Think about every successful relationship, working or otherwise, that you’ve ever had. It’s likely a common denominator throughout all of them has been effective communication and cooperation.
The same principles should apply to your hotel business. These days there are many different systems involved in running a hotel. If they’re not syncing together seamlessly in real-time, the probability of them working as you’d like is low, at best.
The two most prominent cogs in the machine are your website and booking engine. Unless you want errors, erratic results, and confused or cranky customers, these two systems must sync with each other.
Here’s what you should know:
What represents good integration between a website and online booking engine?
Perhaps the most essential element of a hotel website is its connection to an online booking engine, allowing you to easily accept direct online bookings. One of the main reasons people abandon a booking is because the process is too slow or clunky. Integration prevents this.
To be optimised:
- An online booking engine must be synchronised with your website
- Your website needs to display a ‘Book Now’ button
- The experience of your website and booking engine need to align on functionality and performance
- Design quality on your website must also be reflected on the booking engine and vice versa
- Your website will be HTTPS secure with an updated SSL certificate
Integrating your website and booking engine will allow you to offer a much more consistent experience for guests and manage your own processes easier.
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What are the main benefits of integrating your website and online booking engine?
Benefits gained from this type of integration are large and numerous. They include:
- The ability to stay on par with the booking experience on OTAs, which is important if your hotel wants to remain a viable booking alternative to the the third-party channels
- A consistently mobile-friendly platform which will help reduce user friction
- A quick and functional experience for guests given they won’t have to repeat actions or input the same information more than once
- A much easier way to manage rates and reservations since you won’t have to do any manual processing between the two systems, eliminating accidental errors
- Greater success with search engine optimisation because your content and functionality will be optimised on both your website and booking engine
- More traffic, more regularly, to your booking engine flowing straight from your website in a single click
Integration is something you should always keep in mind, no matter what systems you’re using. If the opportunity exists to integrate to present greater opportunities to track data or drive revenue, it should always be investigated.
To find out how strong your website is and what other features you need, get it graded for free by SiteMinder here.