Getting to Know WebRezPro: Direct Online Bookings

In our Internet Age of online shopping and instant gratification, online bookings are essential to any hotel’s sales strategy.

Proof lies in the success of OTAs (online travel agencies) like Expedia and Booking.com, but lodging operators shouldn’t rely entirely on third-party channels to sell rooms online. While the extensive reach of OTAs makes them important to a property’s distribution strategy, OTA commissions can eat away at a hotel’s bottom line if dependency on these channels is too high.

The key to maximizing RevPAR is selling rooms direct. And because over half of travelers prefer to book accommodation online, it’s essential for lodging operators to provide the option to book direct through the property’s own website to capture those bookings.

But that’s only half the battle. When it comes to the booking process, a smooth user experience is crucial to winning conversions. Here, we can again look to the popularity of OTAs as proof; OTAs have online reservations down to an art, providing an intuitive, user-friendly booking process across all devices (from desktop to mobile). Your direct online booking engine should be quick to load, intuitive to use, mobile friendly and secure. It should be powerful and flexible to allow you to sell your rooms and packages the way you want.

Direct Online Bookings with WebRezPro

WebRezPro offers a choice between two responsive online booking engines for your property’s website—the Carousel Booking Engine and the Parallel Booking Engine.

Both options are fully integrated with the property management system (PMS), meaning your online booking engine is always up to date with live availability and rates. Reservations coming through your property’s website are automatically sent to WebRezPro PMS and availability is instantly updated, saving you time and avoiding overbooking.

Offering a high degree of flexibility, WebRezPro booking engines can sell all manner of rates and packages, from limited-time offers and password-protected rates to add-ons and gift vouchers.

Whether prospective guests are booking on a desktop computer or their smartphone, our responsive booking engines automatically detect and adapt to any screen, providing a user-friendly and secure experience across all devices.

Both booking engines are commission free and provide analytics so you can keep track of bookings coming direct through your website. So, what’s the difference between them? The Carousel and Parallel booking engines each offer a different style and feature set to best suit all kinds of properties.

Carousel Booking Engine

Ideal for properties with up to 10 room types, the Carousel Booking Engine is great for showcasing your rooms with large default slideshow images. But the stand-out feature of this booking engine is the rate carousel, which allows users to easily view and select rates for dates on either side of their initial selection—a convenient feature for customers with flexible travel dates, and great for driving conversions.

Carousel Booking Engine Features:

>> Rate carousel – After their initial room search, users can easily add or remove a night from their reservation based on rates and availability.

>> Slideshow – default room images are large and displayed inline (not in a pop-up window).

>> Room amenities are displayed as icons.

>> Responsive design.

Parallel Booking Engine

Featuring a compact display, the Parallel Booking Engine was designed for properties with more than 10 room types, loading results fast. Default room images are displayed as thumbnails, but large slideshow images can be viewed in a pop-up window.

Parallel Booking Engine Features:

>> Fast loading, ideal for properties with 10+ room types.

>> Compact display.

>> Slideshow – default room images are displayed as thumbnails; large images can be viewed in a pop-up window.

>> Room amenities are displayed as tags.

>> Basic background customization is available.

>> Responsive design.

Both the Carousel and Parallel booking engines are available in WebRezPro version 10.5.27 and higher.

Your online booking strategy directly impacts the health of your business. Make sure you’re converting lookers into bookers with a user-friendly, commission-free online booking engine that fits your property. Contact us to learn more about how WebRezPro can drive direct bookings through your property’s website.

Arrow Hotel

Located just off the city square in Broken Bow, Nebraska, The Arrow Hotel offers 25 guest rooms and suites equipped with free WiFi, cable TV with HBO and coffee makers. The hotel also boasts a restaurant and pub and laundry facilities and pets are welcome in some rooms. The Arrow Hotel has chosen to use our cloud-based WebRezPro Property Management System to help with their operations. Visit their reservations page to see how they’re using WebRezPro to take online bookings!

