Online Booking in App Development | Webiotic

11 min read

Features Of Online Booking in App Development

Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment, an online consultation, or even a flight, the ability to book through a mobile device can drive the growth of digital sales.

Whatever niche your mobile app is in, offering booking capabilities for your smartphone users can greatly enhance the user experience and booking process.

Think about what users want most from an app.

That’s right, convenience!

It’s all about offering services that are convenient and easy to use.

In this article, we’ll review the best features online booking software has to offer in mobile app development so you can build a booking app with success.

Table of Contents

  1. Top Online Booking Features
  2. User Registration and Profile
  3. Search
  4. Cancellation
  5. Online Payment
  6. User Account
  7. Push Notifications
  8. Ratings and Reviews
  9. Tips for Developing a Mobile Booking App
  10. Use Booking Integrations and APIs
  11. Go With Native Development
  12. Create Flawless UX/UI 
  13. User-Test Features
  14. Types of Booking Apps
  15. Ridesharing Services
  16. Delivery Services
  17. Hospitality and Travel Services
  18. Entertainment and Events
  19. Telehealth

Chapter #1: Top Online Booking Features

First and foremost, it’s important to have a good understanding of what your app intends to offer users before considering what app features to include when developing a booking app or an app with booking abilities.

For example, important booking features for travel apps will differ from features for gym or fitness apps.

With a fitness app, important features may include the ability to schedule classes, make payments, set reminders, and so on.

But with travel apps, important online booking features include the ability to book flights, change or reserve seats, and so on. 

PRO TIP:
The features you offer should always benefit your specific target audience. Don’t waste time on superfluous features, they’ll only get in the way of your users’ goals.

With that said, there are some key booking features that every mobile app should be using. Let’s take a look.

1.1 User Registration and Profile

If you’re creating an online booking mobile app (or maybe just an app with booking functionality), the ability for users to register and create a profile in the app is essential.

Remember, booking features, like scheduling appointments or services, are going to have a database that will require specific user information.

Photo Credit: financesonline.com

Users will need to be able to register and log in to the app to access this booking functionality.

Additionally, user registration and user profiles are important simply because they offer valuable data about your users which can aid in future marketing efforts.

This one depends on your app’s industry, but the ability to search for accommodations or flights, for example, is important for any travel booking app.

Photo Credit: financesonline.com

Gym or fitness apps can also benefit from offering search parameters so users can easily find and book classes or training sessions right from their mobile device.

PRO TIP:
For mobile apps offering simple services, such as booking consultations or appointments, a search feature may not be as important as other features, like calendar reminders and notifications.

1.3 Cancellation

When users book any type of service, whether it’s an Uber ride or food delivery, they should  have the ability to cancel their booking.

Not allowing this feature can lead to many headaches for your business down the road, like missed appointments and no-shows.

Additional features related to booking cancellations can also be added depending on your app’s needs, such as cancellation fees and refunds within a specific timeframe.

1.4 Online Payment

The ability for users to pay for their online bookings is a must. Your online booking app design should include a range of payment options, like credit or debit cards, PayPal, and Stripe.

Integrating these popular payment gateways will work to enhance the user experience and drive users to make a purchase, which is always the goal.

1.5 User Account

In addition to a user profile, users should also have a user account page in the app that includes important details about past and present bookings.

This screen could also include wish lists, user preferences, and so on. Not only does this enhance the user experience, but it’s also information you can use to send personalized offers and discounts to your users.

1.6 Push Notifications

Every app can benefit greatly from having push notifications, but this is especially important for booking apps.

After all, when users book something online through a mobile app, it makes sense that they would receive some kind of notification regarding their booking, whether it’s an alert that the service is coming up or a reminder.

PRO TIP:
Having push notifications is a great channel for direct communication with your users and it can increase app engagement, so be sure to incorporate it in your list of booking features.

1.7 Ratings and Reviews

Not every booking app needs this feature, but it’s particularly important when it comes to apps that serve as a platform for booking services from other businesses.

For example, when users search for food delivery options in their UberEats app, a feature they care about is the ratings they see next to the various restaurants.

This gives users the confidence to make a purchase.

