6. Characteristics of online booking systems

Many organisations need a method to allocate their resources to customers or members ahead of time. This is called 'making a booking'.

'Resources' can mean anything -

  • Hotels have rooms,
  • Travel agencies have holidays
  • Clubs have equipment
  • Gyms and Colleges have classes
  • Theatres and Cinemas have seats
  • Doctors and hair-dressers have appointments

A 'booking system' handles the task of allocating resources for a set amount of time to customers.


Characteristic of an appointment booking system

Characterisitcs of an appointment booking system
Choose the date and time and perhaps duration of the appointment
View available appointment times
Book the appointment
Change or cancel and appointment


Characterisitcs of a ticket booking system

Characterisitcs of a ticket booking system
They allow customers or staff to select the event
They allow customers or staff to select the date of the performance
Able to select the number of adults/children who need tickets
Check the availability and position of seats
Check the price of the different seats available
Book the seats/tickets and update the seating plan accordingly
They can automatically issue tickets for posting out to customers
They enable the payment for tickets to be verified and processed
They issue confirmation emails to online customers
They enable changes to be made to the booking if required

Advantages of an automatic booking system

  • Offers both the customer and business a method of arranging a booking automatically
  • Customers can see what it available, the business can see what is sold
  • Booking can be done well ahead of time
  • Booking is fair - it is usually a first-come first-served system. (Block booking tickets for a popular event might not seem so fair)
  • Very flexible in when you can make a booking. If it is an internet based system then it is available all the time. A telephone menu system can also be set up to work at any time
  • You can 'reserve' a seat / item for a period of time e.g. 30 minutes while you make up your mind
  • Provides an easy way to confirm the appointment \ booking either by email or letter.
  • Issuing or posting of tickets can be tracked by the customer

Disadvantages of a automatic booking system

  • Once payment or firm booking is made then it might be hard to cancel, perhaps you would lose your deposit or the entire value of the booking
  • You could make a mistake and book the wrong seats or the wrong night
  • If the server is down or running very slowly, then much business can be lost and annoy a lot of customers
  • There may be payment processing problems after the booking is made
  • Proving purchase if made a long time in advance and finding the receipts might be a problem.
  • Might have to wait for ticket to be sent by post – if booking close to the day of the event, might not arrive


challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Online Booking Systems