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Add-Ons are here! (Also known as "Optional Surcharges")

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Hey everyone, been awhile since we've chatted!  We've been pushing out release after release, working with users on quality-of-life enhancements all over the app, as well as continuing to develop some of our big upcoming changes.  However, I wanted to take a quick second to show something that a lot of users have asked for: Add-Ons (sometimes called "optional surcharges").  This is something you're going to want to take a look at.

Let's get right to the fun part of it, and then I'll back up and show how the linkage works under the hood.

Imagine that you've sent a quote to a guest (or they came through your Book Now widget on your website).  You want them to be able to "add on" some optional thing - pool heat, linen service, flowers, whatever.  Now you can.  Here's a live quote I just created:

(click images for full-size view)

Next to each of those Add-Ons, you can place a "What is this?" link.  When clicked, the Add-On expands to show a large rich-text explanation.

In the following picture, I've just clicked "What is this?" link next to the Bounce House Add-On.

Not only can you include a rich-text explanation with picture and formatting, but you can also insert field codes.

Field codes allow you to merge in information about your account or property so that the Add-On explanation is customized to talk about the current property the guest is looking at.

Notice the property name "Acme Retreat" in this explanation.  That's coming from a field code which changes the output based on which quote the guest is looking at.

Pretty cool, right?  I know!

Now how does this thing work?

At the moment, we've placed Add-Ons in the Surcharges area and used an "Optional" flag on the Surcharge to denote that it's an Add-On.  We will be creating a separate settings area for Add-Ons soon, but for now it lives as an "Optional" Surcharge.

So head over to Settings > Surcharges and create a new Surcharge.  Set the Applied field to Optional.  You'll notice an Explanation field appear with a rich-text editor.  The Explanation field is optional.  If you don't enter anything, the "What is this?" link won't be shown to guests.

Some items are self explanatory and don't require an explanation.  Others, like pricier options, should get an explanation with pictures and formatting so that you can draw the guest in.

Use the Property criteria to decide which properties get the Add-On, and that's pretty much it.  At the moment, the Seasons and Bookings criteria do not affect Add-Ons.  Only the Property criteria determines whether the Add-On will be displayed.

Charge Linkage

There's another important part of this, and that's how surcharges are now linked to charges.  Previously, there was no strict linkage between surcharges and charges.  When a surcharge was entered into a quote or booking's charges, only the description and amount were entered.  There was no way of knowing which bookings had which surcharges.

We've changed that.  Surcharges are now similar to Taxes in that you can see them in the charges grid directly, select the one you want and it creates linkage that can be reported on later.

If all that sounds confusing, take a look at this picture.  Notice that instead of just "Surcharge" in the drop-down, you can now see a specific list of surcharges.

When saving a surcharge, the charges grid now makes sure that the row is linked, under the covers, with your list of surcharges.

Why is this important?  This might sound like just a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo, but it's actually quite important.  As we continue iterating on Add-Ons, and other charge types, it's important that you know which bookings have paid for which surcharges.  Reporting and fulfillment will require it.  Imagine if there was no way of knowing "how many guests have rented bounce houses this month?".  It would also mean no way of triggering off that logic.  If a guest rents a bounce house, you might want a special trigger email sent to your staff so that they know to get it ready.

Happy February, everyone!

3 Comments (add yours)

Feb 2, 2017 12:01 PM
Joined May, 2014 139 posts

Awesome!!!! :)

Siltcoos Station
Apr 19, 2023 6:14 PM
Joined Apr, 2023 1 post

Is there a way to put in a quantity of what I have available for Add-on's? 


For example, I have 2 available kayaks and 1 pontoon boat available to rent out. But I want the option to only get offered to the first people who reserve it. Is that an option?

Ken T
Apr 19, 2023 6:25 PM
OR Team Member Joined Aug, 2019 1324 posts

At present, unfortunately, there is not.  However, there are plans to add that and many other related capabilities to the Add-On Services feature in the future.