Businesses that sell their time rather than products often have a difficult time expanding their online base. The main issue comes with trying to create an easy way for your clients to book their appointments. Thats where the WooCommerce Bookings extension steps in.
The Bookings extension doesn’t just let you create bookable products, but also provides a range of booking related options to help you specifically define your service.
If you have used WooCommerce before, you should be familiar with the range of product types it offers. What the Bookings extension does is add a new product type. This “bookable product” has a range of features your basic product does not have.
The options available when setting up a product give you complete control over your service. You can define the bookable time by hours, days or months. You may choose if the customer has the ability to cancel a booking, or if bookings require confirmation.
You still get the functionality of a normal product. Of course, your service does not require shipping, so you can additionally set your bookable products as “virtual” to remove any shipping options. Though next to the “virtual” checkbox, there are two new features offered by the bookings extension:
Has persons – Enabling this checkbox allows you to add a predefined number of people booking. This is helpful for defining separate prices determined on the number of people in the booking.
Has resources – Enabling this checkbox allows you to add multiple “resources” to your service. An example would be if you have multiple hairdressers to choose from at your hairdressing firm or more than one room available under the same description.
You also still have the ability to add custom product attributes and link your product with others. Perhaps you offer a massage therapy class which couples well with a yoga session. You can link these products, allowing your users better access to these options.
The main booking options fall under the “Availability” tab when setting up a new bookable product. WooCommerce has really thought of every available option you might require, such as the min and max number of bookable blocks, the ability to add buffer periods between bookings and being able to define rules that only apply to specific dates.
Global Availability – This allows you to quickly define a set of availability rules for all your products. This is extremely useful when your services are only available at certain times or on certain dates.
Example: You own a hairdressing salon which is closed for lunch every day from 12am-1pm. This can then be removed as a possible booking time.
Resources – The “resources” functionality for the WooCommerce Bookings extension extends on the Global Availability feature. This feature lets you define a “resource” for a product/products. You can then configure this resource to only be available to a specific number of customers, or on specific days etc. These resources can be booked independently from within its bookable product.
There is also the option to choose if this resource is customer defined or automatic upon choosing the product.
Example: There are two rooms available within a certain flat, both are for rent separately or together.
Typical of WooCommerce, the Bookings functionality integrates perfectly with a range of themes and is compatible with most plugins. This means setting up your front-end display is a breeze.
When the plugin is activated and you have selected a bookable product, your checkout page will have a few additional features. This includes a responsive calendar, along with a pricing field which automatically calculates the booking cost dependant on the duration chosen.
Perhaps the best feature of the Bookings extension is the Calendar. The bookings calendar has a pleasant and user-friendly design which gives visual notification of booked and available days. This is a simple and efficient way for a user to select their appointment period
The calendar can also be set to calculate the booking price when a duration is defined. This gives the customer a quick indication, while still being visually appealing and quite an enjoyable process.
The bookings extension adds a new item to your WordPress Dashboard. The “Bookings” item holds all your booking admin functionality. Here you can manually add a new booking for a customer, review all past bookings, view your current events calendar, and a range of other options.
WooCommerce Accommodation Bookings Extension
The WooCommerce accommodation bookings extension adds to the core functionality of the bookings plugin for businesses that cater to the accommodation sector.
This extension allows you to create an “accommodation product”. This has similar features to a normal bookable product but also includes the ability to set a check-in and check-out time set special rates for your rooms and specify booking periods by “number of nights”. As this extension is free, it is a perfect fit for those in the hospitality industry that are looking for an easy and professional way to manage their bookings.
In conclusion, if you are in need of an effective way for your customers to book your services online, the WooCommerce Bookings extension is the complete package. If you are already managing a WooCommerce store you will be familiar with the range of options and features they offer. This plugin is no different from their usual high standards in e-commerce software.