Your booking engine has a lot more going on under the hood than you might imagine. Specifically, it has an almost overwhelming amount of data. That data can be used to give your direct bookings a strong boost.
Hoteliers know how essential online bookings are to driving their revenue. They also know that their own website booking engines are key to bringing in direct bookings and increasing their profits.
However, your booking engine is a lot more than that: it gathers multitudes of data, which you can use to unlock a competitive advantage. Unpack the data, apply the information and watch the benefits roll in.
So, how can you unlock that competitive edge? Let’s find out.
What Can Your Booking Engine Do?
First and foremost, your booking engine is how you let your guests search for availability and book directly—and the more intuitive your engine is, the more conversions you’ll gather.
Your booking engine can work for you through:
- Your own website
- Your mobile website
- Completing meta search bookings
- Social media sites like Facebook that facilitate direct bookings
That’s the obvious purpose of your booking engine. Behind the curtain, though, it lets you gather important guest information—especially contact information, which you can use to better connect with guests and encourage improved and repeated conversions.
Importantly, you’ll also get information on stay dates, inventory types booked, and other key information. This is just the tip of information iceberg available to you. Your booking engine is a gold mine of information: dig deep and get demand patterns, lead time information, search patterns, customer insights and, ultimately, more conversions.
To get the most out of the massive amounts of data in your booking engine, you need to integrate it with your demand forecasting and sales strategy, where it can enhance forecasting performance and conversions.
To integrate this data, take a look at it after you’ve dug it up: how can tariff lead times tell you when to offer your Christmas packages? What does your geographic information tell you—how much should you be catering to American guests rather than Irish ones, and how can you appeal to both?
This may sound daunting, but the best way to boost direct conversions is your booking engine and the big data it can give you. You’ll get insight into how your guests behave, what they want and the best ways to give it to them.
Here are some ways that your sales people, marketers and revenue managers can use this data:
1. Know when price and value affect customer conversion
One of the key factors affecting how customers choose hotels is knowing their price thresholds, but it’s also knowing what’s valuable to them.
As hoteliers, you have to know when price plays a bigger part in converting than value. In some cases, price is king, and it’s the only factor in the mix.