How to Enable Online Appointment Scheduling Feature on Website or App

Are you still scheduling salon appointments over the phone, manually adding bookings to Google Calendar, and tracking customer data using Excel sheets? Besides wasting your time, these manual processes can lead to grave mistakes and severe monetary losses. By staying offline, your salon is missing the boat, because online bookings allow you to secure a more stable customer flow and a significant increase in revenue. Online appointment scheduling is the most viral feature of a salon booking app. Follow these simple methods to enable online booking on your salon’s website or mobile app.

Connect to an external booking website

Redirecting users to an external booking website is the cheapest and easiest way to incorporate online appointment scheduling in your salon booking app. Let your salon booking app feature a link that will send your visitors to the selected external booking system. Salon owners, without any technical knowledge or web development skills, find this method quite easy to boost online bookings. If you don’t have the budget to pay for a high-functioning plugin or hire a developer to customize your salon online scheduling app, linking to an external booking system is the way to go.

The only drawback is you’ll be diverting your website traffic to a different location, outside your own salon website. Once a user is taken to the external booking engine, they won’t be experiencing a true sense of your brand. Moreover, you’ll have less control over valuable booking data, which is being stored by the vendor. Hence, it’s important to choose the right external booking system that will not demote your brand or complicate the booking process.

Utilize online plugins

Online booking system plugins integrate well with any CMS and ecommerce platforms. These plugins are capable of providing users with appointment confirmation messages, reminders, and notifications, via web as well as mobile. Some plugins offer most features in its free version except accepting online payments. This allows you to explore the plugin’s advantages through a trial phase and later upgrade to premium version. Most CMS platforms offer compatible plugins; so identify the plugin that will perfectly suit your salon booking app.

Online plugins be installed and used by a web administrator without any specific level of web expertise or coding experience. Using a plugin will make your online booking app for salon highly mobile-responsive. The in-built analytics feature offered by the plugin will give detailed insights on your appointments. Which can be used to improve services.    

Avoid installing outdated plugins as they can break your system and cause security issues. Likewise, installing plugins from different developers can lead to system conflicts as divergent plugins may not sync well.

Embed an inline frame (iframe)

The most common use of an inline frame or iframe is to load content from another website within the current web page viewed by the user. A “booking system iframe” embeds an external booking system on your salon website. Along with the actual calendar that allows people to schedule their appointments. The only difference is that iframe doesn’t force the user to leave the salon website. So there’s no risk of bookers losing patience, trust, or interest while they’re scheduling an appointment. Embedding a booking system iframe requires only minimal investment and time. No technical expertise is needed to embed the iframe code onto your salon website’s backend.

However, the performance of your salon software will rely on an external online booking system provider’s code and infrastructure. Also, you should optimize your salon booking app extensively to index externally embedded code. Consider these aspects before embedding a third-party booking system on your website.  

Custom-coded salon booking app

If your business is highly reliant on booking software to manage a large number of appointments with intricate details. It is better to develop a custom-coded online booking app for salon. It’s a worthy investment that will pay you off in the long run. However, you should have sufficient financial reserve to go for a customized solution.

APIs (Application Program Interface)

Nowadays. Most salon online scheduling apps come with built in APIs. That allow your application to be easily index through search engines. APIs improve your SEO efforts and provide you with meaningful insights garnered from both internal and external booking software data. If you’re integrating an external booking API to your salon website, be sure to choose the latest version of the API. This prevents your booking system from crashing and turning obsolete.    

Though there are multiple ways to enable online appointment scheduling on your salon website, the choice will ultimately depend on your CMS (Content Management System) and budget. If WordPress-based websites are highly plugin-friendly, drag and drop builders like Wix and Site123 support only external website links and booking system iframes. Having the ability to control your appointments indicates that your business is on the growth track. Start with one of the above tips and explore more expensive and powerful options as your business expands.    

Maritna Hale

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