By: Matt Braddy
Are you getting the most out of your booking engine? With the challenges brought about by COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to maximize direct bookings to your hotel.
“Everyone’s trying to get all the business they can, and booking direct is the most cost-effective means,” says Matt Braddy, Key Client Success Manager at SHR. “One of the fastest ways to grow direct bookings is to increase conversion and click-through rate.”
Here are three features in Windsurfer Matt recommends to help you get customers to buy through your booking engine.
Reduce Clicks to Book
“If you could potentially increase the number of direct web bookings to your hotel by clicking a single box, what would that do for your business?” says Matt. The Reduce Clicks to Book feature streamlines the booking process and reduces friction points where customers could abandon the booking process. So far, hotels using this feature have seen an average of 9% increase in conversion rate on their booking engine.
Urgency is a great motivator. If a potential guest thinks you might sell out of their preferred room type soon, they’re more likely to book right then instead of waiting. The Persuasive Messaging feature lets you set up automatic messages that appear when you’ve sold a certain amount of rooms, such as “Only two rooms left,”, or “10 rooms booked over the last 7 days” for specific offers. “It’s up to the hotel to determine how many would be appropriate to make this appear based on their volume of bookings,” Matt said. “They can go crazy with it too. They can put a value of one for rooms sold messaging, so when they book a room this message kicks in.”
Featured Product allows you to take your top four offers and place them near the top of the page. They’re also displayed with larger images to make them more prominent. “Essentially, these make the offer stand out,” Matt says. “You’re putting your best offers above the fold. If you have something you’re wanting to push, such as a particular special rate, you can make them front and center so that’s the first thing the guest sees.”
No one knows what the future will look like, or how current events will impact the hotel industry. But using these three Windsurfer features effectively will help you be more prepared for the days to come. For any questions on these features or if you are interested in additional best practices to optimize your booking engine, please reach out to your Client Success Manager. Don't have Windsurfer but interested in these features? Let's talk!
Interested in more information? Check out our list of content to help your hotel during COVID-19.