The first ingredient in a well balanced book direct strategy is the right booking engine. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to the perfect booking engine! We’ve put together a guide for your reference encapsulating everything the perfect booking engine should be able to do for you.

First up… what’s a booking engine?

A booking engine is a software application that secures online reservations.

According to The Global Online Accommodation Booking Market 2018 report, nearly one-half of hotel booking revenues will be made online by 2022. With such an increase in online bookings, a booking engine is a basic necessity for even the smallest of hotels!

Integration with your Channel Manager

As important as your website is, it’s only one of your digital channels. To prevent unavailable rooms being booked by soon-to-be grumpy guests, it’s crucial that your booking engine integrates with your channel manager! This means your room inventory across all of your online channels is automatically updated and everyone’s on the same page!

Compatibility with mobile & social media platforms

According to our latest device trends report, 62% of people browse on mobile and 45% book on mobile. Mobile will continue to grow rapidly as a booking platform, so there’s really no other option other than to ensure your booking engine works seamlessly on mobile! Bookings will be lost if it doesn’t.

Flexibility in relation to your hotel’s needs

Your hotel has needs. Is your booking engine meeting them?

To figure this out, ask yourself a few questions like:

  • Does your booking engine display the languages your guests speak and the currency they pay with?
  • Do you see success with voucher sales?
  • If so, does your booking engine provide online voucher redemption?
  • If weddings or corporate bookings make up a large number of your guests, does your booking engine offer wedding and corporate booking modules?

Data collection

Your booking engine should provide you with transparent, in-depth insights into your hotel’s performance. These insights should include direct conversion rates, bookings via desktop and mobile, average length of stay (ALOS), and revenue from packages and promotions.

Features to help you build guest relationships

The more your guests get to know you, the more likely they are to stay with you again! Building strong, personal relationships is a necessity for you to drive direct bookings, and your booking engine should enable and empower you to create these through email.

A great booking engine should be the first consideration in your book direct strategy. We see consistently impressive results with our booking engine – here’s a recent example. Send us a mail at hello@netaffinity.com if you’d like to discuss!