Product

Creating a new booking experience

by Jamie Horne

At eola, our mission is to make our customers' lives easier. That’s why we’ve recently been rebuilding the online booking flow from the bottom up. 

In this article, eola product manager Jamie outlines what’s been going on behind the scenes to bring your customers the best booking experience possible.

eola booking experience sign up

Introducing the shopping basket

In our old model, customers could only check out one item at a time. We knew this was a major limitation, so one of our earliest goals was to add a shopping basket.

The basket needed to work for combinations of products, discounts and vouchers. Several thousand lines of code later, we are happy to announce that our new booking experience allows your customers to check out as many items as they like, at once! 

This was a big step forward, and whilst we were happy with what we had achieved we knew there was lots more to do. We now had to consider how customers moved between products and their basket. This led to the creation of a new navigation system. 

Our goal was to make the booking experience so simple, it was instinctive. The new approach allows customers to move between pages and products with ease, without ever losing track of where they are.

eola basket checkout

Simple decision making 

Booking an activity online is more complex than a standard ecommerce purchase. The customer has to consider value for money, their own ability, and their availability. Often, they are doing this for several other people as part of the same booking. When the next step is unclear, or information is confusing, they could be put off.  

Our existing design performed well, but our rebuild allowed us to make some crucial improvements. Our goal was to simplify decision making and reduce the likelihood of a customer making a mistake. 

The new booking experience breaks down each decision into isolated steps. As each decision is made, we indicate the next step and show the relevant information. Once a customer is ready to book, we show them the decisions they’ve made, allowing them to easily spot any mistakes. 

eola widget

Tackling vouchers 

Prior to this update, we knew vouchers were not what they could be. We tried to figure out how we could optimise the voucher booking experience. In the end, it was the eola tech team that came up with a solution.  

In our new booking experience, the customer can enter their voucher codes at any time. The platform can then recognise their voucher and take them to the next step in their flow. No confusion. No separate voucher boxes. All they need is their code. Simple. 

eola voucher

Increasing bookings via design 

When we started to look at improving the booking experience, we had a big decision to make. We had to decide between adding new features to the existing booking flow, or rebuilding it from scratch. 

Adding to the existing experience would save us a lot of time, but it meant we were limited in terms of what we could change. Rebuilding, on the other hand, would allow us to completely rework our design from scratch, but it would also require a lot of time and effort to achieve. 

To help us decide, we focused on the experience you need to deliver to your customers. Our research showed that imagery and design were effective at encouraging customers to book activities, as it helped them visualise the kinds of experiences they were considering. 

With this in mind, we decided it was worth investing in a rebuild. Our new booking flow uses prominent imagery and animations to create a smooth, memorable customer experience. You can also now add your own logo, connecting the journey between your website and the booking experience.

eola booking desktop view

What happens next?

We’ve launched an Alpha version of the new booking experience, which we are adding to every day. It’s available to test right now - just use the link below to request more information! 

Request more information

We hope you found this update on the new booking experience helpful. If you have any further questions or want to discuss the update in more detail with the eola product team, you can do so at the link above. 

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