The BookDirect Web Reservation system is your most powerful tool to drive direct bookings and decrease the share of OTA bookings which naturally bring less profit and involve a third party in the relationship between you and the guest.
Maximizing direct bookings is a goal that every hotelier should focus on - brings more revenue, allows for a more direct connection with the guest, and opens up flexibility for upselling.
Of course, none of this would be possible without a Web reservation system that can ensure a smooth and informed user experience.
Looking at the retail industry, studies have shown that nearly $200 billion are lost due to complicated checkout experiences, and hospitality and PMS solutions have taken lessons from this.
The BookDirect (WRS) is designed with all of this and other latest trends in mind - it is mobile-friendly, allows a quick and smooth user experience, supports all kinds of payment options and it is customizable.
Below we will see the various option you have at your disposal for configuring the BookDirect and what they do.
All configurations of the BookDirect are done from menu Web-> BookDirect settings. The settings are divided into different sections and we will be going through them section by section.
- Enable WRS V2 (1) - enables Web Reservation System v.2 (BookDirect).
Important: If you've been using our 'legacy' WRS, you still need to change all integration links on your website.
- Booking enquiry link to WRS V2 (2) - will set the links in your booking enquiries to point and direct guests to Web Reservation System v2.
Important: If you have been using our legacy WRS, links in enquiries already sent will point to the legacy version. You have 2 options to handle this:
- Send new enquiries which will have the updated link to v.2 to all guests
- Keep both the legacy and v.2 active until enquiries pointing to the legacy have depleted.
Enquiries sent after you've selected this option will automatically point to v.2.
- Max Room/Units with one click (3) - enter how many rooms from a certain room type and rate can a guest book in a single session. If set to '1' guests can add only 1 room from a room type/rate combination to their shopping cart and must start from step 1 to add more.
Note: At any point, guests can start from step 1 to add more rooms from the same or other room types and/or rates to their shopping cart.
- Children age (4) - define the age range of children (if applicable). If guests enter # of children on the BookDirect, they will be prompted to select the child's age. This is important, as it might have an effect on pricing.
- Hide inputs for children (5) - select if you want to hide the children field from being shown. Please note that in this case 0 children will be specified for the booking, calculations, restrictions, etc., except for the bookings related to Booking enquiries. These bookings will be created with the number of children initially specified in the booking enquiry.
- Ask for guests at the first step (6) - by default, at the first step guests only enter their arrival and departure dates and enter Adults and Children only after they have selected their preferred Room type and are at the Rate selection screen. Enabling this setting will allow guests to enter Adults and Children at the first step along with their period of stay. This will lead to filtering of room types and rates based on their restrictions and the guests will be seeing products matching their occupancy selection.
- Max Guests/Adults per unit (7) - works in conjunction with 'Ask for guests at the first step'. You can define the maximum guests of your largest unit and how many of them can be Adults. This will create a dropdown menu from where guests need to select, instead of manually entering a value.
The behaviour of the BookDirect is only part of the process of delivering a to guests when booking on your website. Another vital part is how the BookDirect is integrated into your website. Please check THIS comprehensive article about the options for integration.
The Link Builder is a very useful tool at your disposal to drive more direct bookings. Please check THIS article for more information about the Link Builder.
Through the settings in this section, you control when the arrival day of a booking can be.
- Days in advance (1) - control how many days in advance can the arrival day be. If set to 0, guests can create bookings with same-day arrival. If set to 1, the next day is the earliest allowed day for their arrival.
- Latest hour (2) - Set 'Latest Hour' to limit the receiving of bookings after this hour. This setting works in combination with 'Days in Advance'.
Example: If you set 'Days in advance': 0 and 'Latest Hour': 19:00 - this means that you can receive bookings for today, but after 19:00 (local time of the hotel) bookings for today are not allowed.
- Product sort order (1) - select how the products will be sorted on the BookDirect. You can choose from 3 options: Price Ascending – the prices will be arranged from the lowest to the highest ones; Prices Descending – the prices will be arranged from highest to the lowest ones; Rate sorting - use a custom sorting to arrange rates and rooms as you wish.
- Show bonus/company/block codes (2) - Select if you wish to show any of these boxes on the 1st step of the BookDirect, allowing guests to enter a code they might have. You can find more information in Applying and using Bonus codes and Badge; Company Codes for BookDirect; MICE - Block codes
WRS Extra Services
Through this section, you control which (if any) extra services you are going to offer on the WRS and how those should be calculated.
Once you click on the link, you will be taken to the list with Charge Templates and you can select which ones to be offered on the WRS and how should they be calculated:
- (1) - select to publish on the WRS
- (2) - select if the service should be posted per day. If you don't select his option the service will be booked just on the arrival date.
- (3) - select it you will allow this service to be booked for specific day/dates of the stay and not the default options - per day of stay or just on arrival date.
- (4) - select how it should be calculated - Per Room; Per Guest; Per Adult; Per Child.
Note: If you select Per Guest, Per Adult, or Per Child, guests will be able to select how many they wish to book. For example, if the "Bike Rental" service is set to "Per Guest", and there are 3 guests in the booking, the guest will be able to choose whether they want to book one, two or three bikes.
- (5) - if you do not wish to offer this service to guests that have booked a specific rate - for example, you don't want to offer breakfast to guests that have booked a Bed & Breakfast rate, you can select the rates for which this service will be excluded.
WRS Guarantee policy
- Default Guarantee policy - this setting can be considered as a redundancy setting. You can select a default guarantee option for the BookDirect which will be applicable to rates that have been published on the BookDirect but have no guarantee option selected in them.
Appearance/Images/Languages & Description/Translations
These three sections have to do with the content, design, and branding customization of the WRS. Please check THIS comprehensive article about branding options at your disposal and THIS article in regards to the content.
- Marketing segments (1) - select Marketing Source/Channel/Segment for every booking created on your WRS. Bookings will land in the PMS+ with those automatically selected.
- Show 'Accept Marketing Emails' checkbox (2) - select if you want to show the 'opt-in' selection box on the last step of the booking process