Why use online check-in?

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The complexity of this solution comes from two main elements: payment and key handover. For the former, online payment is the most popular option. For the latter, it will depend on the type of key used at the hotel, such as magnetic keys, keys with a code, classic keys or QR codes, etc. The easiest option is to use a magnetic key, which can be retrieved at a welcome kiosk. This kiosk can complete and automate the procedure. If you are not equipped with welcome kiosks that have a key retrieval function, you can alternatively dedicate a special express check-in line at your front desk. Clients who have checked-in online beforehand will be able to directly go through this special line upon their arrival.

Additionally, combination door locks or QR codes are other options to make your clients more autonomous. Once their online check-in is complete, they will receive a code or a QR code which will allow them to access their room.

What is the main advantage of online check-in for client?

The main advantage for clients is that they no longer have to present themselves to the front desk upon their arrival, having to wait in order to retrieve their room key. This way, you guarantee a reduced waiting time upon their arrival. Even if the client has to present themselves to the front desk in order to retrieve their room key, the procedure will be faster, especially if the hotel has set-up a special front desk line for clients who have checked-in online beforehand.

This gain in time is an undeniable advantage for a client. If your client is a business traveller, they will be able to go to their meetings earlier, while if they are here for leisure, they will be able to enjoy the services you offer faster. For recurring clients, online check-in is also a major advantage as they are already familiar with your hotel and will not require a member of your staff to walk them through the new procedures set-up at your hotel.

In some cases, online check-in can offer other advantage, such as being able to check-in outside the conventional front desk check-in hours. This can be appropriate if the front desk is not open at night. It can also be advantageous when you offer multiple furnished units across a city, as the client will be able to immediately check-in without having to visit the front desk which could be located far from their furnished unit.

What is the advantage of online check-in for the hotel?

The hotel using this technology can benefit from many advantages. Firstly, they will be able to significantly reduce waiting times at the front desk. This wait can unfortunately negatively impact the client’s perception of your hotel upon their arrival. Reducing this waiting time can also allow your staff to provide a better and lengthier service to other clients and ensure they are available to respond to any requests.

There is also an advantage when it comes to staff management. The number of staff members assigned to the front desk can be reduced, or you can re-allocate their role and responsibilities. Your staff will then avail of more time to inform clients, thus allowing you to provide a concierge service which you could not have afforded prior to this resources’ re-allocation.

You can also make your hotel more autonomous if you have set-up the necessary technology. Your clients will be more independent and will be able to access their room without having to visit the front desk.


This is an excellent way to make the most of technology!

Optimize your online booking process

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Online booking tools, primarily created to optimize conversion rates, require some help in order to properly carry out their mission. Here are a few variables you should keep in mind to guarantee your online bookings.

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The notorious Book now button

The first step for an online booking is to click the Book now button, which will then lead the potential client to your booking platform. While browsing through various hotel websites, one can notice how this button significantly changes from one website to another. Indeed, it varies by colour, size, location on the website, and also by its accompanying text. This button, which serves as a bait for the booking process, plays a significant role and should thus be conveniently located on your website. It needs to quickly catch your potential client’s eye and must stand out from the other content on your website. You must never assume that your Book now button is clearly visible. You may find this button conveniently located, however if you were the one who set it up and designed it, it might be more obvious to you than it is to your clients. It is therefore important to carry out a series of user tests before taking a final decision.
The Book now button must also follow the user while they browse through your website. For example, your client should never have to go back to the home page to find this button again. In the best case scenario, the button should always be visible on your client’s screen.

Your hotel’s presentation

The potential client has clicked on your Book now button and must now continue to have a pleasant and convincing experience to finalize their booking. Even on a booking platform, you must take each opportunity to show your hotel under its best angle. Each room you wish to sell online must come with specific, good quality pictures. You could also consider showing your client pictures that are not already available on your website. The potential client will then have a better idea of the type of accommodation you can offer.
It is also efficient to customize your booking platform so that the buttons’ colours are the same as the ones used on your website. The potential client should never experience a significant difference throughout their online experience, when going from your website to your booking platform. To showcase your commodities on your booking platform, consider choosing simple icons which are complementary to your visual identity.

Marketing stress

Marketing stress can be a useful technique when you only have a few rooms left to fill and you wish to optimize your occupancy. Marketing stress consists of notifying the potential client that there are only a few rooms left for the specific dates that they have chosen and thus creates a certain notion of urgency. This implies that the potential client should not wait too long to book should they wish to stay at your hotel. Marketing stress will also give your client the impression that many other clients have already chosen your hotel, and that therefore they will make the right choice by also choosing to stay with you.

