The rise of direct bookings
During the pandemic, we experienced a significant growth in the proportion of direct bookings. Guests realised that communication through a third-party website was much more difficult than direct communication with the hotel. Moreover, hotels proved more flexible than large OTAs when it came to cancellations and refunds.
In 2019, only 11.8% of bookings were made directly. In 2021, this figure climbed to 21.5%, an increase by 82% in two years. In the first quarter of 2022, the share of direct bookings was on average 19.3%, which indicates that booking directly remains significantly more popular than was the case in 2019.
Attract more traffic to your website
Online presence and findability are indispensable for any business in this digital age. If your hotel is not found by travellers during their online search process, it won’t make it to the list of potential candidates. Therefore, an omnichannel approach is the way to go!
- OTAs as billboard
50% of people visit the hotel website after finding it on an OTA, a phenomenon known as the billboard effect. Therefore, being present on these booking sites will ultimately benefit your direct bookings.
- Google Hotel Search
As a hotel owner or manager, you might have heard of this popular platform. If your hotel has a Google Business page, it will appear in the search results. Through Booking Engine, you can add a free booking link directly to your website. Find out how to use this tool to your advantage.
- Social media
Increase your visibility by communicating regularly about your hotel and special offers on social media. It’s a great way to inspire travellers and develop long-lasting relationships with (potential) customers. Use Social Ads to reach an even larger audience.
- SEO & SEA
Applying SEO tactics prevents your website from drowning in the search results and prompts users to click. If you want to take it one step further, you can choose to implement an SEA strategy as well.
Optimise your website for maximum conversion
If you take the previously mentioned tips into account, people will surely find their way to your website. However, a large influx of visitors is worthless if your conversion rate is not up to par. How do you convince them to book their stay then and there? Here are a few criteria your website should meet:
- Professional & attractive
Make sure your website is aesthetically pleasing and professional looking. Inspire travellers with the right amount of quality photos.
Your website should be easy to navigate and always up to date. If visitors can’t find the information they need right away, they’re likely to leave without booking. Is your website 100% responsive yet?
- Show off your unique assets
Make your unbeatable direct booking rate stand out, so visitors can’t miss it! Highlight other benefits of booking directly too: special offers, welcome gifts, promo codes, intriguing package deals, loyalty programmes, ...
Provide an effortless booking process
Consumers are known to always take the path of least resistance. The same goes for the booking process on your website! Does your booking engine tick these boxes?
- Design that matches your website
- Adapts to mobile devices
- Eye-catching calls to action
- Clear overview of the different room types and packages
- Makes your direct booking rate stand out
- Highlights special offers and packages
Our Cubilis Booking Engine ensures a hassle-free booking process, without any commissions or extra costs. It integrates seamlessly with any website and is entirely mobile-friendly. The built-in Ratebox price comparison tool draws attention to your direct booking price.
Integrate a fast and secure payment method
The last step of the booking process should be the transaction. Guests often like to pay immediately at the time of booking, mainly for convenience but also to be certain that their reservation has been confirmed. That’s why it’s essential to connect your booking engine to a secure payment method.
Online payment preferences vary greatly among consumers. Avoid losing clients at the very last moment by providing multiple options. The Cubilis Booking Engine allows you to connect with a wide range of Payment Providers, allowing swift and secure transactions, without any additional costs on our part. Learn more about the integration with PSPs.
Would you like to know more about optimising your direct booking strategy with Cubilis or request a free trial? Fill in the contact form below. We’re happy to help!