Setting up your day spa, salon, or yoga studio? Do you deal in appointments, tours, and classes? The brick and mortar store is coming together, you have your products prepared, but because of the particular business you are in, you can’t depend on customers just walking up and buying stuff from you.
You could choose to depend on people calling in and setting up appointments, but for crying out loud, this is the 21st century. What you need is booking software. Something you can attach to your website and link to social media so your customers can sign up for your services on their own. Something automated to take the burden of scheduling off your shoulders.
The thing is, there are a lot of options when it comes to picking what booking software will be best for your particular needs. Enter Merchant Maverick with the solution! Read on for some tips on selecting the best possible booking software for your specific business.
[Updated] List OF 10 Best Booking Software 2018: Detailed
Today, Acuity Scheduling serves over 500,000 businesses in over 100 countries. As one man’s labor of love, Acuity’s story is part of its charm. That’s it’s also such a great booking program is something of a marvel, and it remains one of the best values for your dollar when it comes to scheduling software.
Promotions and Online Store
- Link to the online store from the customer scheduling page
- Easily add new products with images, prices, and descriptions
- Keep track of your order history
- Add new coupons for unlimited or single use by simply naming the codes
- Create and track gift certificates and packages through selling them in the online store
Calendar and Scheduling
- Create group/class appointments
- Two-way Google Calendar sync
- Manage time zone differences between your business and customers
- Embed the calendar directly into your website via bits of HTML code
- Advanced availability (supplementing basic business hours)
- Schedule multiple and recurring appointments in Premium and Professional accounts
- Time zone support
- Appointments max 24 hours
- Click and drag to organize appointment types
- Set appointments to admin-only scheduling
- Create unlimited, neatly formatted custom intake forms (that data can now be inserted into emails)
- Accept payment online via PayPal, Authorize.net, or Stripe
- The saved client information is limited to name, email, and phone number
- Sort the client list is only possible according to dates of appointments
- No customer reviews
Add Staff Members, Appointments, and Locations
- The Growing Business and Powerhouse Player tiers allow for addition of more users
- Additional users can have limited access, with the ability to manage the calendar and schedule but not make administrative changes to the settings
- Easy for businesses to use: Acuity was listed fifth best free appointment scheduling apps with a 5/5 rating at app-appeal.Even those with minimal computer experience will have little trouble making their way around the application.”
- Easy for customers to use too: As soon as a customer opens this software he or she knows exactly what to do.
- Cost-effective: Acuity Scheduling “offers the best bang for the buck” for a single user.
- Scalable: Acuity can work for sole proprietors and medium-sized businesses alike. Acuity “caters to the needs of all kinds of professionals from the single individual to large organizations such as hospitals and law firms.”
- Extremely limited CRM: Beyond a basic client list, appointment confirmation email, and text/email reminders (in the Professional and Premium versions), Acuity offers no connection with or meaningful insight into your business’ clientele.
- Learning Curve: While customers like the breadth of options offered by Acuity, several cited the sheer number as being overwhelming at first glance.
- Many unwanted functions: “An interface that, at times, can seem cluttered with far too many functions and tasks.”
As specified above, you could without much of a stretch make a contention that Acuity gives outstanding amongst other esteems for your dollar with regards to booking programming.
It’s not the prettiest programming out there, or even the most simple to-utilize, however, it is still a decent arrangement for SMBs with basic needs and staff or customers who may live in various time zones.
Instead of frequent minor updates, the software receives a substantial makeover about once per year, evidencing its consistent responsiveness to customer feedback. In July 2013, the company released Appointy 4.0, which includes animated effects, a very customizable email designer, and the option to include add-ons with services.
Late in 2014, after clearing a 65,000 registered businesses milestone, Appointy pulled up roots from its home in Florida and moved its headquarters to Milpitas, CA, citing that the new location would give the company more room to grow. The company assures users that the only difference they’ll notice is the address on invoices.
