Checkfront is an inventory based system. Your inventory is made up of items, events, rules and discounts. Items are bookable assets within the system that can be reserved on a daily, nightly or hourly basis.
You can manage your items via the main menu at Inventory > Items in your Checkfront dashboard.
Creating a New ItemBack to top
To create a new item, click on the + New Item button in the top left corner of your inventory page.
You will now see the first of five stages in the Checkfront Inventory Builder. These stages take you through the creation of your item in a simple step-by-step process to ensure you don’t miss any details and get the most out of what Checkfront has to offer.
So, let’s begin and have a look at the first stage.
Item OptionsBack to top
Using the drop-down menu, you can select a category you have already created, or create a brand new one from scratch.
After clicking on the drop-down category menu, you will see a list of previously used categories. If the category you’re looking for is in that list, go ahead and select it.
If you would like to create a new category, click on the + Create New Category button to the right of the drop-down.
Enter a name for the new category and click on the blue checkmark button to complete.
Enter a new name for your item. Keep it simple and make it obvious to your customers what it is they are booking. The item name will also be used in some of your reports and will be shown on the customer’s invoice.
As you enter the item name, you will notice the Item SKU appear just below it. This must be unique to the item and will be displayed on the customer invoice and in some of your reports.
This is a short description of your item that is visible to the customer as they peruse your list of bookable items.
For example: “A visit to the lake isn’t complete without a trip out on the water. Join us for an exhilarating two-hour boat tour of this beautiful body of water. Hang on every word of our knowledgeable guides as you feast on a delicious meal prepared by the chefs in our very own kitchen”.
The summary may contain up to 60 words and you can see the current count in the bottom right corner of the text area (yellow highlight above). The text you enter can be formatted using the tools just above the text area. This might involve bolding the text or the use of italics.
Click the Additional Options link, just below the summary box, to reveal additional details on your item.
These additional details are optional and not required to complete your item configuration.
Item DetailsBack to top
The details are an expansion of your summary. Here, you can provide more specific details which will only be visible to the customer once they click on the item from the main list.
Email Notification Details
It’s possible to provide additional details that are not displayed publicly when a customer is viewing your item. Instead, these details are included with the email notification that is sent to the customer once they have completed the booking.
To include these details in a notification, use the variable
Examples of information which might be provided in the notification are building key codes, tour meeting places and a resort WIFI password.
More Info URL
If you have a page on your website with more information on the item you’re creating, enter the URL here.
Entering a value here will determine the order in which your item is displayed among the list of other items. For example, there may be ten items within a specific category. If a customer selects that category for viewing, you can use this tool to determine which items they see first.
A higher number will place the item closer to the top of the list. Leaving the sort order at zero, or using the same value more than once, will display those items in alphabetical order.
Once you’re happy with the details you have provided above, click the Next button in the bottom right of the screen to continue.
MediaBack to top
The media screen enables you to add photos and a YouTube video to your item. This is a great way to not just describe the item to your customers, but to show it to them also.
You may display up to 5 photos, plus 1 video. The photos will be automatically resized once the upload is complete. For the best results, photos should be of landscape orientation and a minimum of 480 pixels wide and 360 pixels tall. Supported formats are JPG, PNG and GIF. If you photo is greater than 10MB, please resize it before uploading.
Adding and Editing PhotosBack to top
To add a photo to your item, click on the blue + Add Photo button.
Select the photo you wish to use from your computer. Once the upload is complete, you can enter a short caption for the photo, although this is not required.
If you wish to crop your image after upload, to control how it appears to your customers, you can do so using the Image Thumbnail Editor. Hover your mouse over the image you wish to edit and click on the Edit/View Photo button.
From here, you can drag out the selection box to crop the image to your liking. When finished, click save.
To reorder an image, hold your mouse button on it and drag it to where you would like it to be.
To delete an image, hover your mouse over it again and click on the trashcan icon in the top right corner.
To complete the deletion, click the Yes, Delete button.
YouTube VideoBack to top
Upload a YouTube video by inserting the video URL directly into the YouTube Video field. An example of a YouTube video URL is:
Alternatively, you can simply enter the video ID:
Once you’ve entered the URL or video ID, another field will appear, labelled Start Time. Entering a value here will begin the video at a certain time marker, rather than at the beginning. Enter the number of seconds for the point at which you’d like the video to begin once a customer clicks on it in the booking portal. For example, if you’d like to start your clip 2 minutes in, you’ll need to enter 120 in this field (120 seconds).
