If your app wants to allow your customers to book an appointment, a facility, service such as spa treatment, or even an equipment rental by minutes or hours, you need a booking system that supports booking into timeslots. It is also generally referred to as appointment booking or calendar-booking in some industries.
These services, such as spas, barbershops, meeting facilities rentals, internet cafes, or similar, usually sell their services in minutes or hours. And they typically operate between opening and closing hours of the business day. Here are a few examples, 1 hour Thai Massage, 15 Minute Lash Tint, 2 Hour Meeting Room.
When you install Zappter Reservations plugin, it comes with functionalities to support two different booking concepts. Depending on your selling needs, you can use either or both options:
Predefined Bookings (for hourly bookings): You would use this part of the plugin when creating a booking app to handle predefined or the slotted bookings. For example, if you think of a spa, a customer has to make the bookings as per available slots in the spa, and these slots are predefined in their scheduling by spa operations
Flexible Bookings (for daily bookings): You would use a flexible booking for apps that handle open and long-term booking requirements. For example, a 'rent a car' where customers can book a vehicle for any number of days as long as their preferred vehicle is available. And, there are no time-slots in a day. The same is true for hotel bookings and other similar business operations
Spa listings example
Following steps show how you can create 'Predefined' booking items for a spa (reservations into timeslots).
1. Admin > Customize > Content. Click to edit your app.
2. Expand the group, 'Online Bookings' and then select the option, 'Predefined Booking.'
3. Setup screen comes up; enter the details.
Name, title or heading: Write a descriptive name of your bookable appointment, and it is mandatory
Brief text: Brief and descriptive text
Price: Set a pricefor the bookings, and it is mandatory
Picture Dimension: Recommended to keep it 'Device optimized' to make sure the main focus of the picture (usually the center) is kept in the center in any device screen sizes. When you keep it square, it tries to paint the entire picture, which is good for larger screens but in small screen, it will only display part of the picture
Picture: Upload a picture
Resources: Choose one or more of the resources who will handle the booking. Also in this tab you can choose to disable resource selection coming up on the user mobile devices, which is ideal for restaurant booking setups
Duration in minutes: This is the 'predefined' duration of the booking
Blocker after: Number of minutes to block as soon as the appointment or booking ends. It helps avoid the next customer immediately booking the next appointment for the resource
4. Click on the 'More Options' button. And look at these options that help you customize the booking app to your business requirements.
Reservation Time: It is the hold time for bookings that are yet to be confirmed. For instance, a customer has booked for particular date/time, but not yet paid a deposit to confirm the booking
Preferred booking interval: It is the interval between booking appointments. If your duration is 15 minutes, and a customer books at 9 AM. The next available bookable slot will be at 9:15 AM. However, if you set this timing to 15 minutes, the next available bookable slot will be at 9:30 AM.
Preparation time in minutes: It is the time your business wants to prepare to take the first booking based on your business opening hours (usually in the morning)
Not same day: If bookable on the same day
Within opening hours: If you want to allow making a booking within your business opening and closing hours
Custom availability: If you want to provide custom availability. And if you don't provide any data here, the customers can only make bookings between opening and closing hours of your business as specified in the default settings using Admin > Setitngs > Online-Bookings
If you don't specify a value for 'Custom availability,' the app uses the defaults in Admin > Settings > Online Bookings.
Tip: It is always best practice to keep your default opening hour set to 00:00 to keep your bookings open 24 hours. And, then set custom opening hours on each item as mentioned in the above step.
Resources: Select the resources that are available to be chosen by the customers for this appointment/booking
Disable resource selection: Hide the resource selection while customers making the booking. Ideally, in a spa you wouldn't do it
Deactivate number of people: Deactivate selecting the number of people who will attend the booking. Depending on your business needs, make the decision here
Number of persons blocks only one resource: Specify if one person per resource. In spa, you wouldn't want a single resource/therapist attending more than one customer at a time
Modifiers groups: You may take advantage of this option to offer the customers with treatment room options or other spa product brand options. You can create modifiers accordingly and set prices for it, so it will add the charges on to the base price of the treatment. Read here to learn how to create modifers: https://www.zappter.com/marketplace/en-us/plugins/modifiers.html
5. Click on the 'Create' button to complete your listing.