A couple of years ago, service providers from restaurants to doctors banked on phone calls to register meetings. The situation is completely different nowadays as booking apps have revolutionized the service industry since they enable people to make a reservation for anything they need anytime, right from their smartphones. Millions of active users favor online booking apps as these systems make their life trouble-free and the reservation procedure faster.
Analysts forecast the market size for online booking software will be $186.1 ml by 2027. These statistics prove a rising demand for creating a booking app. Primary popular services for online booking include traveling, taxis, health and wellness, restaurants, hotels, sports, and styling salons. If your company is related to one of these areas, consider tailoring a specific booking application.
This article will give insights into advantages and major types of booking apps, reveal their essential characteristics, and suggest a checklist of steps for creating an innovative booking application.
The impact an online booking app produces on a business should not be underestimated.
Get a deeper look at a list of benefits a company can enjoy if it implements a robust and customizable booking tool.
Ensure the business operates 24/7
Thanks to online booking apps, providers can take orders around the clock. It draws in more customers as it is very convenient!
Automated online booking systems enable clients to do the work themselves when arranging a date and time of an appointment. So, your team may oversee higher-priority assignments while the system is planning appointments with no direct human control.
Increase reservations and decrease no-shows
When a person deliberately decides on a date and time, they think carefully about making an appointment. Therefore, these clients are likely to turn up.
Enhance payment security
Well-developed reservation apps have an in-build payment system with solid and reliable policies preventing fraud.
Assist in taking data-driven decisions
Online booking systems supply you with valuable data concerning demographic parameters, booking history, and contact details that allow you to give personalized offers to the customers. Moreover, using the collected data you can craft a successful marketing strategy to uplift your brand recognition.
Maintain effective communication channels
Online reservation apps allow businesses to ensure two-way communication with their customers through in-app messages, push notifications, and chatbots. Such communication instruments help form a wide audience of highly engaged clients.
Build up clientele loyalty
Professionally designed online booking applications enable companies to boost customer loyalty. Utilizing an app, it is easy to manage loyalty programs and adjust bonuses and rewards to client behaviors. This results in higher customer engagement rates and more significant sales.
Once you have decided to create an appointment booking application, it is crucial to understand the difference between two categories of apps, namely on-demand and in-advance.
On-demand booking apps
On-demand applications allow customers to select a particular service, make a reservation for it, and, more importantly, trace its transportation. Such digital instruments are ideal for entrepreneurs providing taxi, delivery, household, and cleaning services.
Taxi booking app
The market call for this online app is constantly rising as the speed of life is growing, and people strive to use their time reasonably. Taxi booking applications provide many conveniences to owners of cars fleet and prospective clients.
The best taxi apps worldwide include Uber, Lyft, and Curb. If you are planning to design a taxi booking app, you should get two specialized applications that will be employed by passengers and drivers.
Delivery booking app
Transporting services always imply some degree of stress for providers as customers demand the goods instantly. Luckily, thanks to technological innovations, businesses have access to delivery applications that help them avoid difficulties connected with transportation. Businesses cut expenditures and get a reliable tracking service by outsourcing delivery operations.
The most efficient delivery apps are Landtran, DoorDash, Axon, On Fleet, and OnnAway.
Home services booking app
Performing some domestic chores can be rather challenging. Whether willing or not, we have to solve particular home issues daily. Versatile booking applications for conveying domestic chores enable users to approach a required specialist, be it a plumber, an electrician, or a roofer.
If people need some home services, they resort to such on-demand applications as Handy, TaskRabbit, Urban Clap, Homee, etc.
Cleaning services booking app
Cleaning companies help individuals who need their clothes washed and pressed, or homes cleaned. They also provide accessible and convenient services for real estate partners to manage the buildings. Laundry apps enable people to address a skillful cleaning servant who will take the order and return the clothes cleaned within a set period.
Users highly appreciate such popular cleaning apps as Bynext and Rinse.
In-advance booking apps
Unlike on-demand booking applications, in-advance solutions enable individuals to plan and make meetings utilizing calendar scheduling. Many service industries benefit from appointment scheduling apps as they allow for automating meeting arrangements with existing and prospective clients.
Hotel booking app
Today’s hospitality industry can’t go without technological advancements like booking tools that bring together hotel owners and tourists all over the world. Available mobile booking applications simplify the process of room reservation, suggest optimal range of services, and establish personal communication with travelers.
