Why a hotel booking engine is essential for a competitive edge
Whether they realise it or not, too many hoteliers are losing out on significant incremental revenue from their website. Why? Because they’re relying on third-party online travel agents (OTAs) as their business’s primary booking service. However, this profit-denying outsourcing is no longer necessary thanks to the increasing adoption of reliable and thoroughly comprehensive booking engines, like Booking Direct.
A booking engine should be all about a hotelier’s website. It’s the make or break moment – often the deciding factor in whether a customer will book directly with a hotel. And if it’s not efficient or easy to use, it may well see them take their custom elsewhere. To avoid this happening, a booking engine must offer a seamless transition from the website; it must integrate perfectly with the rest of the site – and without glitches. It’s this reality that has driven the development of Booking Direct; the need for a hotelier to be armed with a market-leading online hotel booking engine that will fit exactly what they need.
Booking Direct is entirely customisable end-to-end. This is because of its redirection-free user experience design (UX), which enables it to not just maintain the brand consistency of a business as presented on its website – from search through to booking and whatever’s necessary beyond – but to consistently ensure the look, feel and quality of the brand is upheld.
Any booking engine is only as good as its experience for the user. And that means it has to be possible for the customer to be able to navigate it easily whatever digital device they use. Smartphone, tablet or PC; screen resolution or size; a booking engine has to be able to function without issue across any and every device. There can’t be any hitches. Like Booking Direct, a hotel reservation system should seek to be thoroughly device-responsive for mobile, tablet and desktop computer with an easy-to-navigate, clean and appealing platform that adapts immediately to the viewer’s environment.
As noted, once installed and up and running, a hotel booking engine for websites instantly becomes the first acid test for hotel brands. Get it wrong and it can be fatal; get it right and the rewards can be revolutionary, but only if it can be viewed and used with ease by the booking guest.
All that said, though, it can’t be stressed enough that a trusted payment gateway is of crucial importance for a booking engine. Why would a potential guest look to book a room at a particular hotel if they’re not comfortable handing over their payment details to a booking engine they’re faced with? Customers need to feel they can trust the site.
It’s for this reason that a hotelier must put in place a booking engine that’s fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Booking Direct has been deliberately rolled out to fulfil these industry standards that accept and secure credit card delivery, which means that potential guests are guaranteed their bookings will be protected. In fact, they’d be protected as much as – and perhaps even more so than – they would be through using a third-party OTA’s booking engine. In short, when a well-designed, reliable and comprehensive booking engine is deployed, guests can book with complete peace of mind.
So, an industry-leading booking engine solution such as Booking Direct, that’s easy-to-use, intuitive and fully integrated with the website and brand, will result in great gains for hoteliers. Not least because it will offer potential guests a totally seamless experience whatever device they favour, and because it will be fully responsive with smartphone, tablet and PC/ desktop and prove thoroughly payment-secure. Moreover, it’s multi-lingual and multi-currency, and it enables both Facebook and Google+ integration; important design features to ensure a site’s bookings have all possible eventualities covered.
All things said then, if a hotelier wishes to increase online conversion rates and incremental revenues, opting for a strong, consistent and dependable booking engine is essential.