Implementing a new booking engine is a very important decision for a hotel or hotel chain and according to our experience, the hotel or chain team dedicates between four months and a year to the selection process, time in which they evaluate between 3 and 8 booking engines.
In this article we will try to enumerate some basic characteristics, that make that a booking engine is not adequate and should not be considered for its future implementation.
As we have mentioned in our previous post, the direct channel of a hotel or hotel chain, not only has to be prioritized, but should be the main channel. To transform it into a main channel we have to dedicate time and effort to take care of the main aspects such as the web, the booking engine and the digital strategy.
Choosing between a booking engine and another is a complex decision, but without entering into terms of differential characteristics that can not be assessed at a glance and that need specialized analysis, we recall some basic, that a hotel should take into account when assessing a booking engine and know that is not suitable:
- Call to action unclear or nonexistent
- Space for photos too small
- Obsolete photo gallery
- Small space for room descriptions
- Look & Feel different from the site and inability to customize
- Search Widget without visibility
- Impossibility to represent services and facilities through icons
- Display too many rates or just show one
- No advance bar in the booking process
- Inability to offer other room types / alternative dates in the absence of availability
- Not responsive (40% of reservations are made today through mobile or tablet)
- Show promotional codes in the last step of the booking process, where payment is made
- No space, insufficient space for the sale of extra products and services or inadequate representation of them
- No possibility to cross-sell between several properties of a chain in the absence of availability
- No possibility to emphasize that the price shown is the lowest
- No space to highlight benefits to buy on the web during the booking
- Impossibility to incorporate new languages easily
- No possibility for the user to book more than one room in the same booking process
- No possibility to change the number of people or rooms in the process
On the other hand, a booking engine which has these characteristics is an engine that is not necessarily adequate, but it has the basic features that a booking engine must have and can be taken into consideration for an in-depth evaluation.