You’ll also see a thumbnail-size version of the video directly below the time field. You can click on this to make sure the starting point where you expect it to be.
So, when a customer clicks on your item in the booking portal, they will now see 2 tabs for viewing the photos and video. Awesome, right?
LocationBack to top
You have the ability to include a location map for each of your inventory items. This is particularly useful for tour operators and accommodation providers who wish to display an exact location or meeting point for their business.
In the Location field, enter either a civic address or GPS coordinates in the following format: 49.7576566, -123.1431165
Finding Location Coordinates:
If the item doesn’t have a physical address, you are able to enter it’s geographical coordinates instead, using the format 49.7576566, -123.1431165
A great website to use for this is http://latlong.net. Here, you can drop a pin on a map to display the coordinates, which can then be added to your item’s media tab in the Checkfront Booking Manager.
When ready, click the Create Map button or press enter.
You will now see a map displaying the location you just entered. In addition to this, several new fields will now have appeared, enabling you to further enhance the display.
When a customer clicks on the map pin, an information box will open. The details you provide in the following fields will determine the content of that box.
This is the title for the map marker. It could simply be the name of your business, or something more specific such as meeting place.
Descriptive content for the map pin information box. Keep it short, but provide any pertinent details here.
Change this value to determine how close in you would like the default map zoom to be. The larger the number, the more zoomed in the map will be. Entering a value of 3 will set the zoom to display all of North America.
To preview your changes, click on the Refresh Map button and then click on the map pin.
And that’s it for the Media tab. To move on to the Attributes tab, click Next in the bottom right corner of the screen.
AttributesBack to top
The attributes screen is where you configure the general availability of your item.
InventoryBack to top
Update this field to reflect availability numbers for the item e.g. 25 spaces on the tour, 5 hotel rooms.
If you do not have specific limitations on the availability of your item, click on the Unlimited Inventory button to turn off this feature.
ParametersBack to top
Booking parameters determine how your inventory is booked, priced and allocated. You can add and remove parameters as needed, but remember, these options will impact your system globally. By default, you need a minimum of 1 booking parameter. Each parameter has several flags that determine how the parameter is used.
To create a new parameter, click on the + Create a Parameter button.
The options in the resulting popup window are described below:
Label to be displayed on your booking page, e.g. “Adults”. This is also shown in some of your reports.
Default parameter quantity when making a booking. If you enter 3 here, the booking quantity will be preset to 3 when a customer goes to book the item.
Enables a price to be set for the parameter when creating or editing an item.
If there are multiple price points for the item, show this value in a range (e.g. $99 Child – $189 Adult)
If chosen during booking, the parameter will remove the selected value from the item’s inventory. So, if 2 adults are booked, your item’s inventory will be reduced by 2.
The minimum value of this parameter must be selected.
Customers and Staff:
Parameter is visible to both customers and staff members.
Parameter will not be visible in the public booking portals, but can be seen by a staff member when making a booking through the backend.
Hidden to All:
Don’t show this to either the customers or the staff when making a booking. It will enforce the default value provided.
When you have finished choosing your parameter options, click the save button to complete.
If the parameter you wish to use has already been created, click on the Attach an Existing Parameter button instead.
This will open a popup window of your available parameters.
Check the boxes next to the parameters you wish to use with your item, then click Attach.
Once you’ve attached a parameter, you will see it listed above the create and attach buttons.
You can now go ahead and make further modifications to the parameter for this item only.
You will be able to see the name of the parameter and whether or not it controls or doesn’t control inventory (global setting).
You’ll also see the current visibility of the parameter (global setting). The min/max per booking fields are not global settings and can be configured on a per item basis.
These enable you to set minimum and maximum required quantities for the parameter. For example, you could say that there is a minimum of 1 adult required for the booking, but no minimum amount of children. This prevents children from booking on their own if an adult is actually required.
The Details column enables you to edit the parameter, or detach it by choosing that option from the drop-down.