To book a room at a hotel in any country, people utilize services such as Booking.com, Hotels.com, HotelTonight, etc.
Flight booking app
Mobile applications offering services of booking flight tickets help travelers save time and money. People can select suitable flights and seats whenever they need them. Such online reservation apps allow customers to compare different airlines regarding prices, available discounts, and gift vouchers.
Essential flight booking tools embrace SkyScanner, Momondo, and Farecompare.
Restaurant booking app
Using mobile reservation apps, restaurants can get better customer experience and raise staff productivity. Guests don’t have to make a phone call to search for a free table and book it. Due to booking apps, restaurants may alleviate some responsibilities from the workers and significantly improve their daily operations.
The top vendors include Uber Eats, Eat App, Wisely, OpenTable, and Yelp Reservation.
Doctor booking app
Appointment booking applications have become popular among healthcare facilities and patients. Most people are preferring hospitals that provide a range of digital competencies, including virtual meetings, remote monitoring, real-time communication, and e-prescriptions. Doctor booking apps help patients arrange an appointment with a doctor they need.
Mobile solutions like HotDoc, Zocdoc, MFine, and Doctor on Demand are instrumental in boosting the productivity of healthcare services. Similar applications ensure a flawless and successful operation within a healthcare ecosystem.
Beauty services app
The beauty service sector has succeeded in adjusting to a digitalized business reality. Beauty appointment apps enable people to find a suitable salon and agree on the desired date when they want to get a stylish haircut or hairdo, manicure, eyebrows and lashes treatment, or any other styling service.
Apps like StyleSeat, Hello Barber, Treatwell, and Glamsquad allow people to visit a cosmetologist or hair stylist in their location whenever needed.
A powerful app is an exceptional technological solution enabling entrepreneurs to use their time and efforts reasonably. Once you have decided to design a convenient and advantageous booking app for your potential clients, consider a set of vitally essential characteristics it should have.
Key features of modern booking apps
While drafting a plan on how to make a booking app, make sure you will not skip any of the basic features listed below.
If creating an account takes time and requires a lot of personal information, it can be a severe drawback of an app. Registration should be speedy and effortless. Otherwise, a user may find the process time-consuming and will drop the application. A great option involves introducing authorization through social networks, ensuring a direct and instantaneous registration.
Depending on the kind of service you plan to supply, an app should have specific categories and filters for an easy and smooth search. Seeking parameters should take into account typical consumer behavior and meet the preferences.
For instance, such search options as a destination city, arrival/departure date, visitors (adults, children), pets, and type of room are typical for any hotel reservation app.
Booking, re-booking, and cancellation
This feature grants users the possibility to select a service they are searching for, simply by entering the required data like appropriate time, contact details, or address. Customers also have an opportunity to change or cancel the booking whenever they need, and more vitally, to repeat a booking easily in the future.
Numerous payment channels are a real blessing for modern people, drawing them towards turning into regular consumers of a particular booking app. Every person who uses booking apps expects to have a chance to pay through such popular payment systems as PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, and Zelle.
More importantly, the payment instruments embedded in any app must be secure, fast, and transparent.
Consumer reviews and ratings
Prospective clients’ decisions are strongly affected by the current ratings and feedback from people who have already experienced the service. Such practice also encourages a company owner to improve their service considering customer feedback.
Implementing a geolocation feature in online booking comes in handy, providing an unrivaled opportunity to detect the service provider’s location or targeted destination. More importantly, users can mark their routes and add their favorite places.
A well-structured system of push messages adds to user-friendliness of any online reservation app. Properly timed reminders transmitted via the push system help people arrive at the required location at the right time. Push is also an ideal instrument to inform customers about possible inconveniences or unexpected delays.
Advanced features of online reservation apps
Aside from basic characteristics described above, your future booking solution is certain to reap valuable benefits from the following higher-level features.
Dynamic pricing mechanisms
An excellent online booking app could lure people to carry out a desired action even if they had no intention to do it. Your application will win if it has forecasting algorithms and provides last-minute reservations, periodic sales, and generous price cuts for loyal clients.
Global currencies and languages support
Supposing you intend to target both local and international audiences, your booking app should have inbuilt instruments that support numerous national languages and most tradable currencies. These options contribute to building up a strong reputation and winning popularity overseas for the enterprise.