- Limited business reports
- Appointments without signup
- Receipt customization
- 200 emails/day
*Business Plan: $39.99/month billed yearly; $49.99 billed monthly
- Separate staff logins
- Advanced business reports
- Resource scheduling
- Gift Certificates
- 500 emails/day
Enterprise Plan: $59.99/month billed yearly; $69.99 billed monthly
- Multiple locations
- Mulitple time zone support
- The customer service. Appointy offers the full gamut of customer service options, and will even contact you unbidden to help you figure out features shortly after you sign up.
- Ease of use. Despite its wealth of features, many customers found Appointy pretty easy to use.
- Tons of features. At the Business, and even the Pro level, Appointy can do just about anything you’d want to schedule SaaS to do for you.
- Those above grammatical and communication issues. While these are minimal within the GUI itself, there are times when it can make communication difficult, especially when corresponding with the staff and communicating technical issues.
- Resource scheduling is nearly impossible without upgrading to the Business Version.
- Some Appointy users have complained about double-billing or continued billing after cancellation.
- Trouble is syncing Google calendar and Appointy.
As one of the better bits of booking programming for your dollar, Appointy keeps on offering a helpful, very much cleaned item at a sensible cost while repeating without end some of its all the more glaring defects.
If you left Appointy behind a year back and you happen to in any case be searching for a strong planning program, the progressions are sufficiently noteworthy to give it a moment look.
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Since launching in 2009, the company has continuously interacted with customers online and is growing steadily. BookedIN is something of the quiet-but-talented kid in the room when it comes to booking software, offering a strong array of features at a reasonable price.
It’s not a full platform like some of the more expensive options out there, but BookedIN has proven itself a reliable solution for many professionals. It’s unique in several ways and very committed to simplicity and ease of use.
- Payment Options: More than any other, the awesome payment features makes BookedIN a streamlined small business solution way beyond basic scheduling.
- Interactive Calendar: Though other software solutions also offer clickable, fun-to-use calendars, in BookedIN you can create new, custom services (rather than having to choose from a set of preset services) as you schedule appointments.
- Marketing: Like many other scheduling solutions, BookedIN creates a web page for your business automatically, for the sake of having an online presence as well as making booking easy for clients.
- Flexible Book Now Button: Clients can link to the BookedIN page through a button on a business’ website, Facebook page, Craigslist ad, or straight the web page automatically created by BookedIN.
- Internationality: BookedIN can be used across the world, where in fact thousands of users are located. Choose any time zone or currency for your business during setup.
- Reliability: BookedIN runs on Google App Engine and backs up data constantly, which keeps their downtime to a minimum and all your information about bookings and payment history available at any time.
- Widgets: A new feature allows businesses to integrate a BookedIN widget into their website, which allows customers to book appointments and take payments directly from the site.
- Mobile App: BookedIN has released their long-awaited mobile scheduling app for iOS and Android. The app has been well-received on Android, garnering a 4.5 on Google Play. The iOS version currently doesn’t have enough ratings to produce a score.
- Good User Interface: “Very well designed,” “clean and simple,” “easy to navigate,” and bug-free.
- Client Ease of Use: Several business owners reported that their clients enjoy using the app.
- Easy to Use: One Chrome Web Store reviewer called it “seriously easy to use,” and others made similar claims about how simple it is to navigate, especially compared with other appointment software.
- No Class/Group Booking: BookedIN lacks the capacity to schedule multiple people for certain time slots.
- Scheduling Not Integrated into Website: One customer wanted the ability to integrate BookedIN’s schedule into his website without redirecting customers to the BookedIN web page. This feature is promised but not yet available.
- Business Webpage: The business web page is customizable, lacking even business details for customers to view.
- Lacks Reports Function: BookedIN doesn’t generate reports of appointments or revenue to help keep track of business stats.
- No Longer Free: As mentioned, in late 2012 BookedIN changed its usage policy from allowing free self-created (rather than public) bookings to limiting free bookings.
