You want to make it easy for your clients to schedule appointments, right?. Well, then you’re at the right place. In this post, I’m gonna talk about how to create an online booking system using Wix booking app.
Let’s face it. Whether you’re a doctor, financial advisor, teacher or any other service provider, you’ll face competition. There’s no denying that fact.
The simplest way to grow a busines is to stay ahead of your competitors. And, the easiest way to beat your competitors is by embracing technology.
Technology, if used correctly, can help your business significantly in various areas like sales, marketing, productivity, processes, etc.
Booking or appointment is one such area where technology is changing the game. Accepting online bookings helps to streamline the complete booking system & improve overall sales.
BUT, how does one go ahead & create an online booking system?. Won’t it cost a lot of money?. Do you need to hire a coder or developer?.
The answer is NO.
Using the steps listed in this post, you’ll be able to create an online booking system on your own. And, that too within 30 minutes. Yes, literally!.
So, are you ready to take your business to a new level by accepting online bookings & payment?. Then, let’s go!.
HOW TO CREATE AN ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM (WITH A WEBSITE BUILDER)
Step #1. Get A Domain Name
If you don’t already have a domain name, then you need to get one.
A domain name is nothing but the internet address & identity of your business or profession. Example: www.doctorjohn.com
The domain name helps to:
- Create a unique internet address for your business
- Establish a brand name
But, why on earth is a domain name required to create an online booking system?. That’s because a domain name will help you create your own website where you’ll be hosting an online booking system.
Example: If your client wants to book your services, he or she will visit your website, fill in the booking form & pay, if required.
In nutshell, the booking process works as such:
Domain Name >> Website >> Booking Form >> Payment (Optional)
Now, how do you register a domain name?. Let me explain.
Domain names are bought & sold by domain registrars. The most popular ones being NameCheap, GoDaddy, HostGator, etc.
I’ve bought all my domain names (including Bizain) from NameCheap & would recommend the same to you. Their simple-to-use dashboard, robust documentation & stellar customer support is what I like the most.
No, don’t panic!. Buying a domain name online is fairly a simple process. Start with exploring the availability of your preferred domain name (use search box of NameCheap) & then proceed to pay for the available domain name of your choice. Done.
Yes, buying a domain name is as simple as buying any other stuff online. Add to cart, pay & done!.
Ideally, a domain name should have the following characteristics:
- Short in length
- Avoid symbols like “-“, “/”, etc.
- Matching with your business or brand name
- Self-explanatory of your business or profession
- Unique & catchy
This simple step shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
Step #2. Sign Up For A Wix Account
Once you’ve got a domain name, time to build a website where you’ll be setting up an online booking system. In other words, you need a website where your booking form will reside.
For that, I recommend you to use Wix.
Wix is a revolutionary & one of the most popular drag-and-drop website builders. It helps anyone to build a feature-packed website within a matter of minutes. Yes, you don’t need to hire a coder or developer.
It’s a DIY(Do-It-Yourself) drag-and-drop solution. That means you can design your website simply by dragging & dropping various web elements like text, images, buttons, etc.
Founded in 2006, Wix till date has assisted more than 110 million people to create their own powerful websites. And, with more than 1800 employees, you can rest assured that customer support is one of their core focus areas.
With Wix, you get the following core benefits:
- Beautiful & responsive templates
- Wix Apps (They help you to customize your website with add-on features. HINT: We’ll use one of the Wix Apps to create an online booking system on our website)
- Unlimited bandwidth (Your website can support an unlimited number of visitors)
- Artificial design intelligence (Answer a few question & Wix will have your website ready for you)
- eCommerce (Sell anything on your website)
Now, follow these steps to sign up on Wix:
Step 1: Go to Wix
Step 2: Click on “Get started” button
Step 3: Fill in the sign up form & click on the “Sign Up” button
Step 4: After signing up, you’ll be shown 2 options: Wix ADI & Wix Editor. I recommend you to try the Wix Editor option since it allows more flexibility.
