Most Web Booking Engines are a nuisance
Both from the viewpoint of the hotel and from the perspective of the hoteliers, who expect the best advice from their software house and a booking tool with high conversion. But far from it, in most Web Booking Engines of the hotel industry, things happen for an ecommerce manager at Amazon or Zalando to take his hat. We are very likely to wonder in a few years what we have been satisfied with today. The fact that the guest must know before the start of the booking whether he needs only one room, or a table reservation and, if necessary, a meeting room, cannot be explained by technical challenges alone. The industry has apparently not yet recognized the chances of an intelligent buying process. Too many islands, excessive retention of traditional processes, and obsolete base technology in the property management sector hinder the continuation and development.
These processes and functions are, for example, unacceptable:
- Guest requests run in void, there is no offer and also no reason, why not actually. (Maybe the house is closed or bayed, but when moving the trip by just one day, it would work.
- Guests are not recognized, neither as a regular customer nor as a first offender.
- Although different tariffs are often made bookable, the differences, such as booking and payment conditions, are only visible after numerous additional clicks, if at all.
- A clear overview of whether a 2-week half-board offer or a complete “all-inclusive package” is a better offer is unfortunately not to be found in the market.
During an ÖHV seminar on the promotion of direct sales, the dedicated seminar participants elaborated on these requirements. The hoteliers have recognized that they can expect their guests only the finest, user-friendly, and simultaneously sales-enhancing tools.
New demands on sales-strong Web Booking Engines
- The booking machine detects where the guest comes from and offers the best travel time or the appropriate product automatically. Example: Google has searched for Christmas holidays with children and is guided into the corresponding package areas.
- Voucher purchases from the voucher shop of the hotel can be easily redeemed by the guest. This applies both to value vouchers and to experience vouchers.
- Upselling into a better room category is simple and customer-friendly.
- Implement a simple loyalty program for online bookers on the hotel’s website. If the guest has created an account, he can collect points, stars. or the like for each booking and exchange them for money in the case of subsequent bookings.
- As soon as you enter the booking machine, the guest will see the best travel times, but also booked times or the last available room category. For example, via calendars.
- Through connections with CRM systems, guests’ inquiries are answered and are tailor-made. For example, a guest who is booked for the first time with a welcome offer. A guest whose 10th booking pending will be granted an extra for his loyalty. Also, guest preferences should be better fulfilled.
- A good business analysis tool should always keep the management and distribution team transparent on the new key figures – conversion, cost per booking, comparison of sales, degree of utilization of the categories, etc.
- Sale of obligatory Ad-ons depending on travel or demand time.
- Advantages for direct bookers (discounts, extras) can be communicated prominently.
- Dynamic packaging is possible.
- Restrictions are just as clear as the price or the category.
- Children’s controls are flexible and easy to understand for the guest.
- Products and packages are Googlebar, the guest is directly in the buying process – without detour via the website.
- Good measurability at which points the purchase may be interrupted.
Conclusion: These goals must support a modern web booking engine effectively:
- A good conversion. Easy, fast, and successful booking. The largest possible number of users entering the booking machine and finalizing the purchase.
- Good sales per booker. Through upselling and additional services.