BookedIN offers definite and adaptable (however costly) installment alternatives; a genuinely all around outlined, fun UI; and a one of a kind offering of installment designs. It has a great deal to offer the private company searching for inconspicuous client installment choices, programming that is both excellent and simple to utilize, and the capacity to pay for pieces of appointments (instead of a month to month charge).
The organization is goal-oriented, with a wide-achieving vision that appears to propel its group to look for brilliance, consistency, and a decent notoriety on the web and among their clients.
Their objective was to make an application that coordinated consistently into previous sites and streamlined planning and installments. The organization’s sense of duty regarding change through reconciliations with other programming and reactions to client input proceeds.
While the organization remains genuinely little and has gotten some flack for slacking in client benefit amid its initial years, its unflagging development, excellent framework outline, and strong notoriety propose that Checkfront is a decent speculation for organizations in the visit and movement circle. Experts who take single arrangements (as opposed to repeating appointments) may locate an all the more fitting arrangement elsewhere.
- Integration with Websites: An essential feature of Checkfront, seamless website integrations are made as easy as possible, particularly if you have a WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal site.
- Dashboard: You can choose to display up to 4 of 11 useful widgets — including a monthly calendar, of course, but also graphs of booking volume or website visitors or bookings by month, lists of new and upcoming bookings, an activity log, revenue by month, and bookings by category, month, or item.
- Mobile Apps: Checkfront has developed solid mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. The iOS app works quite well, though it’s very simple; you can see and add bookings, as well as scan 2D bar codes.
- Automatic Invoices & Receipts: Checkfront’s invoices and receipts have a branded, professional look.
- Booking Options: Bookings on Checkfront are made as open invoices, to which clients can add products and orders. You can bookmark an invoice for easy viewing later.
- Reports: The system logs and displays lots of information to the user, including time stamped records of every interaction with a customer and booking status update.
- Customer Map: Using existing customer data, Checkfront creates a Google map accessible through the navigation bar of your customers’ locations about yours.
- Customer Support: Many users appreciated Checkfront’s support, especially their setup help. One Google Apps Marketplace reviewer called to support “very friendly and extremely intelligent,” and another, “top notch.”
- Integrations: Other users liked the payment processing options and accounting applications.
- Interface: Users described the GUI as “intuitive” and “clean.” The dashboard is also unusually beautiful and functional.
- Scheduling: Finally, a KillerStartups.com reviewer noted that Checkfront helps businesses customize their availability and seasonal rates — particularly applicable to the tour/activity industry.
- Customer Service: Several complaints about customer service were posted on Google Apps Marketplace. Checkfront posted very polite, thorough responses to them (though not always promptly).
- Buried Features: While the learning tools are great, it isn’t always obvious where to look for the information you need.
While the organization remains genuinely little and has gotten some flack for slacking in client benefit amid its initial years, its unflagging development, lovely framework outline, and strong notoriety propose that Checkfront is a decent venture for organizations in the visit and movement circle.
Experts who take single arrangements (instead of repeating appointments) may locate an all the more fitting arrangement elsewhere.
Booker has workplaces on three main lands and backings five dialects in the backend. It offers a shocking assortment of showcasing arrangements, coordinates with numerous installment stages, gloats incredible security highlights, and incorporates with a not too bad number of outside programming applications for included usefulness.
The organization keeps on redesigning and refresh its items, discharging noteworthy element augmentations at regular intervals.
- Marketing: Bookeo seems very committed to helping its users promote their businesses effectively.
- Flexible Payment Options: In addition to choosing whether to ask for full payment or deposits up front, Bookeo allow you to set cancellation fees and differing pricing for various times and seasons.
- Flexible Scheduling: Bookeo allows users a lot of control over scheduling. For one thing, you can manage resources (one per booking—each one comes with a wealth of settings of its own) even in the free version of Booker.
- Reports: Booker has expanded what kinds of reports users can create in recent years. You can choose detailed summaries of any promotions (with stats), prepaid credits, bookings, customers, and payments.
