As the hospitality industry continues to grow and to become increasingly digital, hoteliers must prioritize their online booking engines to remain competitive. An internet booking engine (IBE) is a software application that allows guests to book rooms directly through the hotel’s website. With more and more customers preferring to book their travel online, it has become essential for hotels to conduct an IBE audit to ensure they are offering a seamless booking experience that drives direct bookings and revenue.
What is an IBE Audit?
An IBE audit is the process of evaluating the functionality and performance of a hotel’s internet booking engine. It is an assessment of the technology used by the hotel to enable online bookings and identify any weaknesses or issues that could be hindering the hotel’s ability to generate direct bookings and revenue. The audit evaluates the entire booking process, from search to checkout, to ensure that it is easy to use, functional, and that it meets the needs of the hotel’s customers.
Why is an IBE Audit Important?
An IBE audit is critical to assess a guest’s booking experience on the website. If the booking experience is poor, customers may choose to book on third-party booking sites (such as Booking.com or Expedia), which can result in lost revenue for the hotel. On the other hand, having an optimized IBE can generate many benefits for the property, including:
Increased direct bookings: A well-designed IBE is essential for driving direct bookings, which can save the hotel money on commissions paid to third-party booking sites. By identifying areas where an IBE can be improved, hoteliers can increase the likelihood that customers will book directly on their website.
Providing a good user experience: A positive user experience is critical to the success of an IBE. Customers should be able to easily navigate the booking engine and find the information they need. By identifying and addressing issues with the IBE, hotels can ensure that customers have a positive experience when booking online.
Enhancing customer satisfaction: Assessing the performance and profitability of packages allows hotels to reassess their offering. To evaluate a package, gather data on package types, costs, and popularity. Use this data to evaluate the package’s performance in relation to its pricing and demand, as well as the hotel’s return on any investment. Consider the overall impact of each package on revenue and profitability, taking into account potential cannibalization of demand for other rooms or services.
How Can an IBE be Optimized?
To improve the performance of an IBE, hotels should focus on the following areas:
User Experience: The IBE should be easy to use and navigate. The booking process should be streamlined, and guests should be able to find the information they need quickly and easily.
Mobile Optimization: With more and more customers booking hotel rooms on their mobile devices, it is essential that the IBE is optimized for mobile. The booking engine should be responsive and easy to use on a variety of mobile devices.
Pricing and Availability: The IBE should display accurate pricing and availability information in real-time. Customers should be able to see all available room types and compare them easily.
Promotions and Discounts: The IBE should be able to display promotions and discounts in real-time, including package deals, special rates, and loyalty rewards.
Seguridad: The IBE should be secure, with appropriate encryption and authentication measures in place to protect customer data. A quick message to support can help find out which measures are taken by the IBE.
Provide a Personalized Experience: Use guest data to provide a personalized experience. Offer special promotions and incentives to guests who have stayed with you before.
Monitor and Measure Performance: Regularly monitor and measure the performance of your IBE. Identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Get Expert Help with RegiÔtels
Working with RegiÔtels provides hoteliers with a comprehensive IBE audit to identify areas for improvement and develop a customized optimization strategy that meets the hotel’s specific needs.
Additionally, RegiÔtels can also help hoteliers who do not yet have an IBE. As we’re partners with SiteMinder, we can aid with the number one booking engine and channel manager available to increase online sales.
Contact us today via the button below to learn more about how we can help optimize your hotel’s online booking strategy.
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