How to Build a Booking App: Step-by-step Process, Stats, Features & Costs

About The Author

Tracy GardnerTracy Gardner Global Chief Marketing Officer
LinkedIn|28 Jul 2023

Booking apps will take the business to new heights of revenue and efficiency.  

Mobile booking apps allow you to book every service with just a few clicks – from food delivery to travel, cleaning & reservation. According to Finances Online, the market share of the most popular services for online booking is shown below image.

most popular services for online booking

 
A lot of businesses are increasingly investing in online booking app development, from small companies such as salons to established businesses such as airlines.  

As a result, the market is witnessing rapid growth and the adoption of booking software. 

From 2021 to 2025, these apps will reach over USD $633 million, with a steady annual growth of 19%

Online booking app development can effectively meet the ever-evolving demands of modern customers. 60% of American consumers schedule appointments online. And only 3% choose offline. 

Therefore, VLink experts have prepared a comprehensive guide on how to build a booking app. In this blog, we’ll explore everything about booking software, from features and technologies to design practices and cost. 

Why Should you Invest in Booking App Development? 

 
Booking apps increase the business’s overall productivity but also help it generate significant profits. About 82% of customers make bookings via mobile apps. After the success of Airbnb, Uber, & TaskRabbit, booking apps doubled their profits. That’s why investing in booking app development is worth it for your business.  

Here are a few reasons why you should invest in booking app development.  

  • 24/7 Customer Access 
  • Custom Calendar 
  • Real-Time Notifications 
  • Convenient Payment Options 
  • Business Analytics 
  • Enhanced Payment Security 
  • Increased ROI 
     

Different Types & Examples of Booking Apps for Your Business 

 Different Types & Examples of Booking Apps for Your Business
 

Proper knowledge of booking app types will help you create a solution that meets your company’s needs.  

Here are two main types of online booking software: 

On-demand booking apps

On-demand apps allow customers to get quick taxi, delivery, or cleaning services. In addition, they can make an order and track the delivery online.  

To build an on-demand booking app, you must have proper knowledge of existing successful online software.  

Taxi Booking Apps

The market for Taxi & ride-hailing apps is constantly rising as people strive to use their time reasonably in today’s busy lifestyle. According to statistics, the market revenue of taxi apps was $ 69.19bn in 2022 and is expected to reach $71.78 bn in 2023. This number will be valued at $74.91bn by 2027.  

Taxi booking apps provide convenience to business owners and prospective clients.  

 Popular Examples; Uber, Lyft, and Curb. 

Delivery Booking Apps

The market revenue for food delivery booking apps was $210 bn in 2022 and is expected to reach USD $232 bn by the end of 2023. With over 65% market share, DoorDash dominated the US online food delivery market as of February 2023.  

Popular examples: DoorDash, Uber Eats 

Home Services Booking Apps

The US home service market size was $105.55 bn in 2018 and is expected to reach $1219.07 bn by 2026.  

Home service companies are leading the business of home improvement, repair & maintenance due to implementing online booking apps. Busy customers love hassle-free online order reservations. So, it lets the company increase its clientele annually.  

Popular Examples - Urban Clap, Handy 

Laundry Services Booking Apps

The global market size for cleaning or laundry booking services reached $55,715.0 million in 2020 and is projected to reach a value of $111,498.8 million by 2030. 

If you’re running a laundry or cleaning company, expand your services by building a booking app. It allows customers to specify the preferred pick-up time.  

Popular Examples - By next, Rinse 

In-Advance Booking Apps

With an in-advance booking app, users can book appointments and services using calendars. If you are planning to build a booking app, the following examples might be helpful;  

Hotel Booking Apps

Hotel booking apps provide users with several benefits. They help users to find and book hotel rooms for vacations.  

Online Hotel Booking industry revenue is expected to total $47.1 billion in 2023, with profit margins set to reach 11.9%. 

Popular Examples: HotelTonight, Airbnb 
Travel Booking Apps 

Flight & travel booking apps play a vital role in the travel industry. They help users to find, schedule, and book flights.  

According to Statista, online sales will generate 73% of revenue in the travel & tourism sector by 2026.  

Popular Examples: Skyscanner, Expedia 

Restaurant Booking Apps 

By using mobile reservation apps, restaurants can deliver better customer experiences and raise staff productivity. The restaurant reservations mobile app market across the globe is anticipated to experience a CAGR of 9.5% from 2022 to 2030. 

Popular Examples: Uber Eats, Yelp Reservation 

Doctor Booking Apps 

Appointment booking apps have become popular among healthcare facilities and patients. Doctor booking apps help patients arrange an appointment with a doctor they need. 

The worldwide appointment scheduling software market was worth $298.08 million in 2021 and is expected to reach $704 million by 2027.   

Popular Examples: Zocdoc, HotDoc 

Salon Booking App 

Approximately 70% of salon and spa appointments are sheduled using mobile apps. So, the beauty industry will also benefit from such software.  

Popular Examples; StyleSeat, Hello Barber 

Key & Advanced Features to Develop a Booking App  
Key & Advanced Features to Develop a Booking App If you want to know how to build a booking app, it’s essential to understand what features you need in your app. Let’s look at some basic & advanced features to make your software stand out.  

Steps to Build a Successful Booking App  Steps to Build a Successful Booking App
 

Step 1: Conduct Market & Competitor Research

App development starts with market and competitor research. Analyze available apps in your industry, look into your competitors’ software, and identify their weak points.  

Initial market research will help you understand the competition better. As a result, you can stand out in your software.  

