Getting customers to make reservation directly at your hotel website can be difficult. It is every hotel owner’s desire to get customers who visit their website to make direct booking. Online travel agencies and metasearch are playing an essential role in hotel bookings. The reason is that consumers think that using those methods helps them have an easy way to find what they want and book with ease.
Hotel customers want to use the online tools to filter the hotels according to locations, price, timeframe, and services. They want to get results that are tailored to their needs so that they can make reservations. Most of them wish to do that at the comfort of their homes or offices at any time. They also want to compare hotels before booking. That is why they use sites like online travel agencies (OTA) to make comparisons easier, thus enhancing the search experience. Also, an improved SEO helps the consumers save time searching and finding the ideal hotel from the many available in the market. Once the consumers identify what they want, they can book directly to the hotel.
Why your hotel website needs direct booking?
Hotels these days are fighting to increase their direct booking and it is because several benefits come with it. Here are the benefits associated with direct booking:
- Personal Relationship with the Clients
Hotels are in the service industry and maintaining a relationship with clients is one of the best ways to ensure they remain in business. They need to make sure they interact more with the customers to sustain their relationship. One way is to communicate directly to the clients without using third party booking agents. That means the hotels have a direct booking system that allows them to book on the website.
- Guest Royalty
It is always better for any business to keep an existing customer than looking for a new one. Direct booking helps the hotels to have guest details that they can use to communicate with them later. They can use that to send them some post-stay messages. That helps the clients keep the good memories of the hotel with them, and they can always return to the same hotels if need be. Keeping client details also helps run promotions and keep on impressing them for future bookings.
- Less Commissions
Dealing with agents means paying commission, which both the hotels and their clients can avoid if the guests book directly. Other than using OTA, the guests can use friendly booking systems, saving up to 25% on commissions.
With all these benefits, hotels must look for the best ways to increase direct bookings.
How to increase direct booking on your hotel website?
The following are three proven strategies to increase direct hotel bookings.
1. Create a Stellar Mobile Experience on Your Website
These days, people are looking for easy ways of getting to what they want through simple and available tools. Most travelers these days want to be able to research and purchase trips through their smartphones. They can use their smartphones at anytime and anywhere without hassle. But only a small portion of travelers’ book for their travel through the hotel website. The reason is the customers have limited time, and they cannot afford to read sites that.
- Are not secured.
- Have loading issues making them slow to open.
- Content that is hard to read.
But you can increase the direct hotel booking on your website if you have a good booking engine. Searching Google for your hotel booking software will provide options to compare for your hotel’s website. It is also important to make sure you have a friendly website that provides an option of setting parameters for individual needs. Also, having fast loading picture of rooms and a mobile-friendly site will increase the possibility of direct booking. A fast-loading website and the right information enhances the customers’ experience. This increases the chance of getting direct bookings.
2. Identify Your Hotel Ideal Pricing and Offer Incentives for Direct Booking
It is good to understand that no hotel is like the other in terms of room types, exclusive restaurants, unique guests, and locations. When designing and collecting the selling point, it is important to weave all the special points with technology. You should also be availing all of them to distribution channels. You cannot limit your pricing for every hotel in every location and every guest as there is no one size fit all.
It is important to identify a price that suits your hotel and the kind of guest you have. You can base them on the duration of stay, use daily prices, the kind of room you have, and the location. You should make sure your hotel’s state and the clients you have will fit well with the pricing that you set for each of the hotels and the rooms. You should also enhance customer service through:
- Easy to use systems and
- Hotel services to enhance the customer experience.
It is also good to consider using offering incentives to the clients for direct booking.
3. Use Commission Free Booking Engine
With a mobile-friendly booking engine, it is also important to also use a commission-free booking engine. Also, your booking channel should be limited to either two or three booking steps. Avoid overloading your consumers with unnecessary information. Your website should also be able to load fast on mobile phones, and therefore you need a very short booking process. Also, avoid loading commissions on booking engines as that will scare customers.
Your website also needs to be eye-catching and user friendly to keep the customers intrigued to the website. Since the website is the first thing the visitors meet, you need to create a strong first impression. Ensure your site is always updated and use very high quality and attractive pictures of your hotel rooms. The modern and seamless experience will encourage the visitors and will increase the conversion rate.
If you maintain a user-friendly website with easy-to-read information and get active on social media, you will promote your brand. You will also ensure guests are impressed and consequently improve your conversion rate. That leads to increased website conversion and direct guests booking for your hotel directly on their mobile phones.