AllocationBack to top
You may choose a per day, per night, per time or timeslot allocation for each of your items. This changes how the item is booked, priced and allocated in the system. This overrides the system default configured in your Checkfront dashboard at Manage > Setup > Configuration.
Used for both full-day bookings (such as a multi-day truck rental) and single instance bookings, like a full day bus tour. For example, Aug 1 – Aug 3. In this case, the booking would end on Aug 3.
Used most frequently by accommodation providers. This enables you to charge a per night rate. This differs slightly from the day rate in that the checkout date would be the day after the last booking date. For example, take a booking from Aug 1 – Aug 3. The checkout date would be Aug 4. This does not take away from your available Aug 4 inventory.
Enables you to charge by a particular amount of time. For example, a 2-hour kayak rental or a 20-minute salon visit.
When you choose this option, a table of standard time units will appear below. You can make a selection from this table. So, if your appointments will be every 10 minutes, choose 10 Mins from the table. You can then specify multiples of this time from the Default Length box below, if the particular length you’re looking for is not specified. For example, in the screenshot above, you can see that the booking length for this item is 50 minutes. That’s 10 minutes, multiplied by 5.
When making a booking, the customer will see a default booking length of 50 minutes. However, they will be able to adjust this if they wish, up or down, in multiples of 10 minutes. If you wish to fix the length of a booking at 50 minutes, you would put a 5 in the Fixed Length box. This will remove the end time from the booking process so that it cannot be altered by the customer. All they will be able to do is select a start time.
If you’d like to fix the start time for your item, maybe if you’re offering a tour, enter that time in the Fixed Start Time box. This would enable you to offer a tour that starts at 9 am and is 50 minutes long.
TimeslotsBack to top
Timeslot SetupBack to top
To create the first timeslot for your item, select a start and end time, plus the day(s) of the week that particular timeslot is available. Using the drop-down menu, simply check the days for available and uncheck any days which are unavailable.
When ready, click on the blue + Add a Timeslot button.
Based on the settings you created for the first timeslot, the second one will appear automatically, following on directly from the first one. As you can see in the example below, the first timeslot was configured from 9:00 am to 10:30 am. The system automatically created the second slot from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.
In fact, if you were to continue clicking on the + Add a Timeslot button, the system would continue to create time slots with the same settings, directly following on from each other.
Of course, you can change the settings for each one to leave a time gap between them, if necessary, or maybe the 12:00 pm tour only goes out on the weekend…
To remove a timeslot, click on the trashcan button to its right.
Finally, if you remove a time slot from the list you have created, the other times will remain intact. This provides a quick way to offer, say, one-hour slots with an hour break in between. What you would do in this case is set up the first timeslot as one hour, click on the +Add a Timeslot button until you reach the last timeslot and then delete every second one in the list.
That would leave you with one hour tours going out at 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.
Timeslot SettingsBack to top
The timeslot settings enable you to customize how the time slots will appear to your customers in the booking portal.
You can choose to list the timeslots as individual buttons (above), or as a drop-down menu (below).
Show or hide the end times by adjusting the slider button to on or off and show or hide the unavailable time slots in the same way. If you decide to show the unavailable time slots, which have probably been fully booked, they will simply appear in grey with strikethrough text.
Item VisibilityBack to top
Set the visibility of your item.
Everyone: no restrictions. Visible to both staff and customers.
Staff Only: only visible and bookable internally.
In Packages Only: Only visible when part of a package.
Click the More options link to reveal additional details on your item.
Maintenance TimeBack to top
This is the amount of time it takes to get your item ready for the next customer.
Alias ToBack to top
Aliasing enables you to link items together so that when one of them is booked, the availability of the other one is adjusted by the same amount. A great example of the need for aliasing would be a party room. You might only have one room available, but two different package options. If the first package option is booked, the inventory for the second will be reduced to zero also. This means that nobody else can book it during that same time-slot, thus no overbookings!
To alias your item to another, simply enter the name of the other item in the search field. When the item is found, click on it.
If you then change your mind, click on the Remove Alias button to delete the connection.
Simple ItemBack to top
If your item is a static good, such as a bottle of water and not a date based bookable item, turn on the Simple Item button.
Simple items do not have the ability to use parameters or seasonal and dynamic pricing.
You will be asked to confirm the activation of simple pricing before this state can be saved.
