Our goal is to set up one activity and the needed features/settings to make that activity bookable. After setting up one activity and when we want to make further activities we can copy the first activity and change the settings accordingly to make the second activity. The same applies to say making a custom booking confirmation pdf, we copy the default used for the first active, make an edit and use it for the second activity. We only move on to making the second activity after activity one is set up correctly. If while setting up activity 3 we notice we made an error we know we must fix it in activities 1 and 2 as well. Doing it this way will mean when it’s time to go live you will not need to spend time checking each activity is correctly setup.
We will start by creating a basic activity with schedules & prices. Then add a Tax rate before looking at some of the more advanced areas of activity, pricing & schedules. With the activity setup, we will look at the custom fields (Questions asked during checkout) and templates (automatic emails and pdfs). Finally, we will look at generating the book now buttons code and doing a test booking.
Before we get started
Now is a good time to upload your logo and update your Merchant Profile.
To upload your company logo, in the top menu navigate to Design & Pages > Customise Website. Under the Logo & Images section, you can upload an image file.
To fill in your Merchant Profile, again in the top menu navigate to Merchant Settings > Merchant Profile. The profile is split into 3 sections, the contact person, this is the person that will look after the day to day management of your Trekksoft account. General Contact & Legal information is displayed to the public.
Basic Activity - Activity Info
An activity can broadly be divided into 3 parts, activity info, schedule & pricing. First, we will look at the Activity Info section which appears first after you click the “Add Activity” Button on the Activity overview page. This can be found in the left menu by navigating to Products > Activities.
Here I will give the activity a title and add some text for the Description. Then select a location, this will default to the nearest big city. For now, we can click save.
Basic Activity - Schedules
This activity will take place twice a day at 9:00 and 15:00 Monday to Friday from March to late September.
On the schedule and pricing Tab click the “Add Schedule” button. This gives us the option to select a schedule type. Here I select Attraction/Trip. I then give the schedule a name, this will be used to distinguish different schedules and is not visible to website visitors. The text entered for the Special Tagline is displayed to website visitors If this is left blank it will display how many places remain on the activity when there are less than 10 places. Capacity is the maximum number of guests that can partake.
In the Date & Time section, we set when the activity will happen and repeat. We can add more trips by clicking the “Add Time” button and selecting the start time. An Activity Duration Time can be added in the Duration section, important if you will later use resources. Finally, I add a cut off time, in minutes before the activity starts when will we stop taking bookings. I set mine to 720 minutes, so 12 hrs before the 9:00 and 15:00 activities start no bookings will be taken.
When setting up my schedule I selected Attraction/Trip and by giving my schedule a start time this is a Trip Schedule. This will be important later when we edit the ticket templates. If I didn’t give the schedule a start time it would be classed as an Attraction schedule.
Basic Activity - Pricing
The last part of creating a basic activity is the pricing. First, I will create an Adult price category, by clicking the Add Price Category button located on the newly made schedule. Here we can enter a Name and Description which will be displayed to website visitors. We also have the option to make a downpayment or full payment. There are more options, such as variable pricing, custom fields (Questions asked while booking) and resources but for now, we can click save. I will repeat this to make a child price category.
Taxes & Fees
To setup navigate to Merchant Settings > Checkout, Taxes & Fees and click on Taxes & Fees Tab. Click the Add New Tax/Fee Button. I then give my Tax a Title; this will be displayed to the customer. For Tax or Fee, I select Tax, a Fee, for example, a booking Fee would be set up the same way. The value is a percentage.
Lastly, I will select for this tax to be Inclusive meaning the pricing entered in the Activity Pricing section includes tax. So really all that’s happening is in the reporting and on the receipt, it will note that 21% of the cost is VAT.
After creating the Tax I will Allocate it to the one activity I created, by clicking the Actions button and Allocate. If I click the plus sign beside the activities it will allocate this Tax to that Activity and move to the left to show this has been done.
It’s also possible to assign a Tax or Fee via the Activity Info Section of an Activity.
Creating an Advanced Activity
At this stage, it’s important to think about how you will sell your actives. The options included using the Trekksoft Website Builder, Book Now Buttons on an existing website or through OTA. As we create activity’s website builder pages are automatically created. For Book Now buttons on an existing website there are 2 options, the first and most popular (fewer clicks for a buyer) shows the calendar first after the book now button is clicked, the Activity Book Now Button. The second uses the information from the Activity Info section to display a page with the Activity Details before the calendar page, Details Book Now Button.
Advanced Activity Info
The text in the Description, Highlights, and Itinerary boxes are used for the website builder activity pages, the details book now button and when connecting to GetYourGuide. The activity book now button which displays the calendar first doesn’t use this info. We do have to enter some text in the Description Box, even if we don’t plan to use it. In this case, we can copy and paste the title here.
