How to choose the best booking engine in the marketplace

How to choose the best booking engine in the marketplace 1592 984 HotelREZ

As any successful accommodation provider will be able to tell you, your hotel’s website should be your most profitable channel, and should be seeing the highest amount of bookings. What better way to increase your website conversion rate than by ensuring you have the best booking engine on your site?

By incorporating a booking engine on your website, converting online shoppers to hotel guests has never been easier. It gives people the freedom to self-serve – to check rooms, availability  and rates – plus it allows them to make secure payments for their bookings. What’s more, it delivers real-time confirmed reservations to hoteliers, storing the bookings and guest data safely in one place.

There are a magnitude of different booking engines out there, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. This can make it extremely difficult for hoteliers to choose one that best fits their own needs. With over 15 years experience in the hospitality industry, we’re experts when it comes to booking engines.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of what to look for when choosing the best booking engine for your hotel:

Provide an excellent booking experience

It’s common sense really: the easier the booking engine is to use, the more bookings you can expect from guests. So make sure that the booking engine you choose has a straightforward booking process (the less steps, the better) and can effortlessly be integrated with your website and social media channels. Guests appreciate when they can complete the booking process in their native language, so ensure that your booking engine of choice is multilingual as well.

Our booking engine at HotelREZ, REZbooker SBE, has been designed and tested for high conversion rates. Optimised for over 25 languages and currencies, REZbooker’s modern user interface provides a seamless booking experience, focused on driving conversions. It is fully-responsive across all devices, meaning that guests can easily book from a desktop, tablet or mobile. And with more than 58% of web visits and 28% of bookings coming from mobiles alone last year, there’s no stopping the mobile-first trend in 2019. Thankfully, REZbooker ensures you are all-set – one less thing to worry about!

Be fully customisable

Your booking engine should not only be visually engaging, it should also be fully customisable to fit with your hotel’s brand identity. From colours, fonts and headers – ensure your booking engine has an option to individually style them in order to seamlessly blend with your website. REZbooker comes with an integrated booking engine designer tool, allowing hoteliers to customise it for their individual branding needs, as well as adding their hotel logo and image gallery. What’s more, HotelREZ’s booking engine allows you to capture individual guests’ locations. This gives you an option to present them with targeted, geo-specific promotions. You can’t get any more customised than that!

Maximise total booking revenue

Your booking engine’s main goal should be to drive direct bookings and maximise total booking revenue. Ideally, this should include the option of providing merchandising and promotional offers to entice guests. It should also provide complete integration with both your PMS and CRS to instantly update your rates and availabilities.

With REZbooker, you can easily increase your revenue per booking by offering special packages and room upgrades. Guests are automatically presented with room upgrade options and get shown member-only rates during the booking process. This helps incentivise them to join your loyalty programme and book directly from your website rather than through an OTA. You can also implement special offer codes to make specific rates visible to certain guests.

As a HotelREZ member, you can choose to load rates just for the booking engine, or also opt to add additional distribution channels such as GDS, online travel agent websites and the HotelREZ Call Centre. Finally, the built-in ‘urgency triggers’ (for number of lookers, bookers and rooms left) drive a sense of urgency in the booking process. What better way to increase your direct revenue ratio (DRR) than through the many sales options available with REZbooker?

Allow easy tracking and reporting

A good hotel booking engine will come with enhanced tracking options so you can analyse (and optimise) your direct booking trends. Ideally, it should integrate with your Google Analytics, Adwords and eCommerce to demonstrate how your booking engine is affecting your website traffic, conversion rates and ROI.

Through enhanced analytics, benchmarking, and consistent usability testing, our booking engine is optimised for top performance. As part of our services, we set up your preferred analytics tracking for you, and provide a set of performance reports via the HotelREZ member portal. This enables you to evaluate online marketing initiatives by also tracking conversion rates on specific campaigns.

Choose the best booking engine: REZbooker SBE

Whether you’re new to using hotel booking engines or looking to switch your provider, choosing the right service to meet your accommodation’s needs is crucial.

As a global partner of Sabre, we’re very proud to offer our state of the art booking engine at HotelREZ. We provide quality distribution, representation, marketing and consultancy services to more than 1,500 hotels in over 100 countries, and would love to help you increase your website conversion rate.

If you’re ready to choose the best booking engine in the marketplace, get in touch today.