Date Based Inventory ControlBack to top
In order for your item to appear as booked on the calendar, this option must be checked (default setting). If it isn’t, you will not be able to check on item availability from the inventory calendar.
Once you’re happy with the details you have provided above, click the Next button in the bottom right of the screen to continue. You can also click on the Save button to record your progress and return later for completion.
Pricing and AvailabilityBack to top
This stage of your item configuration enables you to setup the pricing and availability of the item.
PricingBack to top
Pricing can be defined on either a per booking or per allocation (day, night, hour) basis. Per booking will set the price for the item regardless of the booking length. Per allocation will define the price based on the length of the booking.
Base PriceBack to top
By default, each item includes a base price. The base price is used by the system if there are no active events that are set to change the price to something different. For each booking parameter you defined in the previous step (example Adult, Child), a price field will also be displayed.
Enter the amount to be charged for each parameter in the fields of the Amount column.
Group PricingBack to top
Grouped based pricing allows you to define a subset of pricing for a given item, based on the quantity being booked, or occupancy if you are dealing with accommodation. Group pricing is set on a per item basis and can be applied individually to different parameters if you have them.
To create group pricing, look for the parameter in the table and click on the icon in the Group Pricing column.
A new line will appear in the table with 2 fields in which you can enter the range of the group pricing. In this example, we’ll put a range of 2 to 4 people. 1 person would still be charged at the base rate.
This means that if the customer selects anywhere from 4 to 6 people in their booking for that parameter, the price will change dependant on what you enter in the adjacent price field. In this case, that would be $90 per booking per quantity. You can do this for each parameter individually if you like.
You have a choice of pricing Per Quantity or Per Group. For example, charging $100 per quantity means that a group of 3 people would be billed at $300. Charging $100 per group means that a group of 3 people would still cost $100.
Click on the group pricing icon again to add an additional pricing range.
To remove a group rate from one of your parameters, simply click on the trash can icon on the right.
Default Calendar StatusBack to top
This section enables you to set the default status of your item. There are 3 options to choose from:
Available: the item is available by default 365 days a year. Closures can be added via events.
Unavailable: the item is not available by default. An event is required to set availability. Events override the default item status.
Seasonal / Tiered / Special Pricing and AvailabilityBack to top
Use this section to create the events that will determine when your item is available if you haven’t configured it to be available all the time.
You have 4 options here, accessible by clicking on the Create New Item Event button.
Seasonal Item EventBack to top
Generally used to set pricing or availability based on the time of year (e.g: peak, low, closed). Seasonal events should not overlap one another.
From the drop-down menu select Seasonal Item Event to get started. You will now see a pop-up window in which you can input your requirements.
Here you can determine how the item price will change once the seasonal rate comes into effect.
Base Price: Select this to leave the base price intact.
Create New Price Point: Select this if you would like to enter a new, specific price. Once you have saved the event, a new price-point will be displayed so you can enter whatever price you like for each parameter. You will see this in a new section labelled Pricing Table.
Dynamic Price: Select this if you would like to change the price dynamically. A new field will appear where you can enter a new percentage or fixed amount price for the item. As with the Create New Price option, the new pricing can be viewed in the Pricing Table
Threshold Price: Choose this option if you would like to change the price based on the amount of inventory remaining. Two new fields will appear where you can enter a stock level and rate adjustment. In the example below, the rate will increase by 10% when the stock level falls to 2.
Start and End Dates:
Choose the start date for the event and an end date if necessary. Removing the end date will leave the event open-ended.
Combining the applicable days with the start/end dates, it’s possible to create an event that is only in effect on say Mondays and Wednesdays between December 1st and December 31st. Pretty cool!
If you’ve created a ruleset that you would like to apply to the event, choose it here.
Detach an Event
After saving the event, you’ll now see it listed in your item. Click on the drop-down button next to the Edit button under the Details column to detach the event from the item.
You can click on the Attach Existing Pricing/Availability button to attach any other events that might have been created already.
Special Discount Rate
Special discount rates float on top of seasonal rates. These are typically used to override seasonal pricing. For example, to set a long weekend special or closure.