On the other hand, if you have a pet services business where customers can book a service you offer, it doesn’t really make sense to add this feature since all the services are from your business (and you probably don’t want users to post negative reviews about your own services)

Chapter #2: Tips for Developing a Mobile Booking App

Now that you’re familiar with the kind of features users expect from a booking app, let’s take a look at a few key details you should consider before setting out to build your app.

2.1 Use Booking Integrations and APIs

If you’re building an app with booking capabilities, just remember that not everything needs to be built from scratch. 

There’s plenty of third-party software you can integrate into your mobile app.

There are many popular APIs and integrations that can help bring you the features you want in a booking app, like Google Maps API, Uber API, and more.

This can save you time and money when building a booking system.

2.2 Go With Native Development

While there are certainly use cases for developing a hybrid or cross-platform app, when building a booking system in a mobile application, opt for a native mobile app development process.

You don’t want to cut any corners when building your app. Creating your booking app natively will run smoother and perform much better than the alternatives.

2.3 Create Flawless UX/UI 

When creating your online booking app design, UX and UI are key. Having an abundance of great features will only get your app so far.

Your target audience should be able to easily navigate through your booking system to find what they need with ease.

Follow UX and UI best practices, keep your designs free from clutter, and ensure that important CTAs are easy to find.

2.4 User-Test Features

Developing a booking system for your mobile app can take time, especially when you plan on incorporating a wide range of features.

To ensure you’re focused on launching your app with the most important features, conduct thorough user testing to ensure each one is actually necessary.

The last thing you want is to bloat your app with unnecessary functionality your users may not even care about. This kind of clutter could also prevent your users from finding the booking features they do care about.

When conducting user testing, feedback is incredibly valuable. Feedback will not only help you cut out features you don’t need (or features that can be integrated in later versions of your app), but it’s also a way to improve the features that are most important.

Once you have your core set of features, you’ll want as much feedback as you can get to continue improving the experience for your users.

Chapter #3: Types of Booking Apps

Before setting out on your mobile app development journey, take time to consider what type of booking app your app will be.

Finding your app niche will help ensure your app only offers the most valuable booking features, which can save time and money on development costs.

Here are the main types of booking apps you’ll find in app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

3.1 Ridesharing Services

While ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are no longer actually offering “rideshares” due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing rules, they are still offering their users the ability to book rides, which is still needed for many.

Apps like Uber and Lyft are complex in their architecture and features because they cater to two types of users: drivers and passengers.

This type of booking app requires a wealth of features, like online car booking, real-time driver tracking, driver and passenger reviews and ratings, trip history, a payment system, and more.

3.2 Delivery Services

Delivery services, whether it’s groceries, medicine, or meals, have grown in demand, especially in the past year due to the pandemic.

More people are enjoying the safety and convenience of having goods delivered directly to their doorstep.

Some features you’ll find in delivery service apps include search functionality, reviews and ratings, adding items to a cart, scheduling orders, and more.

3.3 Hospitality and Travel Services

These types of apps are wide in range and cover everything from hotel booking apps to flight and travel experiences apps.

These apps often integrate with outside APIs and third-party integrations, and are incredibly complex applications.

Photo Credit: krify.co

3.5 Telehealth

Many entrepreneurs have found that there’s enormous opportunity in telehealth, and this niche is only growing in popularity as technology advances.

Telehealth and telemedicine utilize technologies that offer remote patient support, allowing users to connect with their physicians and other medical specialists online and from the comfort of their homes.

People choose telehealth apps for a variety of reasons. It’s fast, safe, and convenient. So if you’re building a telehealth app, you’ve chosen an industry that can be both lucrative and beneficial to individuals who need the service.

These apps include the kind of booking features you may expect, such as patient profile, the ability to book and cancel appointments, search capabilities, video conferencing, calendar integration, and more.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re creating a booking app or simply an app with booking functionality, there’s simply a wealth of resources at your disposal for every industry.

In booking app development, there are APIs and third-party integrations that can help cut down on development time.

And remember, always begin by including features that are most valuable to your users.

Ready to get started on your custom booking app? Our Simple Starter package is the perfect step forward and includes technical documentation on all of your booking app ideas. This acts as a foundation for the future of your app’s development.

What are your favorite booking app features? How do you think they could improve?

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