Bookings made directly from a hotel are called direct bookings. They cut out intermediaries and therefore cut down on costs. And you know what lower costs mean: more profit.
In today’s hotel industry, finding the right balance between intermediary booking channels and direct bookings is essential. And the two do work together.
Online travel agencies are often the first point of contact between guests and your hotel, but a good strategy can draw customers back directly, with all the benefits this entails.
So, how is it done?
How to increase direct bookings
To increase direct bookings, the first step is to understand what your customers want. Why would they book directly through you instead of their booking channel of choice?
You need to help them find you. You need to impress them with your offering. And you need to make things simple. You’ll leave them no choice but to book directly.
First things first, customers need a way to find your website. How do you make customers find your hotel amongst all the other offerings on the endless world wide web? SEO positioning. When someone searches on Google, SEO positioning ensures your website shows up at the top of the results. Magic.
Once there, it’s essential to make your website mobile-friendly. Attractive and easy-to-use web design gives potential guests confidence in their booking, and the majority of people search for and book their hotels on their phones. If your website lags, has limited functions or simply doesn’t look good on a phone, you’re going to miss out on direct sales. Make it mobile-friendly, it’s a no-brainer.
Avirato’s hotel web design takes care of these elements for you, and then some, offering constant updates and always adapting exactly to your needs. Your website will be at the top of the lists, and looking good while it’s there.
And once you have that sorted, people are interested. To seal the deal, you then need to make sure the booking process is as simple as possible. Enter, the booking engine.
An easy-to-use booking engine will streamline the process for your customer and reduce the abandonment rate.
Avirato’s booking engine is the most intuitive and advanced on the market. It offers a two-step conversion, meaning potential guests can search, compare, choose and book in one positively simple process.
And on top of being simple to use, it’s the details that count. Customers want to know everything. They better informed they are, the more decisive they are, and the less likely they are to go to the competition. Avirato’s booking engine lets you do exactly that. Want to show all the prices in a calendar? No problem. Want to show scarcity and urgency to boost sales decisions? You can do that too. And more – how about highlighting and targeting promotions? Yes, that too.
Of course, another feature of direct sales we can’t forget is cross selling and upselling, which the best website and booking engine will help you to do. Offering guests what they might want and need, extra products and services that go beyond the typical offering of your competitors, can turn their experience into something truly unique. Ant the best bit? Avirato integrates its cross selling and upselling tolls into its PMS software, streamlining everything.
And one final point. Customers want security. They trust the big industry names they’ve used before. That’s why Avirato’s booking engine payment gateway integration is extra-secure: PCI compliant, GDPR compliant and has HTTPS safe URL.
The new Avirato booking engine has achieved a 27% increase in customer conversion for direct booking. And when you realise everything it can do, it’s no surprise.