A complete buyer’s guide to choose the best hotel booking engine
December 22, 2017 Manasi Shah
There’s no denying that there are a load of hotel booking engine to choose from and it can be difficult to choose the best one for your hotel. Of course, making the right decision will have a huge influence on your business in terms of efficiency and revenue.
It is the right technology in business that produces ROI.
However, when it comes to finding a suitable online booking engine, it is easier said than done. There are so many factors that need to be considered before deciding on a hotel booking engine, as different vendors have different features to offer. Even so, it is necessary for you to identify your top requirements and then determine the system that will be able to fulfill those needs with efficiency.
That’s why we’ve come up with a complete buyer’s guide which will help you choose the best hotel booking engine according to your needs.
Why do you need a hotel booking engine?
With the technological advancement, hotel booking engine has gained immense importance, as not only it helps you reach a wider audience, but also lets you provide the best possible booking experience to your guests.
Think about it yourself. Why do you need to opt for a hotel booking engine? You may be already getting bookings from third-party online distribution channels, or walk-ins or from some other sources. But then, ever wondered how much it’s worth? Maintaining rate parity, real-time inventory, handling overbookings and under-bookings, what not! So maybe, this is where are losing your profits and adding a burden of managing your hotel operations.
Nearly two-thirds of guests prefer to book direct with hotels.
Let’s face it. You want to give your guests an exceptional experience during their stay, right? So why not start with the moment they book with you?
A great booking experience is the beginning of the guest’s lasting relationship with your brand. Along with the hospitality industry, the online booking engines have also evolved over the time and have made booking process simpler and faster. Simply put, a hotel booking engine will let you take bookings from your guests directly from your hotel website. Such organized approach helps you focus on guest experience, thus increasing your repeat guests.
What should you look for in a hotel booking engine: Buyer’s checklist
- Responsive Booking engine: The booking engine should have responsive design, applicable and comfortable to use on any device. So, whether your guests are using computer, tablets or their smartphones to book with you; the system should offer flawless booking experience.
- Personalization: It should be adaptable to your hotel’s profile and standards. It should give you complete freedom to set the look and feel of the booking flow as per your hotel website’s theme.
- Appealing widgets: Bright, simple and easy to use buttons are a necessary addition to your booking engine. Eye catchy widgets with actionable words work best for turning your visitors into bookers (like Book Now, Make a booking). The booking engine should be able to set up several new widgets on your website and increase your bookings.
- Access Anytime: Use of the reservation system should be at complete ease, giving you convenience to access it from anywhere at anytime. With a hotel reservation system, all you need is a computer/mobile handset and a stable Internet connection, making it easy for you and your staff to supervise direct bookings on the go.
- Apt for chain properties: If you have multiple properties, it becomes a difficult task to keep an eye on bookings of every property. Whether you have a stand-alone hotel or a chain of hotels across multiple locations, the hotel booking engine should let your bookings from a single place.
- Guest Engagement: Along with handling bookings, the booking engine should be able to send engaging emails on pre-arrival, during stay and post-departure of the guests along with timely promotional emails to increase repeat guests.
- Payment processing: Payment processing is an integral part of your hotel’s booking procedure. The hotel booking engine should be capable of handling payments, but should also allow you to choose how to offer deals based on payment methods.
- Upsell other services: With the booking engine, you should be able to upsell your extra services along with accommodation, thus giving you a chance to increase your revenue.
- Secure: While talking about payments, you need to ensure that your guests’ data remains safe from security breaches. Thus, the booking engine should be secure, preferably with PCI DSS certification.
- Multi-currency and language support: Most of you want to appeal to a global audience, so it is important to have a booking engine that can be displayed in other languages and also accommodates different currencies. After all, you will most likely be catering to travelers, and you want to make it easy for them to learn more about your offerings and lock in a booking.
- Reports and Stats: Look for a hotel booking engine that offers you a diverse set of reports from bookings, occupancy, revenue, month-on-month bookings, year-over-year stats and more so that you can strategize your business decisions and improve operational efficiency.
In a nutshell, a hotel booking engine will let you be available 24X7 for reservations, unlike walk-ins or manual management of bookings.
In conclusion, to stand out of the competition, you need to opt for the right and durable technology. There are many options available for you but the key to the right selection is understanding your own needs clearly. The purpose of any good online booking engine is to allow your guests to book with you easily.
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