You may have an idea of what you want in a booking engine for your independent hotel. But do you know what should be 100% avoided when looking for a new booking engine? The quality of the technology you implement on your hotel website should not be ignored. Otherwise, you risk encountering many the pitfalls that lead to fewer direct bookings.
So take heed hoteliers: avoid selecting a booking engine for independent hotels that…
5. Is built desktop-first
It’s become common behavior that travelers begin (and in many cases complete) their hotel shopping journey via mobile device.
If your hotel’s online booking engine isn’t adapted to your website’s mobile traffic, you’re leaving revenue at the door. Booking engines built desktop first are difficult to use on mobile devices and not only puts your hotel at a disadvantage for direct bookings, but it also sets a poor first impression for would-be guests.
Hotel booking engine software built mobile-first reduces any friction guests may experience when booking online while still using many of the same features you’d expect from a desktop booking experience.
4. Doesn’t look and feel like your hotel website
This is especially important not only from a guest experience perspective, but also from a brand consistency perspective. When your booking engine matches the personality of your hotel’s website you’re generating more confidence in guests thanks to a visually streamlined shopping experience that doesn’t just scream “pay now”.
So ditch the clunkiness, mismatched color schemes, and zero-personality booking engines for a booking system that uses your hotel website’s URL and character.
3. Isn’t ADA-compliant
Alienating guests that need a little assistance during their online hotel shopping journey is not only a bad first impression, but it’s bad for your pockets from a room revenue perspective and potentially a legal perspective.
While your hotel’s bottom line is, well, the bottom line, it’s more important for hotels to be accommodating to all guests, on property and online.
2. Is missing seamless software integration
One of the major benefits of the Fuel Booking Engine is that it supports PMS integration with many of the industries biggest PMS software providers. Without PMS integration, you risk not serving real-time information to would-be guests and having less control over your rates and inventory.
In addition to PMS integration, the Fuel Booking Engine also fully integrates with the Fuel Mobile App, a white-label hotel mobile app solution with hotel digital key technology that further boosts the presence of your independent hotel’s brand and direct bookings.
1. Doesn’t prioritize direct bookings
Most importantly, a booking engine for independent hotels needs to prioritize direct bookings. In an ever-evolving landscape for online travel shopping, OTAs, and your competitors, are actively trying to steal your direct bookings.
The first step to combatting OTA booking fees and your competitors is implementing a booking engine that prioritizes direct bookings on your hotel’s website. If you can tick off the following features, then your hotel booking engine prioritizes direct bookings:
- Is mobile friendly
- Supports marketing psychology tactics
- Is ADA-compliant
- Features seamless website integration
- Provides real-time data
- Supports packages and special rates
- Supports detailed room information
- Includes an easy-to-use availability calendar
- Supports high-quality room images and videos