If you know me, you know that I love checking out anything that relates to WooCommerce. As someone who has used booking via WooCommerce a lot in the past, I was intrigued by the chance to take a look at the Booking and Appointment Plugin from Tyche Softwares.
Whenever I use a plugin like this, the two important aspects I pay attention to are ease of use and flexibility. This one came in tops on both. The user interface is easy to understand and the flow of creating bookable products is intuitive. With its features, you can use this for just about any business where there is a need that it would fill. From hotels to apartments to small resorts, it has you covered. It would also work for any business or consumer service, from consultants and trainers to photographers and medical practices.
A Video Overview of the Booking and Appointment Plugin for WooCommerce
In the first part of this review, I walk you through the settings to show you its flexibility and ease of setup. I have found that some booking plugins can be overcomplicated. This one makes it much easier to set up three kinds of bookings:
- Days only
- Multiple days
- Days with time slots
Watch this tour.
This next part of the review will highlight some of the main features of this plugin, so you can revisit a specific option without having to watch the entire video again.
Global Booking Settings
As you can see from this screenshot you have some standard booking settings that will affect all booking products on your site. But most of these can also be overridden on specific booking products as well.
I’d like to point out a couple of things here.
First, you have some options as far as the style of the calendar, which are nice features. There are 24 different themes for the calendar itself and it can be displayed in 62 different languages.
And if you use either the WooCommerce Product Addons or Gravity Forms Product Addons, this works seamlessly with it. It’s the perfect solution for adding options to any booking.
This is something I get asked all the time by WooCommerce users. Can I easily change the label? For example, maybe you don’t want to list “Check-in Date” or “Start Date” on the product page. Maybe, instead, you are a coach and want to it to say “Coaching Appointment”. You can do that and a lot of other custom labels without having to mess with the code.
Syncing with Your Google Calendar
To save you even more time, this plugin lets you sync with your Google Calendar, so you don’t have to go into your dashboard to see bookings or manually add them to another calendar. Since this is a 2-way sync, you can export orders to Google Calendar as they happen as well as import events from Google Calendar. The option you find in the menu “Booking” will be applied to all products.
Setting Up Your Booking or Appointment Products
You will find all of the settings for your bookings on your product page.
Here you can choose to allow multiple booking and book by either specific dates, recurring weekdays, or both, as well as adding time slots.
An option of choosing to have an inline calendar or not is nice. And if you want customers to be able to purchase a slot but not book a specific time or date, you can do that as well. And as I mentioned before, you can block out dates specific to a product and override your global settings.
In addition, here is where you have an option for a confirmation. The administrator would then be allowed to approve or deny a booking. If it’s denied, that booking slot becomes available again and an email will be sent to the customer.
Booking Time Period
You have two separate options for how you set up the time period.
Manage Dates, Time Slots
Once you have filled out the settings, you can now manage them here.
A great feature that gives you the chance to offer special prices on select days or dates.
Fixed Pricing Block
You can also create blocks for pricing. Here you are able to book “exactly” the number of days in a specified block. For example, if a site allows 2 periods of fixed booking, weekdays and weekends, where weekdays mean a full week and weekends means Friday and Saturday, then those fixed blocks will be booked.
Price By Range of Days
This is good for volume booking. For example, you want to have a different price for 1 – 3 days, another price for 4-10 days, etc.
Google Calendar Sync Settings
The cool feature here is that a customer can sync different products to their own Google Calendars. In addition, this is also a 2-way sync, meaning all events related to a specific product can be imported in WooCommerce and the booking dates will also be added to those orders.
A Few More Things
I’d like to touch on a few pieces that I didn’t mention in the video.
This plugin has some really nice add-ons that let you extend functionality while meeting specific needs. These are:
- Multiple Time Slot Addon
- Partial Deposits Addon
- Printable Tickets Addon
- Rental System Addon
- Seasonal Pricing Addon
- Tour Operators Addon
- Send to a Friend Addon
I like the fact that these are add-ons, as they are specific to certain kinds bookings and appointments in different businesses.
It does come with a Booking and Appointment Availability Search widget, which allows customers to search available products based on a specific date range.
Bookings Page and Export Options
You will find all of your bookings on a single page that can also be viewed in a calendar. And bookings can be exported to csv, pdf or excel formats.
Last Thoughts on the Booking and Appointment Plugin
This plugin is incredibly robust and it’s hard to share here every single thing it can do. But a couple of features did stand out for me when I explored this plugin.
Real Time Availability – If multiple users try to book the same space for one spot, it shows it in real time as taken, even if someone else is just going through the process and hasn’t yet completed it.
Booking Info – During each step of purchasing an appointment or booking, you will see the date and time on the cart page and checkout page. This is great for the a customer who may wondering if they have chosen the right date and don’t want to be surprised after ordering. It also shows on order received page and the email notification.
It was hard to think of an instance where this plugin wouldn’t work. And, as I already mentioned, the usability was easy. Even complicated booking criteria can be managed without any confusion.
If you are looking for powerful booking and appointment options for your WooCommerce run site, I would highly recommend that you check out this plugin. And do make sure to read through their site to learn more about what it can do for you.