Seasonal/time-based pricing is very common in the tourism industry. Every year around the same time of the year, prices are hiked during peak seasons & prices are lowered during off seasons. An online booking system should have this feature so that the prices can be easily manipulated as and when needed. In this post we are going to see how to change the booking rates for different seasons with the WooCommerce Booking & Appointment Plugin. This tutorial will be almost similar to our previous hotel booking setups however we will be using the Seasonal Pricing addon to complete it.
Admin Experience: How to change booking rates for different seasons with WooCommerce
Step 1: Create your product in WooCommerce. You can do that by going to Product -> Add Product. You will find a Product Data metabox under which you can set the regular price of your product. I have considered the most basic example of hotel rooms for this post.
Step 2: On the same page you will also find a Booking metabox that allows you to setup your booking options for the hotel rooms. I have enabled booking date and multiple day booking. The field Lockout Date after X orders lets you set a limit which will block the booking once it is reached. Once a room is reserved it is not available for further booking until the customer checks out. Hence the Lockout Date after X orders is set to 1.
Step 3: Under the Bookable Time Period tab, you can set the advance booking period so that there are no last minute reservations for the product. I have set it to 24 hours so that the earliest booking can be done a day prior to the booking date. You can set it to any number of hours based on how much time you need to keep the room ready for a new customer.
The Number of Dates to choose lets you set the maximum number of days from today which you want to allow booking for. You can set it for a month or even a year. I have set it to 365 days which means the calendar will display dates for a year from today for booking.
Step 4: Once the Seasonal Pricing addon is activated, under the Booking meta-box, a new tab will be visible – “Seasonal Pricing”. Go to that tab and enable seasonal pricing. You will see a “Add new season” button, click on that and then you will see a number of fields to be filled. Basically this addon let’s you create a new season and allows you to set higher or lower prices by using two techniques:
Seasonal Pricing Percent: If you enable this, it will calculate the new rate by adding/subtracting on the basis of the value of the percent. The prices are calculated on a per day basis.
Seasonal Pricing Value: If you enable this, it will calculate the new rate by flat addition/subtraction of the amount entered to the original rate.
You can give the name of the season and set the user role(s) to whom it is supposed to be applied. The available roles are:
- Shop Manager
You can select “All” if you want the season to be applied to all roles.
Finally, you just have to fill in the dates and the amount/percent that will be added or subtracted from the original rates.
Since it’s Christmas, my first season was that and the dates were selected accordingly. I chose the percentage-wise calculation for this one which will be added because obviously the rates hike up during this season. I created another season which is Post-Christmas and that is flat deduction from the original amount like a discount offer on hotel rooms.
Once you are done, save the changes and your season is created. There are options to edit & delete the seasons incase any such need arises.
User Experience: How to change booking rates for different seasons with WooCommerce
Once you have covered all of these settings, the frontend doesn’t change. It appears as a normal multiple day booking product as shown below:
Original Rate = £500
New Rate = 10% of 500 + Original amount, which is
£50 + £500 = £550/day
Since the room is booked for 2 days the total amount sums up to £1,100.
Original Rate = £500
New Rate = Original amount – 150, which is
500 – 150 = £350/day
Since the room is booked for 3 days the total amount comes down to £1,050.
Once the check-in and check-out dates fields are populated, the “Add to Cart” button is visible. When you click on it, the order is added to your cart and there is another button to “View your Cart”. On clicking that, you are redirected to the cart page which will show the booking details.
When on the cart page, unless you don’t want to update your cart, you can go to the checkout page by clicking on “Proceed to checkout” button.
The checkout page will show the booking dates you have chosen and the total amount for your order. You can place your order if everything seems fine. Please ensure you check everything and then click on the “Place Order” button.
After placing your order, the order details are shown on the Thank You page. Email notifications are sent to the customer and the administrator with the booking details.
The ability to vary prices according to seasons is a major requirement in the tourism sector. Every year during vacations and festive seasons, the prices increase and that time, the Seasonal Pricing addon comes handy.
It is very simple to setup and will take about 20 minutes to be completed for a first time user.
What are your experiences with the addon?