Step 2: Select Booking App Type

Several types of booking apps are available depending on your industry and business objectives. Before building a booking app, decide on what you’ll need.  

For example,  

If you want to create an app like Uber, decide on the business model depending on whether you have your fleet and drivers or want to adopt the mode of Uber.  

Image-7-V2

Step 3: Analyze a USP

What will make your app stand out? Defining a USP is a great way to be better than the competition. You can select USPs like unique features, lower prices, or the ability to make last-minute bookings.   

Step 4: Choose Features & Functionalities

Before beginning the development process, you must clearly understand the final product. Make sure you select the features & functionalities to avoid last-minute changes that can skyrocket your development budget.  

Step 5: Create UX/UI Design

One of the main steps to make an app user-friendly and attractive is UI/UX design. Consider the following things. 

  • Minimalistic UI that’s not overcrowded with unnecessary information that districts customers 
  • Smooth and fast user flow via software to increase conversions 
  • Frequent design through all app’s screens 
Step 6: Build a Booking App

You need to hire experienced developers for the booking app development process. The tech stack to build your booking app varies on different necessities and features. Below is a possible technology stack to make a booking app:  

  • Programming language: Swift or Objective-C for iOS; Kotlin or Java for Android 
  • Backend development: Python or PHP 
  • Calendar integration: Google Calendar 
  • Payment gateway integrations: Braintree, Stripe, Google Pay, Apple Pay 
  • Push notifications: OneSignal 
  • Maps integration: Google Maps API 
Step 7: Test the App & Launch

Before launching your app, you need to ensure its bugs and error free via QA & software testing services. It’s an ongoing process that can run through the complete booking app development process.  

Step 8: Get Feedback & Improve

After getting feedback from the first customers, you must make app changes. It will guide you in the right direction, as there are several reasons for improvement.  

Things to Consider When Developing a Booking App 

Data security 

Keeping users’ data secure is vitally important for all businesses when developing a successful booking app. Ensure all sensitive data is encrypted and stored in an unidentified form.  

Multi-factor authentication and a limited number of login attempts will prevent data breaches and hacker attacks.  

Third-party & APIs Integration 

The booking app integrates with several third-party services, including payment gateways, & APIs. Meticulous attention prevents conflicts and potential impacts on the app's overall performance. 

Consider building a booking website 

Along with a native app, consider booking website development if you want to cover as many potential customers as possible. It will bring several advantages, including brand recognition, wider audience reach, better data collection, and additional marketing channels.  

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Booking App? 

The estimated development costs for a booking app fall within the range of USD $60,000 to USD $90,000 with basic features. The cost can reach USD $500,000 or even higher for complex app development with some features powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.  

Here are a few factors that influence the final price of the booking app: 

  • Platform 
  • Number and Complexity of Features 
  • Tech Stack 
  • Dev Company Rates 

Consider the main stages of booking mobile app development to calculate the estimated cost. Let’s take a look at these stages with their approximate cost: 

Development Stages 

Time 

Cost 

Research & UI/UX Design 

280 Hours 

$8 400 

Development 

640 Hours 

$25 600 

Testing 

240 Hours 

$6 480 

Technical Documentation 

40 Hours 

$1 600 

Total 

5 Months 

$42 080 

However, the average cost of custom online booking software may range between USD $40 000 and USD $80 000.   

Build a Robust & Intuitive Booking App with VLink! 

VLink is a leading booking app development company that builds apps for various business domains such as healthcare, car servicing, home services, cab services, food and grocery delivery, logistics, and more.   

Our dedicated team provides in-advance & on-demand app development services that help you attract new customers and increase ROI. We can assist you in creating a successful app integrated with the required features, functionalities, and tech stacks.  

With our experience and expertise, we can take your business to new heights. 

 Wrapping Up! 

Booking app development is constantly advancing, presenting many thrilling features that enable businesses to outperform their rivals and maintain a leading edge in the market. With on-demand booking solutions and in-advance booking tools, various industries, from healthcare to travel, can reap significant advantages. 

Having the expertise to craft top-notch booking apps can lead to earning customer trust, reinforcing your brand, increasing sales, enhancing accessibility, and propelling your business to new heights. A well-designed booking app is essential for steering your company toward success and prosperity in today's mobile-centric society. 

Don't hesitate to contact our team for an initial consultation if you're eager to develop an efficient and seamless booking application that incorporates the finest features. We're excited to help you bring your vision to life! 

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FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What tools can be integrated with the booking app?

Various tools that can be integrated with a booking app include: 

  • Payment gateways (e.g., Stripe). 
  • Calendar systems (e.g., Google Calendar). 
  • Customer support software (e.g., Zendesk). 
  • Analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics). 
  • Marketing platforms (e.g., Mailchimp). 

These integrations enhance functionality and user experience for both customers and businesses. 

What are the advantages of booking apps for users and business owners?

Advantages of booking apps for users: Convenience, easy access to services, real-time bookings, and personalized experiences. 

Advantages of booking apps for business owners: Increased visibility, efficient scheduling, streamlined operations, and improved customer engagement and retention. 

How to build a hotel booking app?

To build a hotel booking app, you need to follow these steps: 

Define requirements and features. 

  • Choose a tech stack and platform (iOS, Android). 
  • Design an intuitive UI/UX. 
  • Develop back-end and front-end functionalities. 
  • Integrate APIs for payments, maps, and hotel data. 
  • Test the app thoroughly for bugs and usability. 
  • Launch the app and gather user feedback for continuous improvement. 

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