We speak about direct booking when your guests book the accommodation on your website or other platforms of yours, skipping the accommodation intermediary sites such as Booking or Airbnb.
Intermediary sites deduct about 12-16% commission. This means that direct bookings increase the profitability of hosts and give chance to build a more direct relationship with our guests.
We don’t want to say that accommodation intermediary sites are bad. As a host, of course, we are happy wherever the booking comes from. But besides, it is worth maintaining more channels to gain guests.
The first step is an easy-to-use booking engine that can be built into your website. It helps your guests receive up-to-date information about occupancy, prices, and discounts.
In many cases, the long booking rules (e.g.: number of guests, season, arrival) confuse visitors, so maybe they prefer to book on well-established accommodation intermediary sites.
Much research shows that 25-39% of guest bookings come from mobile. The exact ratio may vary depending on the age group and the purpose of the trip. But this is a fact that many people search for their accommodation on a mobile phone and book on a desktop computer.
What does it mean for you?
You need a mobile-friendly booking engine, based on your settings. It shows the visitor whether there is still room for the period he has selected and how much it costs.
It is also important that this process be simple and fast since here the visitor has already decided that he likes your accommodation and is browsing the available times and prices.
To increase the number of our direct bookings, we need to reassure our website visitors that if they book here, the booking will arrive and they can prepare for their vacation.
An outdated website with low-grade images can give a bad first impression to visitors. It is important to make sure that the design of our website is up-to-date.
Let's make things easier for visitors by placing the "Book now" button in a prominent place. Make it easy to navigate the site.
Once we have a good foundation to take direct bookings, all that's left is marketing.
Be active on Facebook, Instagram, or even TikTok. Let's take pictures, show the region and share upcoming events.
For those who are interested, we recommend the Canva editor. With Canva, you can easily create social media content.
Link to the booking page of your website in the posts, this way you can bring visitors to your website.
If you have already managed to attract the attention of potential guests, be sure you will get quite a lot of questions. Try to give answers quickly to provide that your guests don’t have time to look for another accommodation.
The email automation of the booking engine can help you answer frequently asked questions after booking. You can set which email should be sent by the system to the guest’s email address after finalizing the reservation.
Information like where to transfer the deposit, when they can arrive/depart, and how they can reach the accommodation is important and asked often.