- International Support: Finally, Booker can be used internationally, particularly easily in Europe. As a manager, you can choose to view Bookeo in Spanish, French, German, and Italian in addition to English.
- Private Booking: The April 2016 update added the ability to designate events as private. This feature is fairly robust and allows you to set up events as completely private, or to block out a certain number of seats for just your friends/coworkers/family.
- API: One of the biggest new features being offered by Bookeo is their API, which has an enormous effect on the types and number of programs that Booker can interact with. The API allows outside programs to access Bookeo’s information.
- “Unsurpassed” Customer Service: Many loyal customers cite Bookeo’s speedy, courteous, and clear replies to emails.
- User-Friendly: One reviewer writes, “The management side of the software is straightforward with all the functionality you could want from a service like this.” Bookeo Tours are apparently particularly easy to use relative to other industry software.
- Customizable: One reviewer chose Bookeo for its ability to manage unique situations. Others praised outright how customizable the software is or described it as “innovative” and oft-upgraded.
- Insufficient Customer Support: Several users complained that Booker only offers self-service and email support.
- Interface Issues: One reviewer suggested there are too many steps for customers to make a booking, while another had difficulty navigating the setup process.
- Waiting for Promised Features: Whether users irrationally expected certain features at certain times or Booker inadvertently led them on.
Booker has demonstrated itself a reliable organization in its consistent programming overhauls, thorough customization choices, extraordinary safety efforts, and combinations with another programming. The application is a close ideal blend of straightforwardness, and strong usefulness blocked just by its constrained, and now and again conflicting client bolster.
While there are an excessive number of renditions and utilize cases for me to by and by experiment with the full scope of Bookeo’s offerings, I trust I can securely say it sufficiently adaptable to oblige any little to-medium business with planning needs.Check Out Booker Now
6. BOOKING BUG
BookingBug tries to set itself apart from other appointment booking software in two ways. First, it’s designed for serious adaptability and scalability, making its claim to be “the only real-time distributed booking and reservation system that works for all business types” potentially valid. Second, it’s integrated into a huge number of online and marketing platforms internationally. The company prides itself on innovation and flexibility.
- Resource management: Unlike many other software scheduling solutions, BookingBug is capable of managing resources other than time, making it useful for space and equipment rental services as well as individual service professionals.
- Data Analysis: With BookingBug Insights, you can easily and automatically analyze customer and service data that could beneficially inform your business practices.
- Updates Based on Feedback: The company welcomes and responds to feedback with constant improvements.
- Outlook Synchronization: As of June 2015, BookingBug features real-time MS Outlook integration.
- BookingBug is a finalist for the 2015 retail week customer experience Award.
- It was listed as one of 20 top UK start-ups of 2011 by YHP Online.
It has also garnered some high ratings:
- A highly dynamic, robust and customizable schedule.”
- AppAppeal gave the software 4/5 stars for making promotions possible and being used for many industries.
- The Android app, which on occasion simply doesn’t open or allow logins for many users, received a 2.4-star rating on Google Play.
- The iPhone app received 1.5-star rating for similar reasons. The app was most recently updated in May 2015, and there aren’t currently any reviews of the latest version.
The product is genuinely composed in light of a wide assortment of organizations, making it one of the main alternatives for chiefs of spots like B&Bs or bicycle rental shops, and a superior choice than numerous for medium-sized spas and salons planning to offer mix benefits or managing constrained assets notwithstanding restricted staff.
In spite of the fact that little organizations with restricted spending plans may discover the $19.95/mo sticker price on the base level bundle to be somewhat costly for their requirements, BookingBug’s fantastic client benefit, limited time apparatuses, client and information investigation, and inconspicuous yet simple to-utilize business arrangement alternatives make it a commendable venture for most private companies.
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7. 10 to 8
Booking software tends to succumb to feature-creep, meaning these programs tend to do a lot of things beyond scheduling your appointments. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes it can be challenging to zone in on a product that works for you without piling on costly features you don’t need.
