A key requirement of online reservation systems is to ensure that correct times are blocked out on the booking calendar when someone makes an online reservation.
For example, you may want customers to have the ability to book in 15 minute intervals/slots as per the example below …
However, when a one hour service is booked you will want to block out an hour on the day’s calendar like so …
Use the expanding slot feature to make your online reservation system behave in this way.
What does the expanding slot feature do?
When a booking is made, the expanding slot feature will change the size of that slot.
The final size (in minutes), as well as other options, are specified in the price options of the slot. Each price option can have it’s own expanding slot settings. For example, you can have a 1 hour price, and a 2 hour price, for the same service in the same slot.
The following is an example where the “expanding slot” feature is set to 1 hour, multiplied by the number of places (i.e. quantity) purchased, overlapping slots being removed, and the slot being disabled after the first booking …
- Multiplied by places purchased – if enabled, the expansion size will be multiplied by the quantity (places) purchased. This allows customers to buy multiple hours, and have the slot expand to the correct size depending on number of hours purchased.
- Remove overlapping slots for resource – if enabled, all other slots (for that resource) which overlap the new slot size will be removed from the available reservation calendar (unless they already have a booking attached). This allows you to setup 15 minute slots (as per the screenshots above), while ensuring that the resource can only be booked for one slot at any given time.
- Disable slot after first booking – if enabled, as soon as the slot is booked, it will not be visible to other customers.
Examples of using the expanding slot feature
Example 1: Booking a resource for x hours between 9am and 5pm
Create 15 minute slots between 9am and 4:15pm (slot for last booking is 4:00-4:15, which will expand to 5:00 when booked) on the calendar with the following:
- In the price option (for the service) enable the expanding slot feature, and set expanding duration to 1 hour
- Tick “multiplied by places purchased” to ensure that the slot is expanded x hours (where x is quantity/places purchased)
- Tick “remove overlapping slots” to ensure 15 minute slots are removed once that time has been booked out
- Set “max places” for the slots between 3pm and 4pm to 1, so that the customer cannot book past 5pm
- Set “max places” for the slots between 2pm and 3pm to 2, so that the customer cannot book past 5pm
Example 2: Booking a resource for exactly 1 hour (at any time in 15 minute increments)
Follow the same steps as example 1, however you can either:
- Do not tick “multiplied by places purchased” if you want the customer to still enter a quantity greater than 1, but not expand the slot beyond 1 hour, or …
- Set “max places” for the slots to 1 (preventing more than 1 per purchase)
The slots will expand to 1 hour, removing overlapping 15 minute slots which can no longer be booked.
Preventing Booking Overlaps
To prevent overlapping bookings caused by the expanding slot feature (i.e. a slot expanding to overlap later slots) tick the following option in the RESOURCES page …
This option is available when editing a resource.