I’ll talk more about the templates in the next step #3.
From the pricing point of view, Wix is one of the most affordable options out there. Click here to check the current pricing of Wix.
Wix also comes with a FREE plan but in that case, you won’t be able to connect your domain name to your Wix account. That means, with the FREE plan you’ll only be allowed to use a Wix branded domain name (Example: doctorjohn.wixsite.com).
Step #3. Install A Template
In web terminology, a website template is the structure of a website. Think of it as the skeleton of a website.
It’s the template that governs how your website will look or feel to be visitors. And, templates also impact a website’s features to some extent.
Wix comes with hundreds of pre-installed templates. Based on your profession or business, you can choose a template.
Hover over on any template of your choice & click on “Edit” button. Doing so will install the template take you to the Wix Editor where you can edit your website.
Since you would be accepting appointments, I recommend you to check templates from categories like health, fashion, beauty, etc.
After installing the template, you need to edit your website & add content. I’ll talk about that in the upcoming step.
Step #4. Edit The Website & Connect Domain Name
The template is just a specimen copy or a sample of an ideal website. Therefore, you need to edit the template (using the Wix editor) to suit your needs.
Here’s a video that explains the working of the Wix editor.
Following are a few key areas you need to take care while editing your booking site:
After editing & feeding content, click on publish & you’ll be prompted to connect your domain name (obtained at Step #1) to the Wix site.
Follow this instruction to connect NameCheap domain name to Wix. Relax, it’s simple & easy.
In case of an issue, contact the Wix support team. They’re awesome.
Congrats, your website is live now!. You’ve a website where your online booking system will be crafted.
Now, let’s focus on adding the booking system to your website.
Step #5. Add & Configure Wix Online Booking App
Last but not least, you need to create an online booking system into your Wix site.
That can be done by simply adding one of the Wix apps called “Wix Bookings”.
On the Wix editor, click on “Bookings” menu available at the bottom left.
Answer a few questions to create your booking service.
You’ll need to fill in the following fields to create your booking service:
- Name of your service
- Category of your service
- Short description
- Price (Sessions, Paid or Free, Online or in-person, Amount)
- Session duration
- Service location
After filling up the aforesaid service details, click on “Save service”.
That’s it. Now, you’ve got a service that visitors can browse & book on your own website. Cool!
Under “Settings”, click on “Booking settings” to set the fundamentals of your booking system.
Of course, you won’t be active always. Would you?. Therefore, you need to set up your working hours by clicking on “Set default hours”.
You may opt out of weekend days like Saturday & Sundays. Or alternatively, you can opt in or out for a particular time slot each day.
What if a client wants to cancel a booking?. What should be the cancellation rules?.
That’s where the booking policy comes into play. You need to inform clients beforehand about the booking, cancellation & refund rules.
Booking policy also helps you to set a cut off time for booking.
Example: If you want clients to book at least 1 hour before the meeting time then configure the same rule in the booking policy.
Won’t it be wonderful if your clients are reminded about their upcoming appointments with you?.
Wix bookings comes with an in-built feature which sends automatic timely emails to clients about their bookings.
Settings >> Booking settings >> Send Auto Emails
To capture the bookings, you need a form where your clients can fill in their details & submit. Such a form is called a booking form.
With Wix bookings, you can configure the booking form the way you want.
Settings >> Booking Settings >> Customize Booking Form
The best part is that you can integrate payment option right inside the booking form. So, if a client fills in his or her details & clicks submit, he’ll be re-directed to the payment page. After successful payment, his or her booking will be accepted.
Ideally, a booking form should:
- Have minimum fields (Easy for clients to fill in & submit)
- Have payment option (To avoid fake bookings)
- Never ask for information that isn’t necessary
- Collect email to remind about upcoming appointments
You can add the booking form to any page of choice by simply using Wix widgets.