Promotional codes

Offering promotional codes is an excellent way to improve your clientele’s loyalty and increase your hotel’s occupancy rate. By offering them a promotional code which gives them a discount on their next stay, your clients will be more likely to stay at your hotel for their next trip. In fact, if they already know that a cheaper rate is available to them at your hotel, other options will not seem as interesting to them in comparison (and they will have already experienced a stay at your hotel). This promotional code can be valid for a couple of years or you can pre-determine a limited amount of time for which it will be valid.

Using options

When your potential client is well into their booking process, it is time to offer them options which can increase their final transaction amount. You can thus offer them, for example, on-site parking, a wine bottle upon arrival in their room, breakfast, lunch, dinner or even Wi-Fi, all of these services being for a certain fee. In reality, any additional service a client can purchase on the phone should be available to them online. This will increase the average final transaction for your clients and will also provide you with more accurate forecasts as to which products will sell each day.

Offer online packages

Packages are probably the most delicate thing to market online, especially due to the uncertain availability of various factors: the staff availability when it comes to a package with a massage and material availability when to it comes to a package with equipment rental. Nevertheless, marketing your packages online is a great opportunity if your inventory management is offered by your hotel management software or your booking platform.
You can also decide not to market all of your packages online, however you should still keep the most popular ones in order to allow your potential clients to book them online. This way, the person looking to book their stay at your hotel will be able to do so online at any time and will not have to call your front desk. Marketing your packages online will allow you to conduct more efficient marketing campaigns. For example, when you send a newsletter promoting your newest package, you will be able to add the package’s booking link, so that your clients will be able to book the package online directly without having to call you.


In order to optimize your online bookings, your PMS software and your booking platform must obviously be linked to avoid overbooking. You will be spared of any manual tasks involving rate and inventory adjustments, allowing you to focus on optimizing your online bookings using all the techniques mentioned above.

Online booking: a must-have for hoteliers

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Why you should choose an online booking engine

First, an online booking engine makes it possible for you to market your hotel directly on your own website. Since a booking engine is available at all times on your website and connected to your PMS system, potential guests who visit your site will get a precise snapshot of the rooms available as well as the rates for each type of room. The online booking engine also allows you to advertise promotions and discounts in effect at your hotel. Thus, at any time of the day, a visitor to your hotel’s website can book a room if they see a vacancy that’s of interest to them.

Also, you’ll save a lot of time by investing in a booking engine that’s connected to your PMS system since you won’t have to process all the bookings yourself. As bookings are fed automatically into your PMS system, which sends up-to-date room availability information to the booking engine, you avoid the risk of overbooking during peak periods.

By all means, sell on your own site but don’t stop there!

In the face of growing competition, posting your rooms only on your own website can limit the scope of your activities. While you can apply certain measures to attract more people to your website, the fact remains that it’s unlikely you’ll systematically appear in the top web search results. It’s more likely that popular online booking sites, such as Expedia or Booking.com, will appear as the top web results when a traveller is looking for a hotel room. Therefore, the chances are low that a potential guest will land on your website spontaneously as there is a strong likelihood your web performance isn’t as significant as that of these specialized booking sites.

Finally, by posting your rooms on an online booking site as well as your own website, you increase the opportunities to rent your rooms to travelers who wouldn’t otherwise have booked at your hotel. Moreover, some travelers benefit from a loyalty program on these sites and book their travel only through these online agencies. Your presence on these sites allows the traveller to stay at your hotel while also enjoying the perks of their loyalty program, which is a sure way to boost their satisfaction.

Choosing the right online booking channel

Despite the benefits listed above, not all online booking channels are in step with your hotel’s marketing strategy. Be sure to choose a channel that’s in line with your strategy so that you don’t lose out when it comes to efficiency. For instance, if you invest a great deal of effort and money into showing up first in search engines, every guest who doesn’t book directly on your website would constitute a failure within the context of your strategy. The purpose of good positioning is to get a guest to book directly on your website.

Finally, since each channel has a specific purpose and produces targeted results, all channels offer good opportunities to acquire guests. Keep in mind that you must calibrate and vary your room offering according to the traffic at your hotel or according to the season. If it’s the middle of peak tourist season and you only have one room left available, merely posting it on your website may be more than enough. Conversely, if you want to do something about your lower occupancy rate at a given time of the year, it may be wise to post your rooms so that they show up as the top results on online booking sites. In this way, you’ll ensure the right booking balance, and your rooms will always be showcased effectively and get optimal visibility.

Online booking: a safe option

When it comes time to give out a credit card number, consumers are wary and may be reluctant to share such information. Fortunately, efficient booking engines offer a payment system that meets security standards. Take care, though, to choose a tool that meets credit card security standards. In this way, your guests will know straightaway that the payment process is safe. Sometimes, it may even be more economical for guests to pay the full amount due directly online when they book. Not only does this allows your hotel to receive payment in advance, but you’ll also benefit from a decrease in the number of transactions related to the same guest, which will save you time!

Finally, there’s no doubt that it’s faster to pay by credit card via a booking engine than to do so at check-in or check-out at the reception desk.