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Three amazing things you can do with WooCommerce Bookings

Written by Nicole Kohler on May 30, 2017 Blog, Bookable goods.

One of our longtime favorite extensions for WooCommerce is WooCommerce Bookings. It’s packed with functionality that helps businesses of all types function, from agencies to boutiques to restaurants.

But if you’ve never taken a good look at Bookings, you might not realize everything it’s capable of. This powerful extension can do much more than reserve hotel rooms or book appointments for their next haircut. Even better – if you’re setting up a new store it’s available in one of our potent bundles – check out the WooBookings Bundle.

Let’s look at how you can use WooCommerce Bookings to sell your time, organize events, and even rent products — and how these amazing options might translate into more money for your (yes, your) business.

Sell your time (instead of giving it away)

When we talk about selling your time with Bookings, most business owners say “that’s not for me — I’m not an expert.”

But you’re probably already giving away your time for free without realizing it. Every time you schedule a meeting with someone, hop on a quick call, or even grab lunch with a fellow business owner, you’re giving your time away.

And that time is valuable. It’s time you could spend improving your business or selling more products.

No, we’re not suggesting that you start charging everyone for every meeting you hold. You wouldn’t be very likable if your lunches came with a fee. 😉 But you should think about how you might already be giving away your knowledge, and how you could perhaps monetize it.

One way to use Bookings: selling your time instead of giving it away for free.

Along with selling your contentyou can use WooCommerce Bookings to set up consulting sessions so you can start getting paid for what you know, do, and excel at.

A few ideas:

  • Offer 30 minute meetings with a small fee so fellow business owners can pick your brain — either online or in person.
  • Hold a webinar that can be booked for free, but charge for follow-up sessions or additional content.
  • If you’re a speaker in your industry, you can use Bookings to reserve events and charge your speaking fees (with the option to approve each event, of course).
Want to approve those bookings first? No problem — it’s built right into the extension.

Book resources, like event staff, for a specific day

Bookings systems are typically used by customers who are making an appointment for a service (ex. a salon) or a stay (ex. a hotel).

But you can — and should — take bookings from customers who want people or products to come to them.

This might look like letting customers pick a specific day and time for a caterer to serve food at their upcoming wedding. Or it might look like a florist taking bookings for specific arrangements delivered to specific locations.

It might even look like a record label allowing one or more of their artists to be booked for concerts, festivals, or private events.

Specific people can be added to your bookings, so customers can reserve who they want and you’ll know who’s going where and when.

For a real life example of this kind of booking read about the process at EYExplore Tokyo, where you can reserve a guide for a photography tour of Japan — plus choose the city, type of tour, and specific date that suits your personal preference.

Want to take a photography tour of Tokyo? Bookings can help you reserve your spot.

If you want your staff to be booked for specific places and times, WooCommerce Bookings is what you need. With the customer choosing the date from your calendar, there’s no back-and-forth to slow you down. They’ll tell you exactly what they need and when, and then it’s just up to you to deliver.

Rent products out on a temporary basis

The sharing economy is surging in eCommerce. We’ve gone far beyond Uber and Airbnb now; chances are you’ve seen at least one Facebook ad for shops that let you try fashionable clothing and only buy the pieces you love.

You can use WooCommerce Bookings to rent or temporarily reserve products — everything from clothing to party supplies to lawn and garden equipment. While the typical usage of the extension might be to permanently sell something, there’s no reason you can’t use it for an item you get back.

You may even want to use Bookings to lend out products on top of what you’re already selling — so, for example, customers can either a buy a new outfit outright or rent it for a reduced cost just to wear on a date.

Why buy when you can rent? If you sell high-end clothes, you might see a huge uptick in sales by offering to lend them out for a single day.

A few ideas for rentals:

  • Offer paid hands-on trials of expensive products so a customer can “try before they buy” (and only spend a little before spending a lot).
  • Rent out expensive items that are typically purchased, like wedding or formal wear, and throw in delivery or pick-up as an incentive to book.
  • Perhaps a little obvious, but allow vehicles like cars, buses, or even limos that come with a driver to be reserved, picked up, and brought back on time. (We’ll leave the insurance up to you.)
  • A final thought specifically for consumer electronics storesrent out items needed temporarily, like spare laptops or projectors for business meetings, routers for hotels hosting lots of guests needing wifi, etc.

Here’s a quick use case on renting items with WooCommerce Bookings that might come in handy if you want to give this a try.

What will you do with WooCommerce Bookings?

As we’ve shown you here, there is a lot you can do with WooCommerce Bookings, from selling your time to booking specific people to renting out products on a temporary basis.

We love hearing about all the new ways our customers are finding to use this extension. So if you’re planning to use Bookings to do something amazing — or are already using it in a really exciting way — leave a comment below and let us know about it!


14 Responses

  1. Marco
    May 30, 2017 at 10:26 pm #

    Thanks for this article. The example of the ptgrapher tours is exactly what we plan 😉

    I think we have to take a closer look to WooCommerce Booking.

    Regards from Berlin, Germany

  2. Jack
    May 31, 2017 at 8:51 am #

    Very nice article. i love to this post. very impressive. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Laurie
    May 31, 2017 at 9:14 am #

    Great tips! Great resource! I was selling one to one help sessions for a while! If you are recording those, you can convert into an online course and sell it.

    • Kat
      May 31, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

      Absolutely! Great idea 🙂

  4. Eduardo
    June 3, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

    My question is about courses or something related. The specific part we need is to sell courses but these are in person, so the teacher needs a minimum number of students to get his time’s worth. If the minimum is 10 but only 6 people book it, is there an add-on where it would automatically put the course on hold and maybe return the money to each one that paid?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Kat
      June 5, 2017 at 11:11 pm #

      Hi Eduardo, as it says in the WooCommerce Bookings FAQ, it’s possible to use WooCommerce Deposits to accept a deposit or down-payment on a booking, which you could then refund if the class doesn’t go forward.

  5. Manish
    June 5, 2017 at 11:38 am #

    That’s awesome Nicole! think I will need to take a closer look at WooCommerce Booking. I didn’t know that such thing is possible with WooCommerce.

  6. Marcel
    June 20, 2017 at 8:26 pm #

    As someone who works on and offline (in a store) how easy is it for the store owner to add an appointment by himself – from a client who made an appointment on the phone, for instance?

    Many thanks!

  7. wpxdevs
    June 21, 2017 at 4:27 am #

    Thanks for sharing this content.

  8. Karan
    June 22, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

    Thanks for this amazing and great post, I liked it a lot.

  9. Rolf
    June 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm #

    Thanks for this article. its amazing how much is possible with woocomerce.

    Thank you

  10. AirMac
    June 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

    A great article – a must-do for every shop owner!


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