One of the fundamental assets that a hotel or group must possess is a direct booking engine on their website. Without it, your business could be missing out on a mass of hot leads and potential bookings.
Here’s five reasons you should adopt a Direct Booking Engine:
1. Commission Free Bookings
When guests book directly from your website, these bookings are completely commission free. By increasing bookings from your website, you rely less on OTAs and their expensive commission rates, meaning more profitability for your hotel.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use OTAs, they are a great additional revenue stream, and are able to reach a wider audience and attract potential first-time guests.
2. Provide Better Guest Experiences
By having a direct booking engine on your website, you can improve the guest experience by offering bespoke and unique packages that are only available if they book direct.
This way you can offer guests something that isn’t available through OTAs and possibly lure them from booking through those channels. By making the offers and packages prominent on your website, potential guests researching your hotel after finding you on a booking website, may decide to book through you instead.
The possibilities are endless; special packages could include one-off events, culinary experience and festivals – numerous ways to add additional revenue streams, especially during quieter periods.
3. Control Your Online Presence
One of the biggest issues with using OTAs is the lack of control hoteliers have over the look and feel of the whole booking process.
Although there are plenty of options to add information and images to an online profile, there are always going to be limitations to how you can present your property.
By using your own integrated booking engine, branded to your property, you are able to have complete control of the whole guest journey before, during, and after their stay. Your guest becomes immersed in the branding and feel of your hotel and will be influenced by cues such as fonts, colour palettes and tone of voice – all of which can communicate the impression you desire.
4. Improve Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is a very important objective for many hotels; return stays are a crucial revenue stream. You can contact previous guests via email, promoting an exclusive offer which can be attained through your direct booking engine.
You can also attach loyalty schemes and discounts to your engine, ensuring that you look after those most valued guests.
5. Future Proof your Website
Online booking engines can be built to ensure that they are mobile-friendly and interactive, this means that they can be accessed from any mobile device, paramount for today’s fast-paced and on-the-go consumer.
Many will also help you to check availability and identify booking trends, helping you and your team to develop informed and effective strategies for the future.