Hoteliers often pour immense effort into crafting their websites, yet the true test of this investment isn’t just in the browsing—it’s in the booking. The booking engine is where the guest’s journey transitions from interest to action. As a result, it’s crucial that this tool not only matches your website’s appeal but enhances it to seamlessly turn lookers into bookers.
NB: This is an article from Hotelchamp
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Whether you’re in the market to upgrade your existing booking engine or venturing to select your very first one, understanding the essential features your booking engine needs is crucial. This guide delves into the must-haves. From personalisation to seamless mobile compatibility, these features not only enhance the guest experience but also support your hotel’s efficiency and marketing success. Let’s explore what features make a booking engine ideal, and why these features matter.
Key Features Your Online Booking Engine Needs to Have
1. Customisation for complete brand alignment
It’s crucial to offer guests a seamless experience from the moment they land on your website, guiding them smoothly through that ‘Book now’ button and all the way until they receive their booking confirmation. For guests browsing your website, your booking engine should feel like more than just an extension of your website. It should be a seamless continuation of their booking journey. And one crucial factor in ensuring that seamless experience, is maintaining a consistent look and feel.
Particularly if you have recognisable branding, booking engine personalisation is crucial. The last thing you want is for guests to have an inconsistent experience that leaves them confused and concerned. For starters, ensure you can customise your engine with your fonts and logos. This consistency in branding across all touchpoints enhances brand recognition and trust. But it goes beyond just being able to match the visual aesthetics of your booking engine to your website.
Every hotel has unique needs based on its size, location, target market, and amenities. Booking engine customizability allows you to select and prioritise features that are most relevant to your operations and guests. Think calendar views, room selection, upselling opportunities, and payment options. You also want to make sure you can freely customise the information you display like your cancellation and modification policies. To wrap it up, make sure you can freely customise your booking forms to suit your needs and brand voice. By tailoring your booking engine not just to your brand’s visual identity but also to its operational essence, you create a booking experience that’s seamless and deeply resonant with your guests’ expectations.
2. Intuitive and easy design
Booking travel can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. 87% of business travellers and corporate travel managers say they want a simpler booking process. Even more so, 42% believe that planning a trip is more challenging than the journey itself. This goes to show how crucial it is to have a booking engine that cuts through the complexity. Ideally, your booking engine shouldn’t only offer the typical calendar views, language selections, and currency options. It would also make choosing the perfect room or special package as easy as clicking a button. A simplified user experience makes it easy for guests to find what they’re looking for, such as room types, special packages, or add-ons. As a result, you’ll get better conversion rates and happier website guests.