Guidelines To Increase Direct Booking On Booking Engine
The core of business for any hotelier is the bookings coming in & from which source. As the source defines the profitability of these incoming revenue, It is crucial that the hotelier strategizes to optimize the most profitable channel. We have a wide range of platforms offering easy for bookings for travelers, but the highlight is how we plan to be out there to outrage the expensive sources & drive in the most desirable platform for the hotelier to draw bookings. A booking platform is one of the most important source that an hotelier should pay attention to. Any distribution channel is always in a constant state of flux when it comes to driving the maximum bookers to their platform & to retain them making them keep coming back on their platform for bookings. Easy of navigation, Customization, Options to choice from, complete information & Better deals are the USP’s for any booking channel to have.
How to Analysis your Source of Business
OTA’s are so very popular in today’s scenario as they make it easy for a booker to make their choices & pick the deal on the best possible rate. This comes with a pinch of salt, that is with all these easy, creeps in the direct threat of your competitor grabbing the deal right on this platform. To avoid this you may be suggested to give in better deals which is at the cost of your ARR. ARR ie. Average Room Rate, is what ensures the growth of any hotel business. Imaging you have a lot of bookings coming in but below the desired ARR, How does this help? To balance your operational cost you need to balance this, & there are only two ways to do it. One by increasing you inventory ie Room count at your property which is not practical in all case. The second is to maintain your ARR in a way that your distribution channels do not affect them. So it is optimum that you pick your source of revenue that maintains your AAR at the best possible level.
Tips to Increasing traffic on Brand Website:
A common query that any hotelier would have is, “How do I increase the traffic on my brand website, has it to be always a SEO to achieve this or is there any other economical way to do it? As I have the best hotel booking engine integrated on my website.” The reply to this is there are many ways in which you can increase the traffic on your website. When I say traffic I mean the number of visitors on your website, This is simple achievable by increasing your visibility (reach) by crosslinking your website to social networking sites, Google Maps, Relevant travel website etc. Above all this it is very necessary that your Brand website is integrated with a booking engine software, This makes sense to a traveler rather than having just a informatory website & no booking option available. SEO maintenance does not come is with guarantied result, as there are many dependent factors that affect the results in the desired optimization. Factors like saturation of key words. Brand name similarity etc. are some of them. Hence it is not advisable that one only depends SEO for traffic to his brand website or conversion on his website booking engine.
The actual Key points that one should concentrate are as follows:
- Comprehensive Online Hotel Booking Engine
- Value Added Service
- Promo Codes & Offers
- Flexible Payment Options
- Guest Database
- Data capture using hotel booking engine for website
A brand Website needs to have the most user friendly navigation & should consists of all the possible sellable elements giving the traveler the most comprehensive platform that ensure to meet his needs. Attention should be paid to very minute details while designing a hotel booking engine for website, such as what do I sell, what are the various options you can pick from, what are the upsells available, are there any value added services etc. The first step to any online hotel booking engine is the search page which should be able to capture most of his requirements for the booking to be made. The booking engine software also has some smart options enabled here like lowest rate applicable on the date calendar, Next day or Previous day swap options which makes it convenient to the booker to navigate through his search options. Once the search page is done it takes you to the cart were in you display your sellable elements with possible options, this is where your navigation takes a hit, make sure that your booking engine provider has taken enough care that the user will not need to go back & forth to make his pick, or else you would lose your customer at this point. Also make sure you display all the possible bookable elements listed in here with an eye catchy caption.
Just selling your rooms make your direct booking engine look outdated & limited in its functionalities. This is where you think out of the box & make sure that you are able to sell your custom package as well as value added service, these may not necessary be revenue centric elements but it gives your online booking engine a face lift. A traveler would love to have a website booking engine that caters to all his travel needs. & this ensures his likeliness to choose you over the many options he has. A best hotel booking engine will ensure that this key factor is not missed on the software booking engine.
To conquer the pricing concern market segment, we also need to pay attention to another feature that is Promo codes & offers displayed. This can be designed in the online booking engine. This option works out very handy to hoteliers to bring their direct booking engine at par with all the online booking platforms available. This also brings in an equal opportunity to compete for direct bookings making it know as the best booking engine among travelers. The concept of promo codes is also to recognize the key market segment & to extract business in the most profitable manner. An hotelier needs to play around with this tool in such a way that he not just earns booking but also materialized a strong cash flow for his property. This in other words can also be used as loyalty benefits to the clients, retaining a strong guest database.
The two common payment options that we have heard of commonly are full advance payment know as prepaid booking or a Pay @ hotel option were in the customer pays during check – both these options have their pros & cons, but if we think out of the box you will realize that there is one more angle to explore. Yes a part payment would be the best & the most desired option on both sides ie the customer & the hotelier. This cloud change the way revenue is been forecasted as well.
The prices possession for any hotelier is his guest database & wonders can be worked if this data is analyzed & put to use in the best way. But the question stands is all of the guest information captured & if yes is this be utilized for any revenue materialization. A hotelier needs to use this to an optimum level were in it captures the customer through the software booking engine.
A best hotel booking engine will also ensure that it just does not focus on conversion or easy of navigation but also capture the customer details. In case the conversion does not happen, the best booking engine is designed in a way that it captures the guest details along the path to booking, in a way that the booking engine hotel automation provides these data to the hotelier to re-engage a customer for conversion. Even if this attempt is not successful in conversion it still leaves you with the reason why you lost this,&a corrective action can be implemented in the long run.
Selection of a Booking Engine
If the above points have rung a bell in your minds then the very next question you would have is “How to choose a booking engine”. Well it’s very simple. First of all don’t go by the say “get me the cheapest hotel booking engine” Always remember that a traveler booking on your Booking engine should also be feeling safe to transact on this platform. You should have all authenticity visible before he proceeds for the payment. One of an important authenticity is a book secure booking engine, this involves secured certifications like SSL certification. PSA DSS certification for the automation software that handles the booking platform.
And after all this, all you need is time & patience to analyze your market segments & use the required tools in the most efficient & yielding manner gearing you up in the competitive market. Not just these but this will give you the power & stability during any fluctuations in the market trends at all circumstances.
Always remember that it is the property (Hotel / Resort) that makes the difference no matter what promotions are made on the property. May be its time to now focus on the USP of the hotel & ensure you stand out in the minds of the travelers & reach out to as many clients as possible. Your clients how are repeat guest are the true stars on your shoulders that would make the difference. As I would always say revenue is just the byproduct of any quality service. Focus on your selling points optimize your reach to the market, distribute the resources to plan a better revenue forecast & stay as close as possible to the goals set. A customer once pleases to the heart will always be your customer. We have been worrying about the factors which we can hardly change & looking into a complete different angel when is comes to business & the fight to survival in the market, It is time that we now look forward & plan ahead have better strategies, robust tools, preferred channels, & a even distribution of your sellable elements.
It’s what has already happened in many of the smart managed properties & have they not only overcome their fears of competition, but have boosted up their growth both in clientele base & revenue against all odds. A trend setter is the one always mocked at, but then the world follows his trend & very soon it becomes a standard. We are not the once who should call our self at the mercy of others.
Technology is everywhere now but the truth is we are the once who developed these technologies & to use it to the best is at our disposal. Having a stable market is the key to an transparent business setup & its high time that we work on it, Look up hoteliers see what you are best at & upsell that, If you find that you are falling short at something fix it or if you can’t fix it find a way to overcome it with better options or work around. To what we can see in the future is competitions will be more healthy & beneficial to everyone & lets work for it in the way we need to be ready for it.