People are always on the go and it can be revolutionary for any business to provide the convenience of its services while they move. Hence, this digital way of providing services and dealing with the problems of the physical world has paved the direction for new business avenues. For example – Uber Taxi Booking App. A simple swipe in a smartphone app replaced the old fashioned whistling taxi system.
Maybe you’re a Hotelier or a company owner or a solopreneur looking to build an independent online booking app for a specific industry or for multiple industries. If so, then you can explore with us the development stages and features of an online booking app, and how you can deliver the value and earn profits with such a solution.
Herein we will discuss:
Approaches and Use Cases for an Online Booking App
The development of a mobile app for online booking is a very large use case as a whole. It encompasses various business models and industries. Below are some that we are going to discuss:
- Bed & Breakfast (BNB) services or Hotel Booking
- Reservations or Restaurant Booking
- Vehicle Booking
- Fleet Rental Booking
- Space Rental Booking
- Doctor Appointment Booking
- On-demand services Booking
- Food Delivery Services
- Fuel Delivery Services
- Gas Delivery Services
A lot of mediator apps opt for a multi-industry approach. These apps are supposed to offer all of the above use cases and more. However, always remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The approach should be that you start with one or two of these use cases and add more use cases in a periodic manner.
The other approach is primarily specific to businesses that already have a strong presence in the offline domain. And this online booking app can be an extension to bring the online audience to the fold.
[You should refer to our dedicated articles to the above given industries as they aim to cover industry-specific solutions in the desired depth it deserves.]
How to approach developing an online booking app?
As you start developing an application, you need to plan out certain things in order to avoid mismanagement, repetitive work, and most importantly to save your time and money. So to gain clarity about what you’re building and why, start with the basic requirements of your online booking app before reaching out for an end solution. For this, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Decide the genre of your booking system app
Every business is a different one. A restaurant business, for example, may have a different use case than a leasing business. The first step, then, is to decide the genre. Whether the app is for home services, beauty, travel, hospitality, medical or rental services.
Step 2: Design the plan
Once you have listed out services for your online booking app, it is time to design a plan. You would need to enumerate all your feature requirements. But before listing the features, you need to identify your target audience, their demographics, psychographics, behavior patterns, etc. For a restaurant booking system app, the target audience would be based on the type of food you offer – fast food, veg, etc. and the service you offer – whether it’s a dine-in or a home delivery. Then you need to figure out your USP which will drive your audience to your business.
Only after knowing the audience, you can list out the features that your users would find useful. In the case of online restaurant/table reservation booking app, the features that would be required by restaurant owners, for example, Setting Availability management and the ones, which the end-customers might require would be online payment, food ordering, reserving a table, etc.
Hence, after identifying the audience, write down all of the system’s specifications. Like, the ideas you have about the online booking application, the features it needs to have, the app design, and the services you want to provide to customers and vendors. Give a definite structure to your thinking.
Pro Tip: Do market research, study similar booking system apps, and run a few surveys before finalizing the structure.
Step 3: Consider the budget
Not focusing on budget planning can cause failure for start-ups or businesses venturing into the online domain. You need to first zero-in on how much money you can assemble for the next 6 months. And once done, focus on questions such as, (i) Native App or Cross-Platform, (ii) Marketing Cost, and (iii) Resource Planning Cost. These three will help you map where to spend how much, and when.
Pro tip: Always have allotted 2-3% of the total budget under misc. to help you tackle any surprises before the launch.
An idea to plan a budget: Suppose your business needs a small booking system app rather than an enterprise-level system. Instead of spending extra on new features that are not needed at the moment, you can spend them on marketing ads and promotions. This way you can plan your budget consciously with proper planning.
Step 4: Gather the resources
After finalizing the plan and the budget, you need to gather all the resources that would be needed to build the app and start the business. Resources can be employees/staff, devices like a smartphone or a laptop, a storehouse, items, various assets, vendors, and more.
Say, you’ve got a salon business. You would, therefore, need a place for the salon, different goods, and products for your services, maybe a saloonist and other helpers/staff to run the business.
Step 5: Get your business online
Be it flight bookings or renting homes, customers want to get it done with a single click, so you need to have a booking system app. However, that’s not enough. To reach those 6.95 billion smartphone users and grow successful businesses, design your website and app, market your business, build your brand, and boost your sales. To get all this done, partner with the right mobile app development company.
Want to develop a booking application for your business?
Reach out to our team and we will provide you with a demo of how the app could work with your business logic. We have the basic version of the booking app ready which can be customized as per your business requirements.