Whether you offer package holidays with jam-packed itineraries, spa and beauty experiences, outdoor activities, or even specialised tours, an activity booking system could be a huge asset to you.
Did you know, around 700 million people will make an online booking by 2023?
These success stories can easily translate to the activity and experience sector.
But what is an online booking system?
An online booking system is a type of software that helps customers to book an experience or activity directly through your website, allowing you to take payment and confirmation all in one place.
A booking system features a customer-facing “front-end”, which allows purchasing of the experience, and the “back-end” where staff can access information through a dashboard. The dashboard features everything from spreadsheets of customer details, to information on remaining booking slots and inventory.
A booking platform gives you the freedom to manage your bookings cohesively, whilst improving customer service and satisfaction. Your customer details can be stored centrally for future use, whether that’s when generating business reports or for future marketing campaigns.
Online bookings have been found to reduce staff workload, reduce no-shows, improve accessibility and increase sales.
Read more below about what an online booking platform can add to your organisation.
The top 5 benefits of an online activity booking system
Customers can book anytime
More than 30% of customers make bookings outside regular business hours.
An online booking system allows customers to book your activities at all times of the day and night, making your business available 24/7.
Customers can book your activity in a few seconds, and an integrated payment system will transfer the money from their account to yours instantly.
Activities can be paid for in advance, rather than relying on taking payment in person.
Up to date calendar
An online booking system keeps your activity bookings all in one place in a constantly updated calendar.
This maximises booking slots whilst preventing overbookings and disappointment.
With an activity booking system like ours, you no longer need to rely on phone calls that tie up your staff all day.
Your team can spend time on other tasks that can’t be automated; you may even find you require fewer staff members, saving you money overall.
Improve marketing reach
With your booking system integrated into your website, customers can read about other activities and services you have on offer whilst booking. This makes upselling easier, and increases your revenue.
While there are many positives to using an online booking system for your activity reservations, there are inevitably challenges with any new project.
Some of the negative aspects of using an activity booking system include:
- Cost – Whilst some software products may offer a free trial, all systems require a financial outlay. Some charge monthly fees, some charge a percentage per booking or transaction, and some allow you to purchase the product outright. Regardless, there is always some associated cost to you.
- Internet access – Most systems rely on constant internet connectivity in order to function. This can be a real problem if your activity takes place in an area that’s remote or off-grid. You may have problems with viewing bookings and checking customers in without internet access.
- Too many options – With so many different types of booking software available on the market, deciding on which option is the best fit for you can be difficult. To help make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of important considerations when choosing your activity booking software.
Important activity booking software features
Here are some of the most useful activity booking software features we’ve found on the market. A good software product should include at least some of these, depending on your individual business needs.
Reseller business intelligence
With an integrated reseller business intelligence program, your booking software can allow you to analyse your customers’ booking habits and target future marketing campaigns more effectively.
You can even sell useful information to external companies and improve your profit margins.
Having a channel manager integrated within your software ensures availability and details are kept up to date despite selling your product on multiple platforms.
This piece of software allows you to advertise and book through multiple sites as well as via in-person and telephone booking systems, whilst ensuring you don’t oversell.
This is a feature that is useful for almost every business.
Keep track of your bookings, availability and free slots in a visually appealing manner. Including the option for customers to view availability and choose booking slots themselves improves the customer experience and increases sales.
Discount and voucher options
Creating unique vouchers and rewarding loyal customers with a special discount can be a great way to maintain a loyal customer base. A booking system with multiple customisation options when creating vouchers and discounts is very useful.
Your website is where you create your brand. An activity booking system in keeping with your brand helps to cement your image and portray a clear message. Options to add images can help make selling your activity or experience even easier.
Organising bookings over email can take a long time. Why not get an activity booking system with integrated email automation?
Email templates can be sent out for specific interactions, including booking confirmation and pre-event reminders, whilst vouchers can be created and emailed automatically.
Your bookkeeping software can help make managing your finances easier.
With options to automatically generate invoices, and up to date customer purchase information stored securely in one place, a financial management system integrated into your booking system can be very useful.
Whilst you might not find a booking system that includes all these features, it’s important to prioritise those most suited to your business.
Price is another really important aspect of choosing activity booking software; it’s a compromise between features and cost. But what if it doesn’t have to be?
Why Seatlab is the perfect choice for an activity booking system
Our activity booking software creates a smooth purchase experience for your customers, whilst generating more income for you. But what makes our software unique?
Our software is created with user experience at the forefront; we believe in creating software that is enjoyable to use. By focusing on ease of use, we provide a convenient and hassle-free experience.
With customer account creation options to store purchases in one place and social media sign-in options, we try to save your customers time where possible.
