Important Features in Modern Booking Engine You Need to Consider
The need of modern booking engine is obvious in today’s hotel industry. The dominance of online distribution in hotel industry is indeed inevitable. The drive of online booking is dominating the total of booking numbers in most of hotels these days. Thanks to internet era, now you can do everything just from the tip of your fingers via internet. And that’s how modern booking engine born.
As we know, today’s hotel competition means more than what it was ten years ago. If ten years ago hoteliers won’t need to worry about websites or millennials customers, things have changed now. The modern hotel competition requires you do more than just housekeeping and cleaning rooms. The though business requires you not only to keep up with technology, but also to understand how to capitalize it.
We all know that things can get rough in today’s business. Now every hotels are required to create a great internet marketing plan to make the most of the booking engine. It means that have a great and sophisticated modern booking engine alone will not help at all.
When you’ve been with OTA for so long, having a booking engine might not be something essential for your business. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not important. Driving more customers to your own booking engine will be great because it means you will have a commission-free revenue. Even though it sounds complicated, investing on a modern booking engine will surely be a good investment.
What is a booking engine?
In a nutshell, a booking engine is a dedicated engine that facilitate your customer to book rooms on your hotel. The functionality to book a room is usually embedded on the hotel’s website. The evolution of the technology allows your customers to make their own booking with the help of booking engine. It doesn’t mean that you as a hotel owner doesn’t need to do anything, it’s just more as a help to bridge the customer to easily book.
In case you are planning on having a booking engine, make sure that you take a look on these features. Even when you already have one, these inspirations can help to upgrade yours. The features below will surely be a good idea to provide a more convenient booking engine to your customer.
Responsive and multi-platform design
One of the most important features on modern booking engine that you need is surely the responsiveness. A booking engine needs to be light and responsive to make sure that your customers won’t need a long time to make a booking. The long time to load is proven to be the biggest factor on why potential customers are abandoning the booking. The need to fill up the long and complicated form is also the reason why some of your customers are abandoning the ongoing booking on your booking engine. And sure, you can prevent these things from happening by making your booking engine become light and responsive.
Other thing that you need to consider when designing a booking engine for your hotel is surely the multi-platform concept. The ability to be accessed from multi-devices is a must in modern booking engine. The rise of the use of smartphone is a big opportunity for you to catch more and more potential customers by providing a mobile-friendly version of your booking engine.
Even though it sounds like comforting, some of your customers are not abandoning their booking because they hate your hotel. Some of them are abandoning the booking because some other issues, like the change of the dates. You can catch these potential customers by proving a save-for-later feature on your modern booking engine to allow them to save their booking for later on.
Using this feature, customers that already made their booking can simply click the button and send the itinerary to their e-mail. You can also make this feature to save the itinerary to your customer’s account to allow them to continue the process later on. What an innovative feature, right?
Shopping cart functionality
Saving the almost-abandoned booking is surely not easy. But you can save them by simply adding shopping cart functionality into your modern booking engine. The shopping cart functionality is the answer that will allow your potential customer to save their booking and continue the process when they’re ready. This will be a big help, especially for the indecisive customers.
Other than that, shopping cart functionality will also allow your customer to book multiple rooms in multiple hotels at once. This is a good news for those who wants to book multiple rooms at once because they don’t need to make new booking over and over again. Especially when you have more than one properties, this could also be a big help to promote your other properties via one booking engine.
Some customers want to be certain about their booking by calling the hotel directly. You can accommodate this by adding call-to-continue functionality into your modern booking engine. This feature will allow the booking engine to instantly send the booking into your front desk and call the front desk at once to make sure that the booking is processed. This will be a good news for the customers that not really familiar with modern booking engine as they still feel the need to confirm their booking into the hotel directly.
Other than that, this will also prevent customers from abandoning their booking on the way.
Discount code field
It’s always good for the customers to have lower price from their room rate. You can attract more customers by adding a discount code field into your modern booking engine. This field will allow your customers to enter a discount code and get a discount for their room rate. This will help your hotel to boost the revenue because such promo is attractive for these customers.
All you need is just creating an attractive promo scheme that will attract potential customers without sacrificing the most of your revenue.
While some booking engines are merely about room booking, you can step forward by adding add-ons functionality into yours. This feature will allow your customer to add some add-ons services to your booking, including spa services, special breakfast or even airport transfer. Not only that this will help your customers to plan their travel better, this will also be a great promotion field for your add-ons services that you have on your hotel.
So what do you think about these features above? Creating a modern booking engine is not always about being technical. Sometimes small details that made with customer-centric perspective are way more effective to create a comfortable booking experience for your customers. It’s surely not an instant answer for your hotel revenue, but this surely will help more potential customers to conveniently book your hotel without the fuss.