Location & Route
We previously added a departure city, but we can also add an Activity Route that will be displayed to customers booking via the website builder.
Images and files
The Images and files section allows you to upload images for the website builder and the Details Book Now Button. Images are also displayed in the POS Desk. Also used for GetYourGuide connections. Not used on the Activity Book Now button. The Images section of Activity only appears after you save activity for the first time.
If using the Trekksoft site builder you can also upload a YouTube video here. The Pdf section allows the upload of a pdf file that will be attached to the mail sent to customers on booking. To activate this feature navigate to Merchants Settings > Checkout, Taxes, and Fees and in the Confirmation, section checks the box Attach Tour Info PDF.
Is active is a common setting throughout the system, here it means if unchecked bookings can’t be made for this activity but existing booking will take place and the activity becomes only visible to those logged in. If making a new activity but not ready to release to the public uncheck this while creating the activity.
The Inquiry setting when checked displays an Inquiry Button on the website builder activity pages and the Activity Details Book Now button. The fields in the Inquiry popup are User Custom Fields, which we will look at later.
Inoperative with discount codes, discount codes won’t work when this is checked, leave unticked as we will use a discount code for testing later. It can be ticked after testing.
Taxes & Fees Section allows allocating taxes or fees that have been set up to this activity. This is one of 2 ways to allocate Taxes & Fees. I previously made a Tax (Vat 21%) and allocated it to this activity using the other method. To remove this tax rate from this activity I could move it from the right column (selected) to the left column (available).
Resources, this is one of 2 ways to assign resources to an activity. The other is to add them to price categories.
Confirm & Charge Later feature
For when it doesn’t make business sense to run an activity without having a minimum number of participants. Checking this box will give 2 extra options in the schedule. The minimum amount of people & cut off time, which is the time in minutes before the activity start time. If we have not reached the minimum participants at that time the activity will be canceled, and an email sent (Insufficient Availability) informing anybody booked on that activity at that time of the cancellation. When customers book until the min participants are reached a hold is put on the funds on their credit card and the funds are taken when the activity is confirmed.
Manually accept each booking for a certain activity
Activate in Activity Info and in the schedule set min guests & cut off time to both 0.
It does not work with Packages or Marketplaces.
This feature is Exclusive to Accelerate & Ultimate Plans.
It cannot be tested with booking using discount codes.
Rather than look at the schedule now I am going to jump ahead and look at the pricing, which will save us time and typing later.
I previously made an Adult and Child category for my shared tour. I also want to give customers the option of private tours. To achieve this, I will make another price category called Private Trip for 2 People and set the price (total price for 2 people). Next, I will set the Number of Seats an Order of this Category will Occupy to 2. This means for every 1 place booked on this price category will take 2 places from the capacity. And finally, I will activate the Exclusive/Private Price Category option which means if a booking is made on this price category no other bookings can be made on this price category or others in this schedule. As well as if a booking is made on another price category this one becomes unavailable. So, if the Private Trip for 2 People is booked there will be no more available on this trip in the Adult or Child price category. If a booking is made on the Adult or Child price category the Private Trip for 2 People price category becomes unavailable.
I repeat this to make price categories for Private Trip for 3 People, Private Trip for 4 People, etc.
Variable or group pricing gives 2 extra options Min & Max number of seats. If I set a price of 99 and Min as 5 and Max number of seats as 8 the customer would see a dropdown box with the values 5, 6, 7 8. Selecting 7, the price would be 99 x 7. One set of guest custom fields will be displayed as well as one booking confirmation Pdf which will become clearer later.
Reselling Price works with the Partner Network & allows setting a price per partner.
The Settings section deals with Guest information (Guest Custom Fields), questions we ask guests setting when or if these questions are asked. Before Payment, After Payment or Not at all. Here you will also have the ability to assign Resources per price category.
If using the downpayment option a watermark can be applied to booking confirmations. You can customize this text by navigating to Settings > Checkout, Taxes & Fees and if you scroll down the page there is a text box labeled Watermark text for underpaid baskets.
The previous schedule we made covers Monday to Friday for the summer season when we have 2 trips per day. Now I will make a schedule to cover the Weekends (Saturday & Sunday) when we run 3 trips per day, 08:00, 13:00 & 18:00. To do this I will copy my weekday schedule and adjust the days it happens and the times.
Previously I set a cut off time, I could also set a default cut of time for all schedules that have a cut off time of 0. This can be don’t by navigating to Merchant Settings > Checkout, Taxes and Fees and click the Cut-of Times for Activities Button.
