April 10, 2020 |
If you’re an appointment-orientated business, then embedding an online appointment booking system into your website may make business a little easier.
An online appointment booking system allows you to focus on your business, rather than booking and managing your customers’ appointments manually. Moreover, it gives customers control and allows them to book an appointment quickly and effortlessly.
For example, you may own a barbershop but spend a lot of your time on the phone and replying to emails to manage your bookings. Whereas, you’d rather spend your time cutting hair! By setting up an appointment booking system and embedding it onto your website, you can direct your customers to your website and let your website take care of the appointment booking and management process. You can then arrive at your barbershop in the morning, view your upcoming appointments for the day and crack on with cutting hair!
The time you save by managing your appointments online – rather than manually doing it yourself – gives you more time to focus on your business and potentially generate more revenue.
Method 1: Direct Your Customers to an External Appointment Booking System
This is the easiest way to setup an online appointment booking system. First, decide which system to use and then insert a link to the booking system on your website.
For example, you could add a subdomain to your website which redirects to the booking system. E.g. book.barbershop.com. You can read our article on setting up a subdomain here.
This method is quick and easy because you do not need to spend time scripting the booking system yourself. You can simply use the booking system’s design and customisation tools to configure your booking system to suit your business and then publish it live. Once published, you can then link to the booking system from your website.
A drawback is that you are directing your website visitors away from your website to another location. Users may get confused because they are now booking on another website and consequently lose interest in your service. You can overcome this by making it clear you are redirecting your customer to an external booking system. You should also customise your external booking system to ensure it is consistent with your business’ branding.
Method 2: Embed The Online Appointment Booking System Onto Your Website
Here the online appointment booking system, including the calendar itself, will be displayed directly on your website. Appointment booking services such as Setmore, Simplybook.me and Timify have widgets to embed the calendar directly onto your website. This is usually achieved using an iFrame, which is simply a line of HTML code you insert into your website.
For example, you could create a booking page such as barbershop.com/book that will house the appointment booking system widget.
Embedding the online appointment booking system onto your website creates a more seamless experience for your customer. This is because they are already familiar with your website and are not leaving your website at any stage.
However, with this method, it is beneficial if you have coding knowledge to ensure it is embedded correctly. If you think you may struggle with this, you can contact us and we may be able to help! Additionally, another drawback is that your booking system provider may charger extra for embeddable widgets.
Method 3: Plugins for Content Management Systems such as WordPress.
Finally, if you are using a content management system such as WordPress you can use a plugin. There are many plugins available that will allow you quickly and effortlessly embed an appointment booking system onto your existing website.