Direct online booking systems for Hotels, B&Bs and Holiday Lets
Over the past few years, there has been a huge advancement in the quality of online direct booking systems for hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets.
Agents such as Bookings.com, Airbnb and Sykes Cottages have been aggressive in their expansion and in turn taken a huge slice of profit from Hotel, B&B and Holiday Let owners. The tide is now slowly turning, and with high demand from owners, the quality and sophistication of direct booking systems on their own website has improved dramatically. Accommodation owners can now take back control, improve profit margins and manage their new and repeat customers directly.
We have highlighted below some of the advantages of integrating one of these booking systems into a hotel, B&B or holiday let website:
More control of the online guest experience
By adding booking engine technology to your website, the owner has more control to turn guest research into a reservation. Integrating seamlessly into accommodation websites, booking systems are now very flexible. Owners can add their own images and text, match their website brand / colours, add logos and many other great options. This in turn gives the guest much more confidence and the ability to make that all important booking at the click of a mouse.
Improve your profit margin
Bookings Agents can command a commission from 15% to as much as 30%. Through gaining one or two extra direct bookings, accommodation owners can cover the annual fee for the booking software. For all other new direct bookings, the commission that would have been paid to the agent, becomes profit for the accommodation provider.
One of the main stumbling blocks of early booking systems is that they couldn’t cope with the various pricing strategies of the travel sector. Weekend rates, no one night bookings, discounted prices for longer stay, and so on. Hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets all have different priorities when it comes to pricing however, through advancement in the software, there’s sure to be a system to fit your requirements.
More than just profit
Securing direct reservations makes the whole end to end guest experience more hospitable. Direct bookings often mean that the owner-customer relationship is deeper and begins sooner. Owners can have a better understanding of guest preferences, make adaptations to improve their stay and manage booking data and contact details. Loyalty programs such as gifts in the room, free dinners etc can also be managed much easier. As a consequence, it is much more likely for the guest to return and book direct.
our case study using an online booking system
Moorland View Farm is a lovely B&B with two self catering cottages on the edge of the Peak District in the Staffordshire Moorlands. They have invested a lot of time and money into their business to create a lovely place to stay and they asked us to do a complete re-branding with a new website, logo, photography and online booking system for the B&B.
Understanding their pricing, booking needs and their budget, we suggested Free To Book. We integrated the booking system on their new website to take instant online bookings and automatically update and synchronise with agency bookings.
At the time of writing, the new website had been live for two months. Comparing those two months with the same two months from the previous year gave the following results:
Encompass Digital Marketing
Contact: 01538 703800 or 0781 234 8995