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How to Win With Direct Bookings?

Here’s our guide to successfully convert lookers into bookers.

With some limited travel opening up again, accommodation providers are looking for new ways to attract guests to their hotels and resorts. This is all well and good, but without a high converting direct booking engine, all your hard work of attracting guests to your website is in vain.

Let's start with the basics. The direct booking ‘must haves’.

Reward the Guest for Booking Direct

Notably, the most obvious (and most appealing) benefit is offering lower rates on your direct booking engine. All good property management systems will provide you with a ‘set and forget’ rate modification tool, ensuring your best available rates are displayed to your direct bookers.

Content is Key

These days, a couple of photos won't cut it. Guests want to see rich room and property content before they book. Room facilities, descriptions and amenities should be a standard inclusion, along with room aspect, location and view. Do not give the guests any reason to look elsewhere for their answer. They won't need to go back to Google, which means you won't run the risk of losing them in the process.

Google statistics show that 49% of mobile travellers have had to call to book or to get more information after doing travel research.

Promotional Messaging

Promotions need all the bells, whistles and flashing lights you can get to highlight the savings to potential guests. Custom banner messaging, cross-out rates, promotional alerts, and promo codes are available on all modern booking engines and should be utilised to their fullest.

And now for the ‘good to haves’.

Uncluttered, Mobile-Friendly Booking Process

The rise in mobile bookings is nothing new, so a mobile-friendly booking solution should be high on the priority list. The Resly booking engine works on any device and provides a smooth, simple path through the booking and confirmation process. Nobody’s going to get lost or frustrated because of a poorly designed UX. And guests won’t need to call anyone.

94% of leisure travellers switch between devices as they plan or book a trip according to this Google article.

Booking Add-Ons and Extras

Upsells such as breakfast, tours, sauna sessions and more are now part of a unified booking process. Not only does it provide you with ancillary revenue, but it gives the guests the ability to customise their stay, something that helps feed into the book direct narrative that the industry is trying to encourage.

Flexibility and Refundable Options

Now more than ever, peace of mind is playing a massive factor when travellers are choosing their accommodation. Direct bookings should provide greater flexibility than OTA bookings. With the Resly booking engine, properties can go one step further and offer a refundable booking option which is like travel insurance for the guest (except we aren’t allowed to call it insurance). With this, your guests can get a full refund if they cancel due to an event that is covered.

Cost Neutral

Our final point is to aim for a cost neutral platform. We believe direct bookings shouldn’t have a commission component. That's why all direct bookings made on our direct booking engine are commission-free.

Conclusion

Everything we have mentioned is a standard inclusion with our booking engine. When you’re ready to upgrade your tech stack, we’ll be here to help.


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