10to8 isn’t bare bones, but it does focus on the fundamentals of a scheduling app, namely making appointments on a calendar and providing online booking access for your clients.
If you give it a try, I think you’ll find 10to8 to be a humble, useful, and usable organizational tool. Larger businesses may find it limiting, but those with simple scheduling needs should take a look.
- Mobile Application: Available on iOS, with an Android version pending.
- Emal and Text Reminders
- Two-way Chat with Clients
- Payment Processing
- Room Booking
- Multiple Language Support
- Elegant Design: Described by users as both complete and simple, 10to8 delivers the goods stylishly and effectively.
- Customer-friendly: Users reported that their customers had a positive experience with the online booking features.
- Responsive staff: Users found the staff to be readily available and to be extremely helpful in resolving issues with the product.
- Limited Functionality: 10to8 is a great appointment scheduling tool, but if you’re looking for a platform that can also handle your point of sale (you can take payments for bookings via Stripe) and inventory control needs, you’ll either need to resort to integrations or look elsewhere.
- Limited Integrations: Though the Zapier integration opens up a lot of integration options, there aren’t that many native ones available.
- Slow on old hardware: I didn’t experience this personally, but a number of individuals reported that the app could ask a bit much of old machines.
More or less, that is the thing that 10to8 is: a booking application that enhances your efficiency with as few agony focuses as could be expected under the circumstances. The free alternative (or choices, on the off chance that you need to forcefully diversion the referral framework) includes a beguiling sentiment quietude to the organization and additionally making it an awesome item to burgeon organizations.
Breezeworks is a cloud-based scheduling program created specifically for small businesses whose specialists work out in the field rather than in a fixed location–plumbers, party entertainers, technicians, etc. This ends up having a fairly profound effect on the design of what might otherwise be a familiar-looking scheduling program.
- Team Management: Breezeworks gives you all the tools necessary to track and coordinate operatives in the field.
- Invoicing: Breezeworks integrations allow specialists to bill customers on-site, with the same app.
- GPS Functionality: Breezeworks users not only know that they have an appointment pending, but they’ll also get an estimate of how long it will take them to reach the work site.
- Elegant Design: Considering how powerful it is, Breezeworks is remarkably simple to use.
- Consolidation of Useful Features: Users remarked that they’d previously had to rely on multiple apps to perform all the on-site tasks they can perform with Breezeworks.
- Responsive staff: People found the staff to be readily available and extremely helpful in resolving issues with the product.
- Serves its niche well: Many small businesses that use field workers consider Breezeworks to be a game changer.
- Cost: Adding additional users run up the cost of Breezeworks pretty quickly. One particular user said that it was a cost his small business couldn’t bear on top of their existing digital overhead.
- Limited features: Though this was usually brought up in otherwise positive reviews, many users had a wish list of features they’d like to see added to Breezeworks.
- App Design: While conceding that it “has potential,” several users found the user interface to be hard or inconvenient to use.
- Sales calls: Several people complained about “inappropriate” sales calls that started shortly after they activated their accounts
Breezeworks isn’t everything each business could need in a booking application, yet it is an item that dependable and forcefully takes into account the necessities of its objective market. In case you’re a private company (1-20 people) that does nearby work, Breezeworks is resolved to make your life a mess less demanding. The newly computerized planning highlight goes far towards making conveying field operators as proficient as could be allowed.
The one genuine problem, from my point of view, is the cost. As an application that sparkles brightest when utilized by a little group, the month to month costs (which run up with each colleague) could without much of a stretch turn out to be restrictively costly for organizations with tight overall revenues. The best programming on the planet is futile if it’s out of your compass.
9. Square Appointments
Formerly an independent enterprise named BookFresh, the (relatively) small program was acquired by merchant services provider Square in 2014 and has since been rolled into that company’s infrastructure. BookFresh.com now serves primarily as a landing page for Square Appointments, an application that functions within the larger framework of Square’s SaaS offerings.
- The point of Sale/Inventory Management: See below.