Use this option if you would like to configure a closure. Maybe you would like to close your business over the Holidays. This type of event will remove the item from your booking page during the period you choose. There are no pricing fields in this pop-up window as the inventory will not be available to your customers.
For a one day closure, the start and end date should be the same. Removing the end date will leave the closure open ended. Also, if your item will be using timeslots, you can select those from the field provided.
Exclusive Date Span Rate
Set this event up like the seasonal and special ones, only the dates will create a very specific booking requirement. With this type of event, the booking must begin and end on the dates you select here. For example, if you are offering a one off trip from July 1st to July 5th, enter those dates here and the item will only be displayed on the booking calendar then. When a customer comes to book it, they will not be able to change the start and end dates as they are now fixed.
TaxesBack to top
If you have configured any taxes or service fees in your account, this option will enable you to select whether or not they should be applied to your item. For more information on taxes and service fees, please click here.
Click the Status button to turn a tax/fee on or off. You can configure the details of the tax by clicking on the Edit button. Just be aware that any changes you make here will affect the system globally.
DepositBack to top
If you have set up your system to charge a deposit at booking time (Manage > E-Commerce > Settings)< , you will see that here. If you’d like to charge the deposit differently for the item you’re working on, choose another option from the drop-down menu.
Click the More options link to reveal additional details on your item.
CommissionBack to top
If you have configured any Partner Accounts, you can set the commission rate for your item in the Commission Amount field. To reveal this, turn on the Commission button.
Package Price PercentageBack to top
Here, you can specify a global custom percentage to alter the cost of this item when attached in a package.
Enable E-CommerceBack to top
Disabling e-commerce will prevent customers from paying for items.
PackagesBack to top
Other items in your inventory can be attached to the item you’re currently working on to create a package. Your main item is known as the Parent Item. The other items you add to this, in order to create a package, are known as the Child Items. Packaged items can be optional, pre-selected, or required.
To add a new item to your package, click on the Attach an Item button.
A pop-up window will appear with a drop-down menu from which you can select the item you wish to include in the package.
Once you’ve selected your item from the list, the pop-up window will extend itself to reveal additional options. These include various ways to customise how your child item will be treated in the package.
Price PercentageBack to top
First of all, you need to set the Item Price Percentage. This is the percentage of the original price for which you wish this item to be charged. In our example, we have chosen to add a Segway City Tour as a package add-on. If we set the price percentage to 0, the tour will be included for free. If we set the percentage to 200, the price of the tour will be doubled. In most cases, it’s normal to offer a slight decrease in price, to tempt the customer into making a purchase. In this case, we will charge 75% of the original price.
Opt-InBack to top
Next you must specify how the child item should be included in the package. You have three options which can be chosen from the drop-down menu:
Optional: The item is not pre-selected and can be added to the booking by the customer.
Pre-Selected: The item is pre-selected for inclusion, but can be removed by the customer prior to finalizing the booking.
Required: The item is pre-selected for inclusion, but cannot be removed by the customer, as it is required in the booking.
Required – Hidden: The item is free & pre-selected for inclusion, as it is required in the booking, but cannot be removed/seen by the customer.
Dates Back to top
Depending on the option chosen here, the customer will be able to select their own date preference when adding the package add-on to their booking. The setting you select here determines how customizable that date will be.
Use Parent’s DatesBack to top
If selected, the booking date of the child item will mirror that of the parent item. If, for example, the Valley Lodge is booked from March 5th to March 11th and the Mountain Bike Adventure is included as a package add-on, this will be scheduled for the first date in the range – March 5th. If the item is configured with time slots, which in this case it is, a time may be chosen, but the date of the booking cannot be changed by the customer.
Allow Setting Within Parent’s DatesBack to top
This option is similar to the previous one, the difference being the ability for the customer to choose the booking date of the child item within the confines of the parent booking date range.
In our previous example, we showed a booking at the Valley Lodge between March 5th and March 11th. The customer can still add the Mountain Bike Adventure as an add-on to the booking, only this time they can choose a date other than the first date of the room booking, providing it is within the total booking range of the parent item. In this case, the customer could go ahead and book the mountain bike add-on on March 10th if they liked.
CustomBack to top
The custom option enables you to allow a greater degree of date customization, within the confines you decide to outline here.
