Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 131 – Is It Time To Re-Evaluate Your Booking Engine?

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Let’s face it, your booking engine is one of the most important pieces of your marketing strategy. According to the Fuel 2019 Leisure Travel study, 87% of consumers will visit the hotel website prior to making a booking, meaning that if you have a great booking experience, you have a great chance to convert the guest to a direct booking. Why then is it that folks look at the booking engine as a commodity and rest their laurels on an antiquated or ineffective system? In this episode, we dive into a few things you should be considering when you think about whether or not it’s time to evaluate your current provider.

IN ADDITION TO THE PODCAST WE HAVE A BUNCH OF WHITEPAPERS AND STUDIES YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HERE

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STAT OF THE WEEK:

50% of hoteliers are not satisfied with their current booking engine provider:

1. Does your booking engine provide you with the analytics you need?

 

  •  Do you have the ability to integrate with Google and/or Adobe Analytics?

 

    • How does the integration happen?
      • Provide GA account number
      • Back end access to paste script
      • Give us access to tag manager container we control
      • We provide script
      • We provide every detail of how to track your booking engine and do your job for you
    • Will it take more or less than a lifetime to achieve this integration?
    • What data can we access?
      • Basic page tracking
      • Basic ecommerce tracking
      • Custom dimensions like dates, booking window, package name, room type, revenue
  • Does the engine accurately attribute revenue to the original source?
  • Do you have the ability to add custom tracking pixels (Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Facebook, etc.)?
    • How?
      • We provide scripts
      • Back end access
      • Tag manager access
    • How much will this cost?
      • Per tag?
      • Per year?
  • Can you support CORRECT tracking of a global search engine and separate engines?
  • Is there one point of contact who knows all of this information, or will a team of rocket scientists and brain surgeons be involved to figure it out?

 

2. Does the booking engine provide a good user experience?

  • Does the booking engine not suck?
  • Is it obvious to the user how to continue to the next step of the process?
  • Does it have the same look and feel as the website?
  • Does the booking engine live on the website domain or does it live on another URL or subdomain?
  • Is the mobile experience kickass?
  • Is the search functionality super-fast?
  • Is the date picker intuitive and mobile-friendly?
  • Does it have a favorite/compare feature?
  • Does it have urgency and social proof messaging?
  • Does it easily allow the guest to see the best rates/packages with minimum effort?

 

3. Is the booking engine partner supporting you and your business?

  • Do you have a dedicated contact person who knows your business and is responsive?
  • Does the provider proactively offer advice on how to improve your performance?
  • What is the process to get technical support and does support happen quickly?
  • Do you get nickel and dimed for every request?
  • Are updates to the system included in the price?
  • How often are features added?
  • What is on the feature roadmap and can you provide input?
  • Are there any other fees or charges?
  • Are you locked into a long term contract?

 

4. Does your booking engine play well with others?

  • Does it have integration with TripAdvisor and GHA?
  • Does the booking engine provider make it easy to integrate with other tools such as flip.to, and theguestbook.com?
  • Does your booking engine offer an API?
  • Does it integrate directly with the PMS rather than a CRS?

 

5. Will your booking engine get you sued

  • Does it meet WCAG 2.1 AA standards?
  • Is it PCI compliant?
  • Does it meet GDPR & CCPA standards?

 

6. Does your booking engine not suck?

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