- Employee Management: If you employ a sales team and would like to keep track of their performance within Square, you can do so at the cost of $5/person per month.
- Customer Management: While largely related to Square’s POS functionality, you can take advantage of the SaaS’s intricate customer management tools to track loyalty, satisfaction, and feedback.
- Email Marketing: Yes, Square can also function as a lean ESP if you’re so inclined. It’s no MailChimp, but it does allow you to leverage the same customer base you’ve built up through your booking and sales functionality.
- Mobile App: Square Appointments is available as a standalone app for iOS.
- Integrated Functionality: Users who also took advantage of the payment processing systems and other features Square had to offer considering it to be a good value.
- Ease of Use: Considering just how much Square can do, it’s remarkably easy to use.
- Portability: Square was originally designed for mobile devices, so just about everything it offers is available on the go as an app or a peripheral.
- Cost: There’s no way around it. Square Appointments is considerably more expensive than BookFresh. Most criticisms of the software were focused on this aspect.
- Too Many Options: This is only a problem if you have modest booking needs, but some users felt like they didn’t need everything Square has to offer.
- Mobile App Limitations: Mobile users complained about having to re-enter customer information in the app.
BookFresh is dead. However, it’s phantom will lead you to Square Appointments. What’s more, regardless of the way that its capacities as a successor to BookFresh, Square Appointments is an altogether different program serving an alternate specialty.
10. Check Appointments
Centered in Charlotte, NC, the company produced initially free software for businesses and professionals. Today check appointments has a wide variety of paying clients, mostly across the United States and Canada, including users in the healthcare and education industries. Successfully serving as CTO of mailVU.com and CEO of checkappointments.com for years has made Mr. Kapur a qualified speaker on some startup and IT concepts.
- Report/List Generators: Choose to generate lists and reports of open or closed classes; open, upcoming, completed, and canceled appointments; no shows; and invoices. Download PDFs and Excel spreadsheets of the information with the click of a button.
- Website Customization: In addition to a web anchor (URL) and logo, you choose which screens in the booking process you want and don’t want, and decide their order.
- Coupons: It’s easy to create simple coupons on check appointments. You can set an expiration date and a maximum number of redemptions, as well as choose between percentage or fixed amount off to maintain control of client usage.
- Custom Fields: Add as many custom fields to client intake forms as you like while categorizing them for the organization and easy reference.
- Resources: Unless you have a Solo Account, you can divvy up resources across certain services, staff, and time slots.
- Message Customization: There is 15 automatic email and SMS templates in check appointments for events ranging from “appointment cancellation due to non-payment” to “new appointment message sent to staff.” Each automatic message is fully customizable.
- Helpful Customer Service: CheckAppointments’ customer service is proactive, often immediately responsive, multi-dimensional, and very friendly.
- High Security: CheckAppointments implements above-average safety and security measures to ensure user privacy, a high percentage of uptime, and constant backups.
- Easy Setup: Some reviewers were impressed with the speed and ease with which they could setup their account and start taking bookings. CheckAppointments allows you to start scheduling after a less-than-three-minute basic configuration process.
- User Interface: As mentioned in the Ease of Use section of this review, checkAppointments’ graphic user interface is not as clean or simple as it could be.
- Homely Customer Booking Site: Similar to the main scheduling software from a user’s point of view, the customer booking experience is just a little degraded by the awkward and somewhat bland scheduling page.
- Not Optimized for Mobile: CheckAppointments is not yet optimized for smartphones or devices, nor is there a complementary app.
With a cleaner, clearer UI and a more alluring client booking site, check appointments could equal the most honed arrangement booking arrangements out there. Joining with installment stages and additionally the capacity to offer coupons, oversee assets, and create reports makes check appointments completely utilitarian and valuable for a wide assortment of associations and organizations.
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I have tried to mention all the details about top 10 best booking software 2017 along with their pros and cons, I hope you found it helpful in selecting the best booking software from the above list.
Let me know in the comments, which booking software are you using and how do you are liking it.