Before jumping into custom fields it’s important to understand how the system understands Users & Guests. A guest is a person partaking in an activity and a user is a person booking the activity. So, the user could also be a guest but doesn’t have to be. We have 2 sets of custom fields (actually 4 but we just need to think about 2 for now) Guests & Users.
Guest Custom fields
Guest Custom fields are questions asked to each guest and displayed after the number of guests has been selected. If Variable Pricing or The Number of Seats an Order of this Category will Occupy is used in the schedule one set of guest custom fields will be displayed.
By default, there are 3 existing guest custom fields first & last name, male or female, which is used later if the option to prefix Mr or Ms to names on emails and tickets is used. I will not use this so I will turn off the gender guest custom field.
To do this I will navigate to Design & Pages > Custom Fields which will load on the Guest Tab. Here I will click Actions > Edit on the gender custom field. This displays the settings of the gender custom field. To turn off, ensure Is required is not checked and check the Private/Internal setting. And click save.
My activity generously includes a tasty snack so I am going to make a guest custom field asking about food allergies. This time on the Guest Custom Fields overview tab I will click the Add new field button. This will bring up the settings for the new guest custom field.
The label, the question I am asking is displayed to site visitors. For Field Type, I selected Text (single line) this will display a box one line high for the answer. I also checked Should this field be printed on the PDF ticket? Because later I will print this value on the ticket/booking confirmation. I can now save this new field.
Guest customer fields can be limited to only displayed on selected activities.
Custom Field Types
A Text Single Line is a one-line high box and Text is a Multi-Line box. Radio Buttons displays a list of values with a tick circle beside each, customers can click only one. Enter values in the options box, a value per line. For Checkboxes, the label is the value displayed with a checkbox beside it. The dropdown list takes values from the options box, a value per line and displays in a dropdown list.
There are also some special field types. Date, Phone, Nationality, Gender & Age.
When clicked a Date field type shows a calendar where a date is selected. A Phone field type will validate a phone number and country code. Nationality is a dropdown list of countries in the world. Gender is two Radio Buttons with male and female values. And finally, age displays a dropdown list with age brackets as values.
User Custom Fields
Questions asked to the person making the booking, asked once after guest customer fields and before the payment page. Here I am going to ask for the first & last name of the person making the booking. I also require a phone number from every booking in the rare case the activity has to be canceled at the last minute. I just need one phone number per booking so I will create a user custom field.
We already have the first & last name custom fields, they just need to be activated. The same applies to the phone number, but for this one, we will change the label and set the field type to phone.
To do this I will navigate to Design & Pages > Custom Fields & click the User Tab. Here I will click Actions > Edit on the first name/last name custom field. In the options I will check Is Required to force customers to complete this field. I also check both Shows on Checkout and Show on inquiry meaning this field will appear on both the checkout and the Inquiry Form. To have this field just show on the Inquiry Form you can check Show on inquiry and uncheck Show on Checkout. And vice versa to display it on the checkout only.
For the phone number, I changed the label which the customer will see. I also changed the field type to the phone.
The other two types of custom fields are Activity & Basket, rarely used compared to guests and users. The Activity field is linked to each activity and displayed on the website activity page. It can be used for example to classified the level of fitness needed to partake in a Tour. The Basket custom field is linked to a basket and used internally.
Templates are divided into 4 sections, Term's & Condition's, Emails, Pdf’s & SMS’s
The Long Version Terms & Conditions stores the text of your legal Terms & Conditions. When booking Customers are asked to check a box agreeing to these. They can also click a link to read these, if the checkbox is not agreed to they will not be allowed to continue booking and a warning telling them this will be displayed.
Short version T’s & C’s are printed on tickets/booking confirmation by default. This doesn’t have to be used exclusively for T’s & C’s. It can be used to preempt frequently asked questions. Please bring warm clothing. Please arrive 15mins before start the time etc.
When a booking is made, by default, a customer gets two emails - one PDF ticket(s) email and another Basket Summary Receipt Email - each with relevant PDF documents.
Instead of sending two emails, you can use the Combine Emails feature so one email Trip order finished is sent with the receipt and tickets attached. To activate navigate to Merchant Settings > Merchant Profile and click on the blue Notifications button. Here you can check the Combine trip tickets and receipt in one email? box and save.
Navigating to Design & Pages > Templates and clicking on the E-Mails Tab you will find a list of email templates and a description of how they are used, beside each you will find a pencil icon that can be clicked to edit the email template. If you used the combine email feature like me we should be working on the Trip Order Finished email template. If previously you activated the Confirm & Charge Later feature you would also be working with Insufficient Availability.
Emails already have generic text the will suit most cases, but the Sender Name & Email must be completed on any email template used. The Sender Name is what the customer will see in there email client such as Gmail or Outlook where it displays the name of the person/company the mail is from. The Sender Email is used if a customer replies to an email automatically sent.