The booking chatbot provides personalized assistance throughout the reservation process. Customers can use Conversational AI to get relevant information about the services, obtain recommendations, or even submit a complaint in real-time. Such bots have already proven to be efficient for the tourism business.
User’s booking history
It is very convenient when a booking app offers the possibility to scroll through the previous reservations and repeat the desired one, marking it as an upcoming occasion.
With this feature in the mobile booking app, people can easily make wish lists. When it comes to a travel booking app, clients may list locations to visit and hotels to stay at during their trip.
Customization of recommendations
Personalized advising is made regarding the user’s previous bookings. This advanced feature attracts customers by suggesting the appropriate service supplier to them.
An effective app development lifecycle is rather complicated and demands undertaking certain steps. Each step fulfills a specific aim, but on the whole, they prioritize saving your capital and obtaining a high ROI within a short period of time.
Let’s explore the essential steps in designing a booking application or website.
1. Carry out a market and competitors research
Browse the available applications in your industry to check out some business solutions of the competitors to see their strong and weak points. It will reveal the most powerful features to incorporate into the bestselling app.
2. Select a definite type of the booking app
The type of the booking app is predetermined by the nature of services provided. You can opt for a certain app type among the variety of on-demand or in-advance booking apps.
3. Identify your USP
Well-tailored online scheduling instruments must reveal a unique selling proposition of the product provider, be it an exclusive feature, quality, or price. Outstanding value ensures the booking tool stands out among rivals and gets new clients.
4. Plan the functionality of a booking app
Before crafting an online reservation app, you should get a clear idea of the future product. Actually, it is necessary to define requirements, work out a set of obligatory features, and operation modes that may be easily utilized by the prospective users.
5. Tailor UX/UI design
Developers and designers will make your product more attractive to customers, displaying its value and proving usability. Potential customers are always searching for user-friendly applications. Getting User Interface and User Experience right is crucial for a highly competitive app.
6. App development
As an interested person, you should be involved in every step of the development cycle. It is crucial to cooperate with the developers and give your feedback regularly to obtain a perfect booking app that serves the business’s needs. Active involvement in the development lifecycle brings on the innovative and top-quality app.
7. Test and launch
Before launching a booking app, the developers have to ensure the system has no bugs or interface mistakes. Check out whether your product can be appropriately downloaded from app stores and complies with their rules.
8. Get customers’ feedback and improve your app
There is always something that can be upgraded and enhanced after individuals have utilized the application, even for a relatively short time. Therefore, users’ reviews and ratings are vital for you as they give valuable information on what can and should be improved.
Besides the above-described stages of creating a booking app, mind some different things that can contribute to higher capabilities and efficiency of the product.
Provide data security
To keep users’ data secure is a prime task for the experts who are making booking apps for businesses. All sensitive data must be encrypted with powerful algorithms. To prevent data breaches, you can apply multi-factor authentication means, strong passwords, periodic reset of passwords by users, and a limited amount of login attempts.
Integrate with third-party services
Utilizing API for third-party integrations, you will upscale app functionality. Moreover, such practice reduces the development expenditures. The critical API integrations for booking apps include payment gateway and map integration.
For instance, you can earn basic trust in your customers if you have integrated it with such a reputable Payment Gateway as PayPal.
Well thought out admin panel
A high-performing administration panel is an integral part of any online booking application. It assists vendors in overseeing a number of reservations, obtaining regular reports on accounts statistics, analyzing customer engagement, and even monitoring income rates.
A well-designed admin panel enables the app team to verify customers’ profiles, deliver support, and control access levels for users.
Consider going for a booking website
Making a booking website in the first or subsequent version of the app can be beneficial for your business in several aspects:
- additional opportunity to boost brand awareness,
- implementation of advertising strategies and SEO to form a bigger customer base,
- a deeper insight into clients’ behavior patterns, and
- better options for targeting a wider clientele pool through personalization and segmentation.
In a nutshell, booking app development is evolving every day, offering more exciting features that allow businesses to get to the top of the game and stay ahead of their competitors. Both on-demand booking solutions and in-advance booking tools give enormous advantages to any niche from the travel industry to healthcare.
If you know how to create the best booking apps, you can earn customer trust, strengthen the brand, boost sales, uplift accessibility, and drive your business forward. Needless to say, a great booking app is necessary to push your company towards success and prosperity in a mobile-centric society.
Eager to develop an efficient and flawless booking application that embraces the best features? Don’t be hesitant and contact our team for the initial consultation.