Here are some questions and answers about online booking systems. Whether you're running a fitness studio or a language school, a booking system goes a long way to saving admin headaches.
What is an online booking system?
An online booking system is software that allows customers to book into classes or events. It's a crucial piece of software for a wide range of industries, from fitness to coaching to concerts. Typically an online booking platform will:
- Facilitate booking into sessions or classes
- Provide a mobile and web widget that allows this process
- Takes payments or handles multiple session booking
If you run a service-based business, an online booking system is an essential piece of the puzzle in freeing up your time to focus on the most important priorities.
What is an online booking?
An online booking is a registration taken over the Internet for a customer to attend a class or event. When a booking is taken online it is usually via:
- A mobile app
- A web widget installed on your site
- Via a third party website or service
- Via a platform service like Eventbrite
Online bookings are an essential part of running a service business. They allow business owners to streamline their business. This frees up precious time for more important things.
How does a booking system work?
An online booking system will typically show a calendar schedule, allow a customer to select a class or event, register, and confirm their booking.
The booking system will track who is booked into which classes, who has paid, and any details that the facilitator might require (in fitness, an instructor might need to know if the customer is a beginner or intermediate). Over time, this information gives the administrator important insights into their business.
The most common sort of booking system is online software, but it's also possible to administer a booking system manually (for example, on paper).
How do I add a booking system to my website?
Before you select which booking system to use, you should trial several that seem like they would fit your type of business. In your evaluation, you'll see some that will integrate with your website and some that don't.
If the booking system you choose can work on (integrate with) your website, they will provide instructions about where to put an "embed code." This embed code tells your website to plug into the booking system and show the customer side of the system on your website. A good booking system will offer to help you embed the code if you don't feel confident to do so.
What is a booking widget?
You may hear people ask you if you have a booking widget on your website. 'Widgets" roughly translate to "things you can attach to your website." Booking systems are just one many kinds of widgets you can embed on your business site.
If you want your customers to go to your website to book a class, you will want to embed a booking widget. To install an online booking widget check with your booking system provider. The process usually involves copying and pasting some code into an html block on your site.
What is the best online booking system?
The best booking system is the one that matches your requirements. There are many to choose from:
- TeamUp, for fitness businesses
- SuperSaaS, for hairdressers and general bookings
- Google Calendar, a general appointments system
- Calendly, a great platform for general appointments
To find the best online scheduling software you should ask some of your peers, try a free trial, and see which system fits your needs the best. If you can find the best software for scheduling it will also be the best for your customers.
For fitness business, TeamUp integrates with payments software to ensure a smooth booking experience.
What is mobile booking?
Mobile booking is a booking made on a mobile device. There are two ways to book via mobile: using a mobile internet browser, or using a mobile app. If you're running a business, you will want to make sure that both of these methods work seamlessly. To make this easier for you, TeamUp ensures that our website widget is "responsive," which means that it will respond to working on a desktop or mobile screen. We also offer a mobile app where your customers can keep track of everything about your business and book their classes easily.
How to create an online booking system?
To create an online booking system you need:
- A technical background
- Thousands of hours of development time
- Servers and security infrastructure
- Regular updates and improvements
- Some serious patience
Alternatively, you can work with a system like TeamUp that has done it all for you!
Jokes aside, we love what we do and thank you for looking into the world of online booking. We've made our booking system more and more customizable over the years so you can make it do what you need it to.
If you run a fitness or class based business and are looking for an online booking system that is recommended by other businesses in your space, we recommend reading more about TeamUp's features or trying out a free 30 day trial to see if it would help you. You won't get charged anything until you register your second customer, so you'll have lots of time to decide if it's right for you.