Attached to the Trip Order Finished email is a Receipt and a Ticket/Booking Confirmation in the form of a pdf. Next, we will look at the Pdf templates.
Design & Pages > templates and click on Pdf’s Tab.
On the Pdf Templates overview page, you will see a list of Pdf templates and descriptions of what each is used for. Besides each is a customize button, when clicked this will allow us to edit that pdf template.
When we previously set up our schedules we gave them start times so bookings on these schedules will receive the Trip Order Finished Email with Guest Ticket (Trips) & Receipt Pdf's attached.
The first time you view a Pdf template you should click the “Create Copy” button to view the template. Simply speaking templates are pdfs with a series of placeholders that hold stored values.
Powerpoint has a handy form builder tool and allows printing as pdfs. In powerpoint to make a pdf I simply add one label and box, then copy this changing the label each time. I can then adjust the size of the box and its position on the page. When finished I export as a pdf file (File > Export > Create Pdf). Save the Powerpoint Project this will be used again later.
Back in the Edit Guest Ticket (Trips) Template, I can upload the newly created pdf file by clicking the Choose File button, selecting the pdf file. Then click the Upload/Delete button.
With the new pdf uploaded I can adjust the size and reposition the placeholders. Double-clicking on any placeholder will display its settings. Here you can remove the placeholder, change its value, adjust the size and style (bold italics or underlined) of the font. Each time we make a custom field it becomes available in the value section of placeholders. To add a new placeholder click the Add Text Placeholder button.
Book Now Button
The Content allows us to change the type of Book Now Button, for activities there are 2 main options Activity/Accommodation/Package Details & Activity/Accommodation/Package Booking. The difference between both is the details button shows a page with information from the activity details section before showing the calendar. The Booking Button goes straight to the calendar after its click.
For Activity, we select which activity we want the book now button to display. We can also change the button text, the text color, and the button background color. Then click the Generate Code button. From the pop-up, you can copy and paste the code from the code section. You will also notice a preview of the button, this can be clicked and it will act as it would on your website.
All websites are built differently but the principles of placing the code are the same. I will use WordPress and a theme that has a visual composer tool.
First I create a test page from copying an existing page, here I will place the button adjusting it until its correct. And only after that will I then install the buttons on the live page. If at anytime anything goes wrong I can delete the test page and start again, never affecting the live pages. If using Wordpress and your theme doesn’t have the Copy to a new draft option you can install the Duplicate Post plugin.
The WordPress theme I used has a visual composer plugin that allows drag and drop of elements, here I drag a text box element onto the page in the position where I want the book now button to display. I will then copy (from the code we generated before) and paste my code into this element. It's important to ensure when pasting the code into elements your pasting into the text section as opposed to the Visual section.
Emails and/or Sms’s sent notifying a booking has been made. Before doing a test booking is a good time to set up Booking Notifications and use the first test booking to test this setup.
To setup navigate to Merchant Settings > Merchant Profile & click the Notifications button. In the Booking Notification Recipient section, we can specify an email and phone number of the person who will receive the notifications. The Booking Notification Settings allows us to set what type of bookings we want to receive notifications for.
Online - Bookings made via the website builder pages or the book now button
Offline - Pos Desk
Inquiry - via the inquiry button on website builder pages and details book now button
Api - OTA such as Viator, Expedia, GetYourGuide, etc.
Before doing a test booking I am going to make a discount code with a 100% discount. I will then use this to do a test booking experiencing the checkout process as a customer would, receiving the emails with the booking confirmation and receipt.
To make a discount code in the left menu, select Promotions > Discount Codes & Gift Cards and then click “Add Discount Code”. Set the code, I used test100, set the Discount % to 100. The Max Usage can be set to anything really, I choose 99. When I am finished testing I will return here and change this value. It will tell me how many times the test code was used and I can set the max usages to be the same value meaning the use of the code will be disabled. In the future when I need to test again I can change the value of the max usage.
The final section allows limiting the discount code to only work with certain activities. As I just have one activity and would like this code to apply to future activities I can leave this section as is and it will apply to all activities.
Since I am logged into the Admin Desk and to avoid logging I will use Chrome's Incognito mode to experience the checkout and make a booking as a customer would do. When I select the guests I use the discount code test100 to reduce the price to 0 meaning I do not need to enter credit card details to complete the booking.
Test Books are not only a chance to test activities but also test other features of the system. For example, I also use my first booking to test Booking Notifications, Emails & Pdf's.
Now with a completed booking in the system, I can view the details of the booking by in the Admin Desk navigating (in the left menu) to Bookings > Overview.