How Online Booking Systems Increased Revenue for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

In this blog, we'll explored how online booking systems can drive revenue growth for small and medium-sized businesses by streamlining the booking process, offering 24/7 availability, and automating administrative tasks for better efficiency.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Back in the day, only big companies in travel and event planning used online booking systems. But now, things have changed. Nowadays, even small businesses like gyms and beauty salons use these web-based booking systems. Why? Because they make data entry and management easier, which helps avoid mistakes.

Did you know that entering data by hand can lead to errors, like getting a customer’s name wrong or booking the same appointment twice? Plus, many clients prefer to book appointments, buy tickets, and rent apartments online. That’s why more and more companies are switching to online booking systems.

Now, let’s see how these online booking systems can help small and medium-sized businesses make more money. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Online booking systems market overview

Before we dive into the ins and outs of how web based bookings impact business revenue, let’s take a look at what’s happening in the online booking software market right now.

According to Fortune Business Insights, the global appointment scheduling software market is projected to grow from $470.7 million in 2024 to $1,550.8 million in 2032. North America will lead the way, accounting for 34% of the market in 2023.

Looking at data from IMARC Group, it is clear that the market will grow to $988.3 million by 2032, which also indicates rapid growth.

One way or another, the online booking system market is set to grow, and any small or medium-sized enterprise can take advantage of these benefits in the coming years.

What’s an online booking system?

Basically, it’s just a website or mobile app where you can book a plane ticket, a cruise, or even a haircut for your beloved dog.

Perhaps the best thing about such a system is that it saves you from having to make phone calls (let’s face it, who likes to talk on the phone?) or face-to-face meetings (no fun at all).

The use of online booking systems is not limited to one or a few industries; in fact, there are many:

  • Medical and dental clinics

  • Beauty salons and massage parlors

  • Fitness centers and yoga studios

  • Movie theaters

  • Hotels, inns, and apartments

  • Educational facilities

  • Leisure and recreation

  • Train, plane, and bus ticket sales

  • Car rental services

  • Consultancy etc.

The most common, however, is still the basic ticket booking system. If you’re interested in not just implementing an online booking system but building one from scratch to suit your needs, here’s a detailed overview of how to do it. In the meantime, let’s take a look at how you can increase your revenue with the right online booking system in place.

How online booking systems can increase revenue for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)

Let’s not beat around the bush – let’s find out how to make more money right now.

Offer an easy way to book

Imagine this: More than four out of five potential customers leave your site without making a booking, meaning lost opportunities and money. Why do these people leave? This is often because of some technical problems on the website, a complicated booking process or too long a wait. People don’t like to wait, so you just need to accept this situation and make it possible for them to book with you and not with a competitor. Is our idea clear, we hope?

Be ready around the clock

Think about it: when do you usually book a hotel room or a restaurant table? It’s usually during your lunch break, on your way home, or in the evening when you’re already home, right? Other people do the same; many clients prefer to book appointments in their free time. By the way, do you have a reservation system on your site? Imagine how much money you lose if you don’t.

Conversely, if you have a web-based booking system that is up and running 24/7 and always available, you can dramatically increase online reservations.

Make sure the payment process is secure

The issue of online payment is still quite sensitive, despite the increased security measures applied in modern online booking services. Therefore, you should pay attention to this issue and offer your customers a seamless and variable booking process.

What it means:

  • Offer your customers different payment methods (different bank cards, cash options, etc.).

  • Use modern, secure, and trusted payment gateways that guarantee the safety of your customers’ transactions.

  • Offer a secure payment option where the amount is not charged until the customer receives the service or product.

  • Offer a partial payment option.

If customers encounter a suspicious payment process on the site, they will most likely look for another system where the payment system is more familiar, free of suspicious conditions, and therefore safe. Keep this in mind.

Deliver a cross-platform online booking experience

Your website is not the only user touch point. People today spend a lot of time on social media looking for one service or another. Let’s face it, we all do. And of course, you’d like to reach that audience, too. Well, why not? Simply add an order or booking form right there on social media to ensure the integrity of your online presence. Most importantly, this is a way for you to expand your audience and increase online reservations (and therefore your revenue).

Automate administrative tasks that used to be done by employees

In SMBs, administrative tasks can include creating and managing employee schedules, responding to phone or email inquiries, sending manual reminders to customers, or collecting and entering customer or prospect contact information.

Your employees are overwhelmed with all of these tasks, which can lead to errors and misunderstandings. This can cost you time, money, and reputation. Increasing online reservations and revenue is out of the question.

However, there is a silver lining, and it lies in the implementation of web-based booking software. With it, you can:

  • Free your employees from manual and error-prone work;

  • Free you, the business owner, from the need to personally supervise your employees’ work;

  • Set up automatic reminders for clients;

  • Collect and enter customer information quickly and automatically;

  • Set up secure online payments.

What’s next?

Have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place

Modern online booking systems have marketing tools built-in or can be further enhanced with them. This is good news as these tools can help you not only attract and retain customers but also create a cohesive brand startegy that will help your business grow.

What do we mean? When you use your booking system and marketing tools together, you can take a personalized approach to selling. The thing is, the booking platform contains data about customers – their demographics, habits, preferences, and so on. This information is invaluable when your goal is not just to sell, but to interact with customers in a personalized way.

And that’s not to mention targeted email campaigns to each customer, where you can share feedback from other customers about their positive experiences with your reservation system and generate additional sales. Something to think about, isn’t it?

Update your sales strategy

Online booking systems directly drive sales. How exactly? When your customers can easily book an appointment with a specialist, order product delivery, pay for services, etc., they are more likely to come back for a second order/purchase. Contactless online booking processes are leading the way because they are accessible 24/7 and on the go, making life easier for customers, which helps drive return and retention.

Online booking systems also incorporate additional product or service offers, a classic marketing technique. With a smooth online booking process, cross-selling looks organic and, when done well, can lead to additional sales. It’s no surprise that by 2027, 72% of the travel industry’s total revenue is expected to come from online sales.

Online booking systems market

In general, if you look at current statistics, companies have managed to increase their revenues by an average of 120% by adding online booking systems. The fact is that even the simplest booking system on a website increases traffic to the site and helps convert users into customers.

Conclusion

For SMBs, where personalized customer service is one of the most important parts of a comprehensive audience development strategy, online booking systems can give you a significant head start. What’s more, as you’ve probably already discovered, this system can increase online bookings and therefore revenue.

True, it can take time to implement or even build such a platform from scratch, and you will need to be personally involved to understand all the ins and outs of the platform. But once you have an online booking system up and running (even with the most basic features), you’ll see that the investment was not in vain.

So the only thing left to do so far is to find or build a system that guarantees ease of use, secure collection, storage, and use of customer data, and, of course, secure payment.

Good luck with that!

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In this blog, we'll explored how online booking systems can drive revenue growth for small and medium-sized businesses by streamlining the booking process, offering 24/7 availability, and automating administrative tasks for better efficiency.