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Booking App Development: The 4 Best E-commerce Platforms for Managing Bookings and Scheduling Appointments

February 13, 2017

If your business relies on bookings, then you are obviously realizing that having your customers book through traditional methods (by calling in or logging in through their desktop) is no longer enough. Today’s fast-paced business environment needs faster tools; tools that are convenient and mobile. Forcing your users to book through their desktops or laptops is not the perfect solution either.

Platforms-Managing-Bookings

So, whether you operate a spa, schedule tours, run a hotel, restaurant or any other type of business that relies on bookings, don’t settle for “good enough” service – you need a dedicated booking platform, and one that is preferably mobile. This article takes a deep-dive into four booking platforms that can help you accomplish your business objectives.

Industry Leading, Online Scheduling Software for Use in Any Business

Bookingbug was founded in 2008 and has since grown to be a market leader in the booking industry. The company’s vision is simple but forthright: their focus is on becoming the global platform for bookings across all channels. Indeed, Bookingbug offers extremely comprehensive services, including industry-leading online scheduling software that is currently used by some of the world’s premier businesses.

The company offers booking services to a large number of clients in a wide array of industries. These include large enterprises, small and medium businesses, government organizations and nonprofits as well as web development and media companies. Services currently cost between $19.95 and $69.95 per month depending on the features, numbers of monthly bookings and resources assigned. Actually, pricing is perhaps one of the greatest benefits in using Bookingbug. The company is extremely transparent in that it charges a flat monthly fee, and that is it. There are no setup fees or booking fees, and the company doesn’t typically require any contracts either. As a result, Bookingbug is extremely accessible for most businesses. The company even offers a full 14-day free trial for all of their service offerings.

Other benefits of using Bookingbug include full mobile support, advanced add-on tools and a unique customer service experience. In fact, mobile technology is available under all product categories. This means that businesses have access to all of their bookings on any device when on the go. Additionally, the company offers a wide variety of add-ons that can help businesses sync their booking software with other critical platforms, such as Facebook, Salesforce and general accounting records. Customer support, while admittedly passive, is offered via email.

Overall, Bookingbug is a great piece of software for a wide variety of businesses. The company’s industry-leading scheduling software can be used for any company that needs to maintain schedules in a fast, accessible and simple manner.

Jack-of-All-Trades Built Around Business Bookings

Founded in 2010, Booker is an all-in-one platform that provides comprehensive services built around its booking platform. The company focuses mainly on providing services to small business and small and medium enterprises but has also built its product offerings in niche areas such as salons and spas. Booker’s services are fully cloud integrated.

Booker’s value proposition is built around full integration of customer resource solutions. For example, the company offers credit card and payment processing services in addition to its general scheduling services. This means that customers can book appointments and simultaneously pay without having to switch service providers. This seamless integration makes Booker a valuable platform because it offers a one-stop-shop for multiple services built around their scheduling platform. In addition, the company offers add-ons that can help to better market customer schedules. One such application includes an add-on that connects open times with other service providers, such as Yelp and Google, to display availability across the web. That way, no opportunities are lost because of scheduling conflicts or because clients couldn’t quickly access the calendar.

Prices for using Booker’s services are set in three categories: basic, standard and custom. Basic plans cost $85 per month with base features such as unlimited logins, online booking services, point of sale services, CRM management and basic level add-ons. The Standard Plan costs $135 per month and includes all of the Basic Plan service offerings plus a few additional bells and whistles. These additional tools include unlimited document storage and access to Booker’s membership management application. For those customers who may need more, Booker does offer a Custom Plan, which varies in cost and service offerings depending on what is needed. A full demo is offered for clients thinking about giving Booker a try.

Taking the Stress out of Travel Bookings

OTRAMS is an acronym for “Online Travel Reservation and Management System.” As the name suggests, OTRAMS has a focus on the travel industry and provides a range of services to clients that are in the hotel, tour, group booking, rental and trip planning industries. These businesses may include travel agencies, hotel chains, tour operators and airline services, to name a few.

Customers in the travel industry will find using OTRAMS most beneficial since its applications are built around travel reservations. For example, the company offers modules such as rental car booking, hotel reservation planning, tour booking and other travel booking solutions to ensure that travel is as convenient as possible. This is all done through the company’s cloud-based software, which can be used worldwide due to its multilingual focus and comprehensive approach to operation. The company does not publicly list pricing for its services since it can vary widely based upon the modules required. OTRAMS does, however, offer a full demo for potential customers.

In short, OTRAMS is a very useful booking platform that can be best used by travel companies. Through simple applications that can cross-communicate, this company provides superior travel services to help make travel booking less stressful.

Enterprise Booking System

Bookinglive has been providing services since 2007 with an aim to continually keep improving booking software. Today, the company focuses on providing booking solutions for education, room and space reservations, public sector booking, and event scheduling. Bookinglive mainly focuses its resources toward its small-to-medium business clients.

For customers looking to use Bookinglive, the company offers a free, online 30-minute demo where a salesperson will discuss the various tools and benefits via a livestream. These tools focus on booking information but also include additional linked platforms that serve in areas such as online customer relationship management, online payments and invoices and various add-ons including, Mailchimp, Salesforce and Facebook. Bookinglive’s product offerings are fully mobile, meaning that the booking services can be taken anywhere and used on any device — now that’s a very big plus.

Pricing for Bookinglive’s service offerings is based on three levels of service, including pro, business and enterprise. Each level of service offers different features that range from levels of customer support, maximum monthly bookings allowed and number of staff accounts that can be created. The base model is the Pro category, which costs $125 per month. Business is the middle level service and is priced at $188 per month. Finally, Enterprise is the top-line service that costs $313 per month. For companies that may only use a small number of transactions each month, Bookinglive also offers a Lite plan which only costs $75 per month and offers streamlined booking services.

With respect to customer support, Bookinglive offers different levels of support corresponding to different product plans. For example, Business and Enterprise accounts offer priority support while Pro accounts are offered basic support only.

Booking software has become increasingly important in today’s complex and ever-changing business environment. While there are many providers who offer booking services, Bookingbug, Booker, OTRAMS and Bookinglive are four especially strong companies that offer comprehensive programs to assist businesses in running smoothly. Although each one is different from the other, these four companies offer booking services that are a notch above the rest.

If you want to extend the capabilities of your business and build an e-commerce app, you can access our Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce App Development and get a detailed understanding of what it entails.

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