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If you run a service-based business and need to have customers book time slots on your website, there are a ton of options to choose from. Whether it’s personal services such as a barber shop or nail salon, or renting out a room, these tools will help you get it done.
In this post I’m going to go over 2 great products that you can use to book appointments for your clients right on your website. I’ve worked with both of these and can confidently recommend them.
Acuity Scheduling (by SquareSpace)
I had never heard about Acuity Scheduling until a picked up a new website client a couple years ago who was using it. Like everything else by SquareSpace, it just works – but if you’re a developer-type, you may find Acuity a bit too restrictive.
One of the nice things about Acuity is that you don’t have to have your own website in order to work. They’re a complete scheduling platform on their own. But if you have a website, they make it easy to embed your schedule application so your customers can easily book without having to find you on Acuity’s platform.
If you plan on changing website platforms regularly, or don’t even want to worry about having your own website, Acuity Scheduling might just be the route for you. In fact, the client who turned me on to Acuity didn’t even have her own website to start – the ability to embed her scheduler into the new site I was building her made life a lot easier and ultimately saved her a bunch of money since I didn’t have to build a booking platform as part of the package.
Acuity offers tiered pricing depending on your needs. As of the date of this post (May 2019), the prices range from free up to $50/month.
I like Acuity because it’s very user-friendly. I love that it sends my clients 24-hour reminders and their customer support is really good for any questions!Kieu Markiewicz, Owner of Beauty by Kieu
If you’ve read other articles in this blog, you’ll undoubtedly know I’m a huge fan of WooCommerce. Their eCommerce platform is one of the most popular on the web and thanks to a boat load of extensions, there’s almost nothing you might need that WooCommerce can’t handle.
So it’s no surprise that WooCommerce offers an extension for appointment scheduling. And, like their other premium extensions, it’s awesome and come with incredible support.
What I like about WooCommerce Bookings is since it works with a full-fledged eCommerce system, you can use it to integrate with other products you might want to sell. So for instance, if you’re a nail salon booking appointments but you also want your customers to be able to order that special nail polish you use, you can sell those with the same back-end that handle’s your bookings.
WooCommerce Bookings requires a WordPress website with the free core WooCommerce plugin installed & configured. While it doesn’t have a free option, the yearly price is very reasonable and within the range of competitor’s pricing such as Acuity. Check it out here.
Which Booking & Scheduling Platform is Right for Your Business?
While Acuity lets you choose a pricing model that meets your needs, with WooCommerce Bookings, a single price gives you access to all the features the come with the platform.
If you already run a website using WordPress, then I highly recommend using WooCommerce Bookings – and if you already have a WooCommerce store, it’s really a no-brainer. However, if you don’t have a WordPress website or you don’t want to have a website at all for your business, then Acuity Scheduling might be a better choice.
That being said, if you don’t ever want a website for your business, there are many good reasons to reconsider.
WooCommerce Bookings vs. Acuity: Quick Comparison
|WooCommerce Bookings||Acuity Scheduling*|
|Offer Unlimited Appointments||Yes||Yes|
|Offers a Free Plan||No||Yes|
|Reminder Emails to Avoid Misse Appointments||Yes||Only in paid plans|
|Full Self Service Scheduling||Yes||Yes|
|Developer Access (for code customization)||Yes||Limited|
|Sell Additional Products||Yes||No|
|Sync to Google Calendar||Yes||Yes|
|Customize with Your Company Branding & Logo||Yes||Only in paid plans|
|Vendor Labels||None||Can only be removed in the most expensive plan|
*Because Acuity pricing plans are tiered, some features may not be available unless you’ve subscribed to the proper level.
With great options for online scheduling & booking, there’s something out there for every business and every price range.