Book Smarter with Vagaro Booking Widgets
The process of booking any kind of service or class should be as straightforward and streamlined as possible, for both clients and businesses. The quicker you can get a client across that magical booking threshold, the more likely they are to follow through—and book with you again.
Providing 24/7 website and mobile booking is a start, but it shouldn’t stop there. Businesses need to capture and convert potential clients everywhere they can, from websites, social media pages and review sites to navigation apps. Vagaro’s Booking Widgets and integrations cover all these bases.
With them, businesses can enable booking on their websites, Facebook & Instagram pages, Yelp profiles and widely used navigation apps like Apple Maps. Vagaro’s Google Search integration will further increase booking potential by opening businesses up to the app’s massive user base.
Below, we’ll go over the main places to book appointments & why, and how Vagaro’s Booking Widgets & integrations make it all possible.
What is a widget, anyway? Merriam-Webster defines it as “a small software application that is designed to provide a specific piece of information or a specific function, on demand.” That’s a bit dull. Vagaro defines its Booking Widgets this way:
1. Nifty button that makes booking appointments, classes and services simple & streamlined for clients.
2. Super cool feature that enables 24/7 mobile and online booking from apps, personal websites, social media pages & review platforms.
3. Easy-to-use booking links that can be personalized for individual employees and attached to their specific services.
Those definitions should excite businesses, but may require some unpacking:
Website and Webpage Booking
As we pointed out in an earlier article, your business’s website or webpage is your primary lead generator. While potential customers are getting to know you and your services, why not give them the choice to book? That was a trick question—there is no reason not to give customers the choice to book directly from your website.
Adding the Vagaro Widget or WordPress plugin makes this possible. They are compatible with Squarespace, Wix & many other website builders and enable businesses to sell products, gift certificates, and get reviews.
Vagaro businesses already have a booking page on the Vagaro Marketplace, where more than 1 million appointments are created each month. Are two websites too many? There’s a right answer to this one: No. Having a Marketplace listing and an independent website can help them expand their reach significantly.
Get Social with Booking
People spend a lot of time on social media. How much? Almost two-and-a-half hours a day on average. Facebook has over 2.9 billion active users worldwide, with Instagram right behind it at about 2 billion monthly active users. Vagaro’s Instagram & Facebook Integrations enable businesses to take advantage of all this traffic.
Clients can easily book from a business’s Facebook page, where all services, pricing and business information is synced from a Vagaro account. Setting up a Book Button on an Instagram business page is just as easy. The button’s placement is front & center, right below your business name and above those great photos of your work.
These are particularly useful to independent professionals for booking appointments and staying connected to their clients. That brings us to our next subject…
Personalized Booking for Employees
It’s common for salons and spas to employ multiple independent professionals. Each, usually, has their own specialties and a specific clientele they serve. Unhealthy competition can arise in salons when every stylist, skincare professional or nail technician is given the same booking link to the same services. Your best employees certainly don’t want to lose regular clients to their peers. Similarly, those regulars don’t want to lose their long-time service providers.
This can be solved if your booking system allows for personalized widgets that link clients directly to a provider’s services, classes or products. As it happens, Vagaro’s does. This is a fantastic way for an employee to share their personal booking links with their client base and avoid competing with their coworkers. These personalized widgets can also be embedded on an employee’s Instagram and Facebook pages.
Better Position for Commission
Your employees are often equal parts salespeople as service providers. Vagaro’s Booking Widget enables specific employees to earn commission on products they sell through their unique widget. If your goal is to increase revenue through product sales then this is a great tool to encourage your employees to sell.
Unique employee booking widgets are additionally useful in conjunction with Vagaro’s Rent & Fees feature, which lets you automatically deduct a renter’s sales commission from their booth rent & fees.
So, what’s the difference between a widget and an integration? Gartner defines integrations as: “independent applications designed to work together with other software and apps.” Vagaro’s booking integrations are like widgets in that they enable its booking software to work seamlessly with popular existing software. Business review sites, like Yelp are prime examples of this.
Consumers care a lot about online reviews. In fact, they trust them about as much as a recommendation from a close friend or family member. Yelp happens to be the largest and most well-known review site for businesses, and that makes it a fantastic spot to book appointments. Vagaro’s Yelp integration makes that possible. Just let those glowing Yelp reviews do the talking for you and watch your new bookings soar!
Of course, Yelpers don’t always do the kind of talking we’d like. For a guide on how to handle less-than-sparkling reviews (especially unwarranted ones), check out these 7 tips on how to respond to customer reviews.
Apple Maps is relied upon by many millions of people daily for directions. It is supported by iOS, the operating system of Apple iPhones—of which there are 1 billion owners worldwide. Vagaro’s Apple Maps integration, therefore, helps businesses expand their reach and get booked easily when customers search for them. This integration places a convenient “Schedule” button front & center in a business’s Apple Maps profile.
Vagaro businesses can also retrieve their Apple Maps booking appointment activity data from their Reports feature. There are a few requirements for a business to be on Apple Maps, and they can be found here.
Vagaro’s Google Search integration positions businesses to take advantage of the largest search platform in existence. Functionally, it places a “Schedule” button that takes clients directly to a business page. It is accessible anywhere you can access the Google website.
The Google Search integration also integrates with Vagaro’s Reports feature, enabling businesses to analyze their booking data.
A quick checklist for your Google Business page:
- Update your business’s logo and photos, if necessary
- Update your Google Business Profile with your business name, description, hours, phone number & address, if necessary
- Update your Facility Information if necessary and accurately select the payments accepted at your business
Check out this helpful article for a more complete list of best practices and requirements for setting up Google booking integration.
Online booking is a necessity for businesses and the experience should be streamlined and simple.
What does online booking mean to your business? For Vagaro, it means 24/7 booking through Vagaro.com, the Vagaro app, Yelp, Facebook, Apple Maps, widgets for your own website & custom Vagaro page and, very soon, Google Search. In other words, it’s everywhere your business is, and everywhere your clients are.
Vagaro consistently looks for ways to innovate and improve our online booking software so that businesses can schedule as many new appointments & classes as possible. If you’re interested in upgrading your booking software, let’s talk.
Vagaro is a cloud-based scheduling software commonly used by beauty, fitness, and wellness businesses to manage booking, credit card payments and processing, marketing, payroll, inventory management, reporting, and much more.