With so many purchases carried out on mobile phones, we designed our platform to run effortlessly and glitch-free on mobile devices letting your customers book their experience on the go.
Our software is fully customisable to include the features you want without extra unnecessary add-ons that you don’t.
By choosing our bespoke software package, you are assigned a designated management team to ensure your needs are met. Our development team is on hand to design any additional features that you are looking to have integrated into your software.
Our payment system uses end-to-end encryption to ensure all your customer data remains secure.
We use Stripe as our payment processor; a popular system that allows payment via credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other digital wallets. However, we are happy to integrate any payment system of your choosing, including a payment system you currently use on your website.
All our data is kept safely on encrypted servers in a way that’s fully compliant with GDPR legislation. You can rest assured knowing your data and your customers’ data is in safe hands.
Suited to all budgets
We offer various packages at different price points in order to provide quality software fit for everyone’s budget. Our lower budget option comes with no monthly fees, and we charge just 2.8% per transaction, with transaction fees reducing even further in our mid-range and higher options.
Our handy fee calculator lets you calculate how much you would pay for software that includes all the features you want.
Our in-house team is always available to deal with any software issues you might have. They are constantly monitoring our platform to ensure your website can function at its best.
We have a dedicated platform transition service to help you move from your pre-existing software to ours. Your website will remain live throughout the process, minimising the disruption to your customers.
If you’d like to hear more about our booking software and how we can help improve your customer booking experience, please contact us today.
Seatlab’s box office management software
Read more below about why well-known venues like the Ricoh Arena, Bournemouth International Centre, and Resorts World Arena use our software.
Our box office management software can be adapted to suit your exact requirements. Unlike other software options that offer one package with little room for customisation, we have a variety of services.
We offer three different inclusive packages, each with a different combination of features that strike a balance between cost and complexity.
Our “essential” package includes virtual event management, ticket format options, ticket order management and an easy one-page checkout feature without any monthly fees.
Our “growth” package also includes options for vouchers and promotional content, customer support, automated report scheduling and our unique “best available” seat selection tool that helps encourage customer spending.
Our “pro” package adds further seat mapping and reservation functions, as well as printed ticket solutions and promoter accounts. This package offers extra assistance for those who need help transitioning from their current platform to ours, or integrating our software into their pre-existing website.
Finally, we offer a bespoke option for those looking for a tailored box office management platform. This “enterprise” option includes any or all of the features accessible in the other packages, but also includes bespoke feature development. Our design team can help create the exact features you are looking for, and ensure your software is a perfect fit.
Tailored booking fees
Seatlab charges some of the lowest fees per ticket; this cost goes down even further with our “growth” and “pro” packages.
Our booking fees are also totally customisable, meaning you are able to change booking fee costs between events and even between different types of seating. This allows you to vary your booking fees based on ticket prices, popularity, and expected event attendance.
The profits made from these booking fees go back to you, and can be a useful way to increase the profit per ticket.
Seatlab provides box office management software that’s designed with user experience in mind. Having undergone several rounds of live testing, you can be sure our software is easy and enjoyable to use.
Our platform is designed to be fully mobile-compatible, as we recognise more searches are carried out on a mobile than a desktop. Our tickets function well on mobile devices and can be scanned digitally to allow seamless entry to events.
We offer customer account creation that links to social media accounts, making the sign-in process much simpler for the user. This allows customers to return to their basket and orders at the click of a button.
Our interactive seat mapping tool is a huge asset to improve customer satisfaction. It allows visitors to view your venue virtually and pick their seat based on price and location all from the comfort of their own home.
All of our tickets are issued with a unique QR code that is scanned during entry and checked against a database. This ensures each ticket is legitimate, reducing ticket fraud but also helping to ensure your venue doesn’t go over capacity.
Our software uses cloud-based storage that is maintained by our experienced team. We run a collection of high-performance servers with several backups in order to ensure your platform is protected at all times.
Customer and client information is stored securely on our encrypted servers and is regularly checked for GDPR compliance.
We provide an end-to-end encrypted payment system that has been thoroughly tested to ensure these sensitive details are kept safe. We use Stripe as a payment processor, however we are happy to help integrate your pre-existing payment system into our software in a safe and secure manner.
Our team is always available to offer support and guidance, and our customer service is all entirely in-house and never outsourced to external companies. We are constantly assessing and monitoring platform performance to ensure your system is always running as expected.
Our platform transition service helps make sure there are no issues during the switch to our software. We aim to limit any disruption to your customers and ensure no downtime for your website.
Try Seatlab for yourself
If you are considering whether Seatlab is for you, why not book a demo? By trying our platform for yourself, you can see why our clients make 7% more per ticket on average than those using alternative ticketing software.
To find out more about the different software packages Seatlab has to offer, or to discuss a bespoke package to suit your needs, contact us today.
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