Your hotel’s direct booking success relies on the ability of your booking engine to provide guests with a fast and seamless experience.
One of the primary reasons travellers abandon a booking is because the user experience is too slow or clunky.
A good online booking engine will give potential guests the ability to make a reservation within the space of a few clicks and should offer mobile functionality, speed, and an attractive interface.
However, even the best booking engine still needs to be supported by the website it’s hosted on. Here are five reasons why:
User experience depends on integration
Your booking engine itself may look fantastic but if the website is dated, slow, or ugly it will adversely affect performance. Too many hotels treat a booking engine and website as separate entities and neither will be optimised without two-way communication.
If the two systems aren’t talking to each other, travellers may find themselves having to repeat search actions multiple times, turning the booking journey into a lengthy and vexing process.
It will keep you on par with online travel agents
The majority of OTAs offer travellers a seamless and quick booking experience that makes life easy. If hotels want to maintain direct bookings, they need to do the same. Online shoppers expect nothing less now and will be annoyed if they encounter any delays or restrictions.
Seamless technology will streamline your reservation management
If your booking engine and website are both optimised to the same degree, preferably implemented by the same provider, you will find it much easier to manage your rates and reservations.
If your booking engine and website are not connected it can add up to a lot of wasted time performing the same updates multiple times. Consider how often room types, descriptions, pricing, availability, and special offers need changing. If you need to make updates through an external website provider, the delay is even worse. This is why it’s best to have your own website builder, such as SiteMinder’s Canvas, that’s also specifically designed to work with a booking engine like TheBookingButton.
You will be maintaining a mobile friendly experience
If your booking engine is mobile-friendly but your website is not, or vice versa, it will be a jarring experience for the user. It looks unprofessional on your part and makes it difficult for the traveller to enter their reservation.
A poor mobile experience could mean your hotel misses out on a lot of last-minute bookings.
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A mobile-friendly experience at every stage of the booking journey is a big reason why OTAs are favoured by travellers.
Your website design will influence traffic to your booking engine
You want as many customers as possible clicking on the ‘book now’ button within your booking engine. For this to happen you need to ensure your website design prioritises prominent calls-to-action.
The last thing you want is people clicking away because they got confused or lost on your website. Visually appealing images and textual content is important in making sure guests are interested enough to click on your booking engine.
When managing your hotel business strategy always keep in mind the importance of enabling your booking engine and website to work together to drive direct bookings and increased profit as a result.