Cloud PMS: Made for Our Culture of Immediacy

Whether we like it or not, the mobile Internet has brought a culture of immediacy into our lives. We want what we want now! From fast food to online shopping, we want drive-thru coffee, immediate responses to our emails and text messages, and the ability to research our next vacation on our mobile device whenever and wherever the fancy takes us.

Remember when we had to physically go to the store to buy a book? (Remember books?) Or getting the busy signal when you made an actual phone call? Remember when booking a vacation involved printed travel brochures and real, live travel agents? It wasn’t really that long ago. For good or bad — and there are arguments for both — mobile Internet has bowled into our lives and given us instant, on-the-go access to almost anything our hearts desire. It’s changed our expectations.

In business, we also want immediate access to information and we expect the technology we rely on to run quickly and smoothly (cursing it if it doesn’t). We need efficient operational systems and processes to give us the time to focus on our customers. This is more important than ever as our customers’ expectations soar higher and they want service now. Like, right now.

In the hospitality industry, operational efficiency and quality of guest service hinges on the Property Management System (PMS).

Cloud PMS & the Culture of Immediacy

Great guest service stems from smooth operation, not a clunky PMS that requires all your time and attention. From check-in to check-out, when daily tasks are quick and easy to complete, you and your staff have more time to focus on providing personalized service that builds guest loyalty, and tending to guest requirements promptly — perhaps even immediately — for greater guest satisfaction.

Cloud PMS empower lodging operators to elevate service to the high level expected by today’s guests. How do cloud PMS do this? By automating and mobilizing daily operations — shifting your focus from technology back to hospitality.

On-the-Go Access

Accessed via the Internet, your cloud PMS really is available anywhere, from any computer or mobile device connected to the Web. It’s easy to see how this can speed up both operational tasks and guest service; imagine mobile housekeeping reports for up-to-the-minute room status updates, quick-and-easy paperless guest check-in on an iPad, and immediate visibility of guest requests entered in the system on the go. Mobile cloud PMS unshackle staff from the physical front desk for optimal efficiency and service.

Integrated Online Bookings

Just as it’s convenient for you to access your PMS on the go, it’s also convenient for travelers to book accommodation on the go. In fact, nearly 60 percent of travelers book vacations online and a quarter of travelers who use smartphones to research travel actually book travel online through their mobile, too. Cloud PMS offer seamless, mobile-optimized online bookings for your website, as well as integration with online distribution channels like booking.com and Expedia. Integrating online bookings with your PMS means that reservations coming through online channels are automatically updated to the PMS and availability adjusted across all channels accordingly, eliminating the need to consolidate online bookings with the PMS manually. So, not only do integrated online bookings cater to your Web-booking customers when and wherever they desire, but they also save you and your staff a lot of time that you can instead spend attending to your guests.

System Integration

From front desk to housekeeping to accounting, your PMS serves as a central point of control, integrating and automating processes so that you don’t need to manually consolidate information across core departments. Cloud PMS are also easily integrated with external systems like the GDS and OTAs, call accounting, electronic locking, in-room entertainment, payment processors, point-of-sale, revenue management, etc., streamlining operations property-wide. At risk of sounding like a broken record, process automation afforded by system integration maximizes efficiency, saves lodging operators time and, in turn, empowers you to provide even better service to your guests.

Maintenance-Free

System upgrades, data backups, maintenance and technical hiccups take your attention away from your guests and can cause stress and frustration. With a cloud PMS, all technical responsibility related to the PMS software lies with the vendor: upgrades, data protection and backup, software maintenance and bug fixes. A cloud PMS takes care of all the technical hassles, leaving you free to — you guessed it — take care of your guests.

The fundamental purpose of a cloud PMS is to streamline daily operations so you can give your attention to your guests when they need it (i.e. now). If you think about it, cloud PMS are made for our culture of immediacy.

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