Groups & Classes
Would you like to have multiple appointments or group participants during one time slot or session?. That’s possible with Wix bookings.
This feature is absolutely essential when you’re into coaching or tutoring business. As such, it’s normal for you to have a session with more than 1 students at a time.
To accept group appointments, you need to create a separate service by selecting the “multiple participants” option.
Your booking website & system should be responsive on all devices. Being responsive means looking good on all devices like PC, mobile, tablet, etc.
By default, all Wix websites & it’s booking forms are responsive. You don’t need to change settings for this.
Needless to say, a responsive booking system will provide a great user experience to your clients.
Google Calendar Sync
Google calendar is one of the most popular productivity & time management apps. Thousands of professionals use the same to plan their days, weeks & months.
Won’t it be great if Google calendar syncs with Wix booking calendar?. Of course.
Example: If you would like to create a manual booking in Google calendar for a particular time slot & would like to block that slot in Wix automatically, then this sync feature can help.
To sync Google calendar with Wix booking calendar, go to Wix booking calendar & click on “Sync Google calendar”. Thereafter, you’ll need to enter your Google sign-in credentials.
If you don’t know then Wix Booking calendar is a where you can view all your upcoming appointments in a consolidated manner.
Wix bookings app comes integrated with 3rd party payment gateways like PayPal & Stripe.
That means your clients can pay during the booking process itself. You can make the payment option mandatory or optional as you wish. Accepting payment in advance avoids fake bookings & also reduces the hassle of collecting payment during the execution of service.
Yes, part payment is also supported. That means your clients can book simply by paying a token amount. Example: If your service price is $ 100, you can collect a token or part amount from clients of say $ 20 & accept bookings.
Staff & Their Calendars
OK, then you’ve got a team of professionals or staff?. And, each of them has his or her own booking schedule?.
With Wix booking app, you can create & manage booking calendars of your staff members. Also, you can configure the booking form is such a manner that a client will have a choice to book with any member of your team.
Wouldn’t it be great if you don’t need to check Wix booking calendar time & again?.
That’s why Wix bookings app comes with automated email notifications. That means you would receive an instant email notification as soon as someone books an appointment with you.
Client database means all your client information like name, email, service, etc. stored securely.
Wix booking app comes with in-built client database feature. That means all your clients’ details (who had booked in the past) will be stored securely for your future use.
Such a database can be used to send marketing emails to your clients. Also, for sharing various special offers like coupons, discounts, black Friday sale, etc.
To access client database, click on “Customer management” link & then on “Contact list”.
To make things easy for your clients, you can enable client login (optional) for booking forms.
This feature will be of immense help to recurring or regular clients. How?. After logging in, most of their information will be prefilled in the booking form so they don’t need to re-enter everything again.
Let’s find out.
As per the data of Wix app store, Wix bookings app has been rated 4 out of 5 stars by more than 1099 website owners.
I also went & checked the ratings of Wix bookings app on 3rd party review sites like Capterra. And, the result was the same.
The only issue I faced was that the Wix dashboard at times freezes for a few seconds when a link is clicked.
Other than that, I feel that the Wix bookings app is a powerful product that works flawlessly.
Here’s a demo video that can help you further to configure the Wix bookings app:
No matter how detailed a tutorial is, it’s natural to face issues while creating something new for the first time.
If that’s the case, I recommend you to contact Wix Support. They provide 360-degree help resources in the following formats:
- Help articles
- Phone [1(800) 600-0949]
Yes, it just takes 30 minutes to configure the aforesaid settings. And, price-wise, let me assure you that Wix is one of the world’s most affordable website builders out there.
Therefore, there isn’t any excuse to not to create an online booking system.
Go ahead & start with the first step. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is. Thank me later.
After completing the aforesaid steps successfully, email or inform your clients about your new online booking feature. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to know that.
Streamlining the complete booking system will drastically improve the productivity of yours & your team. Use that extra time to focus on sales & marketing.
Get Booked. Get Paid. Get Going.