OTAs still dominate the hotel booking industry. But what are the implications of metasearch engines on hotel booking? And what are the functions of booking engines? How do you make sure you’re getting the best price possible? Let’s find out. Listed below are the functions of a hotel booking engine, as well as how they integrate with payment systems. This information can help you make the right decision when booking a hotel. Here are some tips on how to make the most of these booking engines.
OTA dominance in hotel booking
While OTAs have a lot of advantages, hoteliers are still facing an uphill battle in the online hotel booking space. In addition to a high commission rate, OTAs have to manage multiple channels and update inventory separately. In addition, many OTAs have lenient cancellation policies that depress hotel revenue. Another challenge for hoteliers is the increased concentration of the market, which has resulted in rising commission rates. In addition, hotels are paying more for the same product than they did in the past.
The OTAs have also mastered the art of user experience and oriented their websites towards an increasingly tech-savvy customer. According to a survey, 82 percent of consumers surveyed say they use OTAs to find the lowest price. In addition to investing heavily in conversion-oriented websites, OTAs have optimized their websites for use across multiple devices. However, independent hotels should still pay attention to the OTA’s advertising strategy.
Impact of metasearch engines on hotel booking
While metasearch engines are an important part of online travel, they are not directly connected to hotels. They get their revenue from advertising and do not process hotel bookings themselves. Instead, they redirect users to partner websites, which in turn charge them every time a user clicks on one of their ads. For hotels, removing OTAs from metasearch results in loss of sales. Therefore, hotels should be included in metasearch results to retain a share of the market.
The use of metasearch engines in online travel company has a number of benefits for hoteliers. For example, they help drive direct bookings, control distribution costs, and coordinate different campaigns across the supply chain. This helps achieve a healthy distribution mix while still remaining flexible. Moreover, metasearch ads allow hoteliers to monitor real-time inventory levels and dynamic pricing, so they can adjust prices accordingly. However, these benefits do not come at the expense of increased marketing budgets.
Functions of a booking engine
Apart from the basic functionalities, a hotel booking engine should offer the following advantages. It should increase conversions, improve user experience, streamline back-office processes, and simplify the entire process of online booking. The engine should be flexible and easy-to-use, with the ability to integrate with third-party software. Its integration capabilities should be adequate for the hotel business, and it should also be easy to use for hoteliers.
An integrated channel manager is another feature of a hotel booking engine. It works with a hotel’s central reservation system to share rates and inventory across various channels. This ensures consistency and accuracy when a guest books a hotel room. The integration should provide real-time rates and availability updates. It should also help the hotel keep track of inventory across multiple channels and prevent overbooking. By integrating a channel manager, the hotel can set rules for automatic updates and notifications to ensure accurate inventory and rate.
Integrations with payment systems
There are several benefits to integrations with payment systems for hotel booking. For one thing, you don’t have to manually enter credit card information into your payment system. This will make it much easier to manage customer payments. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about human error or billing errors. Regardless of the payment system, you should choose one that is compatible with your hotel’s brand. Here are a few more advantages.
Another benefit is that you’ll no longer have to install separate credit card terminals at each hotel. Your guests can make their reservations online, and the payment gateway will process the payment, ensuring there’s no manual keying. Another benefit is that you’ll save time on reconciliation. Payment gateways will also protect card information by keeping it out of your PMS. This will minimize your hotel’s liability should there be a system breach.
Customization options for hotel booking have become a common trend in consumer services and are becoming more important for hotels as well. Today’s customers value the ability to customize their experience and are willing to pay extra for it. By providing personalized services, hotels can encourage direct booking and revenue growth. The level of customization is up to the hotel and the preferences of its guests. Listed below are a few examples of customization options for hotel booking.
Email: The main form of communication between a hotel and a guest is the email. Emails can be tailored to the preferences of each guest and include useful information such as maps and last-minute extras. The hotel should have customizable email templates and a means of pulling information from the guest’s reservation. Using a CRM or PMS system can make the process of sending personalized emails easier and more personalized. Emails can be triggered by the room code and booking date.