February 19, 2019
What To Look For in an Online Booking Engine
Your hotel's website is a powerful asset. As the online face of your property, it's where the majority of the public first interacts with and evaluates your business. You spend a lot of time and energy ensuring that potential guests find your website and are impressed by it when they do. So don't let all that hard work go to waste. Make sure to partner with the best online booking engine so the traffic you work for can be converted into direct bookings.
There are a lot of booking engines on the market, but not all are created equal. Here's a quick overview of what you should be looking for in a provider:
First and foremost, your online booking engine should offer full website integration. The look and feel of your site should be maintained throughout the customer journey to create a seamless user-experience for guests booking direct.
The booking engine should also integrate with your channel manager and property management system. This will ensure that room inventory is always up-to-date across all distribution channels—a necessity if you want to avoid overbooking.
A significant portion of online travel searches are done using a mobile device. To ensure you're providing an optimized experience for all users (on desktops and smartphones alike), you'll want to find an online booking engine that utilizes responsive design. This will help reduce frustration during the booking process and therefore minimize abandonment.
When choosing an online booking engine, it's important to consider the functionality. You'll need one that accommodates all the pricing strategies and booking options you use to maximize revenue at your property. This likely means finding a provider with the flexibility to offer various rates, restrict lengths of stay, facilitate group bookings, redeem vouchers, sell packages, password protect rates, and so on.
Just like any technology you use, your online booking engine should provide analytics that can be used to assess your hotel's performance. You should be able to generate reports that offer insights into direct conversions rates, bookings via desktop and mobile, average LOS, revenue from packages and promotions and so on. The more information you have, the easier it is to recognize areas of concern and discover new opportunities for maximizing revenue.
Bookings are your business. So if there's ever an issue with your online booking engine, you need to know that it will be dealt with swiftly and effectively. When shopping around for a provider, be sure to read customer reviews and prioritize those with a reputation for excellent customer service.
The point of encouraging direct bookings is to save the steep commissions you would otherwise be paying to OTAs. So it doesn't make sense to choose an online booking engine that's going to take a cut of your profits. Look for a provider with a flat-fee pricing structure so you can maximize savings.
An online booking engine is a necessity for any property's website. Contact WebRezPro for more information about their mobile-optimized, commission-free online booking engine.