Five factors to consider while selecting an online booking system

In earlier times, guests approached hotels through only a few media: booking a reservation through telephone, sending an email to the hotel or direct walk-in.

Nowadays, technology has built a stable bridge between the guests and hotels. Guests can approach hotels through lots of media like OTAs, Social Media, Metasearch Engine, and other traditional travel distributors.

The most direct and effective media is hotels’ online booking engine. Let's see what is an online booking system, actually?

An online booking system is a booking platform that lets guests book their hotel rooms directly from the hotel’s website and Facebook pages. Guest will be informed with the real-time availability of the hotel’s rooms, its prices, amenities, and other offers.

The evolution of booking engine

Today’s booking engine works differently. In the past, guests need to fill a form that includes the guest name, their basic details, check-in and check-out time, total number of guests, etc. in the hotel’s website.

The front desk person will receive the mail and check the availability of the hotel’s room for the stipulated time. If the hotel room is available, then they reach back to the guests and confirm the booking.

This process is time-consuming, and if the hotel staff delayed responding to the query, the probability rate of losing the guest is high.  

But today, with rising indirect competitions, hotels understand the fact that providing simple and convenient booking process will increase the more bookings.

Today, most hotels have implemented an intuitive booking engine.

Are you in thoughts of investing in or replacing an online booking system?

We’ve listed down some useful tips that will simplify your buying process, 

1. Easy-of-use

On top of everything, your booking engine should provide an easy and uncomplicated booking process. Guests can book or make a reservation from anywhere at any time. Remembering the old adage, ‘The first impression is the best impression.’ In the digital world, it is your website where your guests contact you for the first time. Therefore, an easy-to-use booking engine will help you gain the first impression.

Provide an easy to understand and clear description of your hotel rooms, and other information like pricing, amenities, offers, etc. It is essential to ensure up-to-date information about your room availability.

With limited fields and reduced navigations, your booking engine should provide a frictionless experience to the users, starting from selecting the stay length to the entire paying process.

2. Instant updates

Guests will receive the confirmation mail once they made a reservation. They don’t need to wait for hours. This kind of sending instant message create a lasting impression on your guests.

3. Attention-grabbing photos

Seeing attractive images will trigger guests’ interest to experience the stay. It will eventually encourage them to make a reservation.

Always look for this feature while picking an online booking software for your property.  

4. Responsive

The usage of mobile devices is increasing at an unprecedented rate.

According to research, 30% of travel bookings in the Asia Pacific region are made through mobile devices. [ Source : Travel Tipper ]

Therefore, before investing in an online booking system, it is essential to check whether it is customized for mobile devices or not.

5. Integration

The next crucial thing one should look for in an online booking system is integration capabilities.

An effective online booking system should integrate with your hotel PMS and Channel Manager. Because each of the systems is integrated, the booking made in one channel will automatically update on all other channels. Thus, resulting in the effective management of bookings.