Everything is going online — the market, your store, and potential customers. Gone are the days when clients used to book hotel rooms over the phone or via email. People now don’t have the time to make a call just to book a hotel room — thanks to the technological improvements. They also feel secure paying the booking amount online rather than handing over the cash or cheque.
By looking at the current trend, it’s inevitable to have an online booking system for your services or products on your WooCommerce store. However, when you actually set out to find the right booking plugin for your business, you end up on the fence about choosing the right one.
Don’t get me wrong here. These plugins are great, but almost all of them are meant to fulfil only one particular business case.
Also, they don’t seem to bend according to your business needs the way you would want them to. Thus, using a plugin that works with various business cases should be the one to go with.
Bookings and Appointments plugin is one such plugin that is highly versatile and facile to use. Doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, this plugin will, and can be used the way you would want it to.
Supple could be the word that well-describes this plugin.
Now let’s get away from the introduction and go right into the installation, features and benefits of using this plugin.
How to install this plugin on your WordPress site?
Like any other WordPress plugin, it’s an easy install. And once you are done with it, the first thing you need is to go to any Edit product page. Here you would be able to change your normal product to a bookable product — this is one of the best features of this plugin.
You can offer bookable resources and sell physical or virtual products alongside. So, if you are running a spa business and want to sell additional items(like soaps, oils, etc), this plugin should be the right choice for you.
You’ll get to know more about this in the latter section of this article.
So, now once you are done installing the plugin and setting up bookable products, it’s time to set up booking tables. You can refer the following video that goes through almost every possible booking scenarios.
Let’s begin with the prime features, shall we?
There’s a lot in there. The makers of this plugin, PluginHive, have really thought through various business needs and have allocated important features inside.
- Set up bookable items on product level: Starting with a bang, the plugin allows you to add bookings at the product level . With this feature, you get to provide bookings for individual items on your WooCommerce store. And like I said it earlier, you are free to sell other items along with it.
2. Handles bookings and payments flawlessly: You might be aware that WooCommerce comes with some free payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe Payments, etc. And yes, the bookings plugin smoothly handles your customer’s bookings and payments.
Sounds like seal the deal, doesn’t it?
And talking about sealing the deal, paying the booking amount right up on the Checkout page can do wonders for your business. For one, you don’t have worry whether you’ll get paid the right amount or not. Also, there will be fewer cancellations as people tend to show up if they have already paid for a resource.
3. Offers Fixed time period and Calendar-based booking: The plugin offers bookings in a fixed time slot — minutes, hours, days and even months. With the right configuration, you can easily hold up cooking classes with any time duration, let’s say, 80 minutes or set up 2 hours gaming sessions if you own a gaming parlour — the possibilities are endless.
It works well with almost every business.
Not just small businesses can benefit off this booking solution, big businesses like Hotels, Paying Guests, and other accommodation facilities can also make use of this plugin right away. You can set up bookings based on days in the case of hotels and months for PGs. The plugin can display fixed time period and show calendar range bookings which makes it quite flexible. To be precise, the calendar-based bookings, your customers can book desired date(s).
4. Set up Non-working hours and days: Another cool feature that probably no other free plugin offers is the ability to set non-working hours and days.
Basically, with the non-workings hours set up on your WooCommerce, your customers won’t be able to book certain hours — this period could be your lunch-break, maintenance time, or literally anything. Not just that, if you don’t work on weekends(Saturday and Sunday) and like to spend time with your family, then you can set up that as well.
Can’t get any better than this. But wait, there’s even more…
5. Stupendous UI: The plugin delivers a user-friendly user-interface, both to you and your customers. It accurately differentiates between the already booked dates and the available bookable dates on the calendar — this is a painless way of handling multiple bookings without any booking clashes.
6. Displays prices dynamically: This booking solution can also display the total price dynamically. What this means is that the total price of the booking cost changes accordingly as your clients determines the booking period on the product page. And when you open the booking order on the WooCommerce admin-side, you’ll be able to see the final booking amount. It feels like using an app on your smartphone but actually on your internet browser.
This feature looks even awesome than it sounds. Trust me!
Like what you see? Go ahead, it’s free!
There you have it — the ultimate free booking solution for your WordPress-based website. You can never complain when something this awesome is free. It also feels satisfying to know that you get features available in some of the premium booking plugins out there, for no hidden costs. Now, that’s what you call ‘value for money’.
Kind of like, Free + Premium = Freemium plugin. Am I right?