the market, you need to decide which genre you want to target for a better development approach; getting the exact problem statement of customers or clients is important to deliver an efficient product.
Anything important starts with deep research or, in this case, deep market research. If you look under any rock of the online booking systems market, you will be amazed by the competition. The only way to bypass the competition is to understand the customer’s mind, their expectations and deliver the solution that hits their problems. Conduct deep research about the competitors that are in the market.
For instance, you chose the personal care service genre. Understand the market trend of the salon, spas, etc., what are the points that can be improved by an efficient booking system, and the strategies of the competitors.
These points are enough to carve a plan to proceed further. Apart from these basic points, research about a software development company with a good reputation and excellent portfolio. When you connect all these dots, problems that users are facing or the expectations of the users will become clearer. Now that you have the exact problem, design an online booking system that serves as a solution and ultimately boosts your business.
The next important step in the development timeline is intelligent planning with a ton of insights gathered from your market research; lay out a plan that depicts all the points to be covered ahead. It includes the design of the application, the features to be integrated into the process, the number of platforms, the choice of a development company, budgeting, and much more.
Features to be Considered
Features are the USP of any application or software; you can always ask your development partner to either integrate a set of existing features in the market or create one as per your instructions. Here are some of the features that are most popular in the genre. Let’s look at the features for the user’s side.
- 24X7 Booking: The customers should be able to book appointments at any given hour. All customer wants are flexible from a booking system. You can also display the number of slots available for a certain period of time as well.
- Easy Payments: It is a universal fact that if you have paid for something in advance, you are most likely to attend that activity. Allow users to pay in advance for their booking with seamless payment integration. Take this feature a step ahead and save their favourite payments methods for future transactions.
- Automated Chatbot: A virtual assistant will be a cherry on the top; customers love a fast reply while booking something. A chatbot will deliver all the answers to the queries of the customers and will help them in the process.
- Multiple Integration: Customers love to share everything on social media, and you don’t want to miss free publicity. Allow integrations to social media platforms and other website integration and deliver your users a wonderful experience.
- Interactive Profile: Deliver an interactive profile option to the users where they can sync their appointments with Google calendar and save their notes. Customers should be able to visit their previous purchases and book from the same without filing any details. This feature will enhance the customer relations of the business.
- Filters & Requests: Customers love a faster process that allows them to get the desired result in less time. With a lot of relevant filters, you allow the users to get results relevant to their expectations. Apart from the desired results, allow users to request a booking or appointment in case of the slots are over or a business meeting.
- Cloud Storage & Security: Allow users to access their data remotely with excellent cloud storage. Apart from storage, customers want to be sure about security; delivering a top-notch security feature will shoot up the popularity and performance of your application.
Now let’s look at the important features from an admin point of view.
- Centralized Billing: Manage all the billings of the business from a single dashboard. Fetch reports with a single click and get easy business projections.
- Customer Management: Any admin should have this feature that allows them to manage the people on the platform. Manage cancellations, slots availability, and much more.
- Detailed Reports: The admins should be able to retrieve the reports for any particular period. The reports should include every important factor hence making it detailed.
Tech Stacks to be Considered
The next thing you want to plan about is the technology stack that supports the functioning of these features and overall application. While deciding the tech stack, always consult the software developers of your reliable development partner, or you can simply follow the lead of a popular online booking system. You can divide the tech stack into the frontend side and backend side. For designing an alluring frontend, many leading appointments systems use HTML5, CSS3, JS, Bootstrap, Angular, jQuery, and SASS.
For the purpose of backend and database development, you can always go with Apache, Scala, Node, Java, PHP, Python, MySQL, AWS server, Microsoft’s Azure, Google Compute Engine, NoSQL, MySQL, and MongoDB. Apart from the backend development, APIs are important for any online booking software development. JSON API, REST API, GraphQL, XML, and various others are among the most preferred APIs of this genre
The last leg in the development process is the execution of the overall idea. Hire a proficient team of developers from a reliable development company and design the application based on your idea. Make sure to design the UI as attractive and interactive as possible. The first impression of your software is created by the UI design.
After you are done with the design and development, with the help of an efficient team of experts that consists of project managers, developers, testers, and QA, move towards the testing phase. It is better to mend your mistakes before rolling out the final product. If possible, go with a prototype to get an idea of the overall project. In case of any errors and bugs, you can fix them before moving forward.
The key factor in the development process of any software is cost. However, it totally depends on the requirements of the business or your expectations. The number of features will affect the price so does the number of platforms. Your choice of the development partner will also affect the overall price. Make sure to integrate only the features and functionalities that are mandatory to achieve the desired results.
The world is only going to get busier; your solutions should have the capability to deliver the relevant solutions to the crowd. It has been observed that services like healthcare, salons, restaurants, car wash, and much more works efficiently with a cloud-based appointment booking system.
Any business that delivers extreme feasibility and a soothing experience to the customers is more likely to make it big. With an efficient online booking system, you can attract a huge crowd of potential customers. If you are still wondering how to create an online booking system, ask Matellio.
Matellio is known to be a leading software development; with vast professional experience, we have delivered several flawless software solutions that have fetched us excellent ratings and feedback. Our team of experts is highly skilled and knows every in and out of the online booking system industry. They are committed to delivering excellent results, which fits like a glove with your expectations. What are you waiting for? Book a 30-min free consultation call with our experts to discuss your unique idea!
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