Attracting customers

How to get more online bookings for your business

28 March 2019
6 minute read

Alex Woods

For many industries - particularly those in the hospitality, health and beauty and restaurant sector - bookings are essential to keep business thriving. And with consumers increasingly looking for on-demand seamless experiences, online booking has never been more important. On top of this, we are also seeing the rise of mobile usage as consumers want to book services quickly and at their own convenience.

In fact, research has shown that 40% of online appointment scheduling happens after-hours. With this in mind, here are some options your business can adopt to help increase your online bookings:

Maximise bookings through your website

If you plan on taking bookings directly through your website, you’ll want to make this as quick and easy for your customer as possible. While some people still like to call up or email, a lot of customers also want the option of being able to book services with just a few clicks. The first thing you should consider is making your site mobile responsive for those that want to book on-the-go.

You should also have a clear call-to-action on every page which says something like ‘Book now’ so that visitors can find what they’re looking for straight away. Once they go through to make the booking don’t make them spend ages filling out lots of details. Just a few requirements such as a name, email address and contact details should be enough!

Use third-party apps

Salon

Registering your business with third-party booking apps can have many benefits including getting more visibility for your business and allowing users to check out ratings and reviews before making a reservation. With sites such as OpenTable, Booking.com and Treatwell, it’s pretty easy to register and you can manage all of your bookings through the app. This will not only save you time when managing your bookings but can also reduce no-shows and cancellations as most of these apps have automated reminders to help customers remember their appointments.

You will need to pay a small fee for using a third-party app so it’s always worth reading the full terms before signing up to anything.

Reserve with Google

If you have your business listed on Google My Business then you can integrate and manage your bookings this way too! Users can use Google Search or Google Maps to find your business and then make bookings directly through a booking provider. This is great for the customer as it is quick, simple and can be done while searching on the move! You can also add your business hours, address and any other information that might be useful for your customer. Visit the Google support pages to find out how to get your business set up.

Take bookings through social media

Instagram Bookings

If you’re active on social media then your followers can make bookings through your social channels. With Facebook, you can add a call-to-action directly to your page which will appear as a button. Visitors can then choose to contact you through Messenger, email, phone or website to book in with you. This can also be integrated with third-party apps and Google Calendar to create an even more seamless experience! You can visit the Facebook support pages to find out how to set this up.

Similarly, Instagram also lets you add a call-to-action on your page. You’ll need to have an existing account set up with a third-party app which you can then simply integrate. Find out how to set this up via Instagram’s help pages.

So now you’re familiar with some of the options available, give them a try and see if they can give your bookings a boost!

 

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