Written by: Mar Reguant
Today we won’t talk about what’s a booking engine or the advantages of having your own one. We have already openly talked about it in other articles of our blog. That is why today you are giving you a much more practical information: What types of booking engines are there and what are their features?
But in case you have not yet been able to read the previous posts and so that you have the basis, here we give you our two previous articles about booking engines, so you can catch up and take advantage of today's post to the fullest:
There are many booking engines, so it would be impossible for us to show you them all in just one post. That's why here you have a selection based on the different their features, so that you get a wider view of the different types of booking engine that you can find out there.
Availpro is a booking engine that adapts to all virtual environments, always thinking about the user experience. Customers can reserve their room regardless of whether they make the inquiry from a PC, Tablet or Smartphone. Availpro is used in up to 20 languages. And these are some of its most remarkable characteristics:
Engine for Facebook pages: As you know, for some time Facebook has allowed its users, among other actions, to purchase through its platform. Availpro offers hoteliers the possibility of having its own booking engine in their Facebook profile.
Virtual payment platform: Availpro offers its guests the option of making a full payment or partial payment of the stay that they’re booking through this engine. That is, the Availpro booking engine offers the possibility of integration with virtual payment platforms.
Corporate and travel agent access through this engine: It is an important feature if the hotel wants to control its revenue management and test with this booking engine.
Exportable database: As we’ve said many times, a segmented database with information that the users have provided is a very powerful tool for any business. Normally, when a customer makes a reservation through the booking engine, it must include an email, as well as other data (name, surname, country of residence...). This information can be extracted and stored from the Availpro engine and, in this way, increase your database with relevant and firsthand data.
Option of promotional code: For a few years they have been dynamically working with promotional codes. A booking engine that allows you to offer discounts and promotions through these codes is an advantage for you and your customers. This way you can launch competitions or email marketing campaigns with these promotional codes. Customers will feel that they are getting a special and personalized treatment if you provide every now and then these promotions, for example, to your hotel’s loyal customers or your hotel’s social media profiles followers.
Adaptation to your hotel’s corporate image: It is very important that your booking engine is adapted to your hotel’s image. Don’t work with templates, but with an engine that suits your needs and the characteristics of hotel’s your website. In this way your customers will feel more confident with your engine and will have no qualms in providing you their data and booking directly from your website.
Vertical Booking Engine adapts its features according to the type of hotel establishment you’re working with. This booking engine offers different characteristics depending on whether it is a hotel chain, a group of villas, an independent hotel... These are some of its most important features:
Upselling tools: Upselling is the offer of alternative products or improvement of the previous booked product. The Vertical Booking engine offers this option, showing the customer services to improve their stay: breakfast service, welcome glass of champagne... It is a way to increase the services they reserved and offer your customers options that they didn’t think about, but that may be interesting for them.
Alternative offers: Vertical Booking offers the possibility of including among the services of the booking engine, other alternative services, even those from related company partners: car rental, transport to the airport... Again this would mean offering your customer a service that, otherwise, he would have to search in another website.
Intelligent calendar with flexible dates: Vertical Booking thinks about how the user navigates in a booking engine. Therefore, it offers a smart calendar that will provide the client alternative dates in case there is no availability for the initial dates introduced. It is an option that will help your not to lose the sale since, perhaps, the user is still looking for the right dates to go on holidays and has flexibility when it comes to choose.
Four interfaces available: According to the type of tourist establishment and the content you want to work within the booking engine, Vertical Booking offers four different interfaces: Smart (for business hotels and very simple content), Advanced (for leisure hotels with holiday packages and offers), Villas (for residential hotels, villas or hotels that want to highlight their rooms and / or apartments) and Premium (the most complete of them all, adaptable to any type of property).
Creation of virtual rooms: So that the hotel can sell the same rooms with different definitions, but that come within the same inventory. It is a resource to expand the marketing strategies of the establishment.
The Avvio Convert booking engine is fully conceived having in mind the user experience, offering a very simple and understandable interface. The Avvio booking engine offers options that accompany the guest until he completes the purchase, the full conversion.
Responsive design: Convert, Avvio's booking engine, features a fully customizable design. Regardless of which device the user visits the engine with he can book directly thanks to responsive. It’s designed for each of the mobile devices (Tablet, Smartphone or computer) having in mind UX best practices.
Adaptation to the hotel image: Avvio adapts the Convert booking engine to the colors and image of the hotel, making, as far as possible, a maximum approach to the design of the establishment's website.
Preferences filters: As many hotel search engines offer, Convert also has price, room occupancy and length of stay filters. In this way, the user can choose some parameters so he can see the best options to stay within those limits.
Messages to boost sales: It is one of the features that Convert offers and no one else does. To ensure the booking stage happens directly on your hotel’s website, Avvio has included in its booking engine positive messages to boost the sale. For example, a personal message signed by a hotel worker in which the user is asked to complete a series of steps to make the reservation and telling he is getting the best pricing when booking from your website.
Complete schedule: By showing the user a complete calendar of the next months in terms of availability, prices and offers, you are improving the user experience, since he could decide to extend his stay or book on other dates according to the promotions that you show him. It is a way to offer the user more options of stay, thus avoiding that he leaves your website to search the same product in a meta-search or another hotel.
As you saw, each booking engine has features that make them different, although today them all should already include the basic functionalities. Depending on your tourism establishment and your online sales strategy, you must find the one that best suits your needs. But regardless of your style of business, you must avoid the engines that work on templates and those you cannot adapt to your hotel evolution.