You can choose to allow add-on bookings to start x number of days before/after the parent booking has started/ended. You can then choose when to end the option for add-on bookings in a similar fashion.
In the above example, a start was set at 2 days after the parent booking starts and the end was set at 2 days before the parent booking ends. This means that the add-on item cannot be booked until 2 days into the booking of the main parent item. Likewise, bookings can be made up until 2 days before the main parent booking ends. This essentially creates a 3 day booking window in the middle of the parent booking date range.
Allow Parameter AdjustmentBack to top
In addition to the date, you also have the option to enable parameter adjustments for your customers.
With the option turned off, the child item’s quantity will mirror that of the parent item.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the package add-on has not yet been added to the booking, but the quantity (3) is mirroring the parent item. This is not editable by the customer. Of course, they might not want 3 helmets, so this is where the parameter adjustment comes in very useful.
Now, with the parameter switch turned on, the customer is able to select the number of helmets they require with the booking (see screenshot above).
As you can see above, the customer was able to book 3 kayaks for the afternoon, but only 1 helmet was required.
Request Parameter MappingBack to top
If the item you are attaching as a packaged item (child) to the main item (parent) uses different booking parameters, you are able to map them to make sure they are allocated as desired.
This feature will be displayed automatically during the attaching process if such a scenario occurs.
Simply choose the parent parameter from the drop-down field that most closely matches the child item labelled to its right.
In the example above, if an adult is selected during the booking process for the parent item, an adult will also be selected for the child item if it is chosen from the package options.
Once you have added your packaged item(s), they will be visible just above the Attach an Item button.
You can configure the package options by clicking on the Edit button, or remove the child item by clicking on the drop-down button next to this and selecting Detach Item
Show Package Starting Price
If you’d like to display a starting price for the package in the booking portal, turn this option on and then enter the price in the field that appears.
Product GroupingBack to top
It’s possible to group individual items into one main parent item, essentially creating the ability to offer variations of said parent item in a drop-down menu. Let’s assume you are offering a tour of some sort, that has multiple different start times throughout the day, on a set schedule. In the past, these would have been created as separate items and displayed to the customer one after another in the main booking portal.
With Product Grouping however, you can now take all those separate items and group them together as one. This makes for a much more streamlined booking page with fewer headaches for you and your customers!
So How Does It Work?
First of all, you will need to create the parent item. This is the item that will be displayed to the customer in the booking portal. In this example, we’ll use our 2 Hour Boat Tour.
Additional items should now be created for each of the available timeslots. In this case, let’s say there is a tour at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. So, that’s 4 additional items on top of the parent.
The quickest way to create these items is to simply copy the item we already have and change the title/SKU to reflect the new timeslot. In the bottom right corner of the item edit screen is a link labeled >strong>More. Click on this to reveal a menu. From here, choose Copy
A new item will be created with the same pricing and attributes etc. as the original. All you need to do is choose a unique SKU and change the item title.
It’s best to put the time of the tour in the item title so that customers can quickly see when the tour is.
After creating the new item, you’ll see a confirmation message on the screen. From here, choose the copy option again to create the next time-slot.
When finished, you’ll have an inventory of items that looks something like this:
Looking at the booking portal now, you will see this:
This is okay, but there’s a better way to do it! Go back to the parent item and click on it’s Packages tab. In the Product Grouping section, turn on the feature by clicking on the slider. Please note, product grouping is disabled if the item already has a package add-on attached.
A new Group Type field will appear. From the drop-down menu, select Parent.
Another new field will now appear, labelled Child Items. Click on this and then put a checkmark next to each item you wish to include in the product grouping. In our case, it’s the 4 boat tour items we just created.
By default, you will be shown all available items in your inventory. If you’d like to include your items that are unavailable, click on the slider labelled Show Unavailable Children.
Now, once you’ve saved the item, go back to your booking portal and have a look at the difference. As you can see in the screenshot below, there is now only 1 item listed for the 2 Hour Boat Tour. If this is selected, you will see a drop-down menu where the customer can select the tour time they want. Brilliant!
Product Group PricingBack to top
Finally, it’s possible that not all items in the product group will be priced the same. Maybe the 3pm tour costs more than the 9am tour. So, you are able to enter a price in the Product Group Pricing field, after turning on the switch, that will be displayed as From $95, as an example.