Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bookassist Booking Engine Upgrade

Bookassist is committed to continually improving its technology and services and we are very proud to announce a major upgrade to our award-winning booking engine technology. The Scottish team have been working their way around all of our Scottish clients to make sure that they can benefit even further from the great new design and layout changes

As we are making the changes and because the upgrade is quite significant, we have been taking the opportunity to review the hotels' current setup in the booking engine and we optimising them for the new booking engine layout. The following gives you some flavour of just some of the improvements this upgrade has brought to the users.

Visual redesign and modernisation

Visually, the design of entire display for the booking pages has been significantly improved to give a fresh modern look.
  • The design makes better use of fonts, font size, colour, layout and style improvements to help make the display more appealing and hence help conversion. 
  • Across all pages of the booking engine there is a redesigned top strip indicating the steps 1,2,3 to completion more clearly.
  • We can control colouring much better so that the system blends seamlessly with your website.

Usability improvements for your customers

  • We have added animations of the customers' actions, for example smooth opening and closing of information sections etc, all of which gives a more dynamic feel to the system and also helps guide the customers' eye to where it should be looking.
  • We have placed a strong emphasis on focus: because the booking options are usually quite complex, we want the customer to be able to focus on exactly what they want so when a user is interacting with a particular room, the system "lifts" it off the page so that it stands out more prominently, as Figure 1 shows.



Figure 1: Focus in the booking engine

Better price comparison

One of the key issues in a booking engine is being able to quickly scan prices across multiple room types and packages. The new design improves this significantly
  • We have changed the color and size of price display for easier viewing.
  • We have redesigned the room description strips with more prominent pricing.
  • We have redesigned the ‘variations’ (room grouping) display into horizontal strips per variation with better photo and details display, plus consistent design with regular room strips for easy comparison as Figure 2 shows. 

Even Better Dynamic Discounts

A strong selling point of Bookassist's World-leading booking technology is the Dynamic Discounts function. This booking engine upgrade takes this winning concept even further.
  • Using a calendar-like display, we show a price range (from aaa - to bbb) on non-stay dates and we clearly show the discounts that are available on those dates.
  • We display a clear "advertisement" listing the types of Dynamic Discount that are available if you change your dates, as figure 3 shows
  • You can now open/close Dynamic Discounts on specific dates instead of just on arrival dates. 
  • You can have a discount price of €0 to provide an extra free service instead of an actual discount.



Figure: Dynamic Discount advertising

Photos

This is the first phase of photo improvement in the Bookassist engine, we expect to significantly enhance this in the very near future. For now,
  • Photos have been restyled and replaced by flexible-width photos that automatically re-size with the page width. 
  • We now store your hotel's booking engine images on the Amazon cloud so that image files are automatically copied to servers all over the world and are "locally" accessible in your customers' country. This provides much faster download times for your customer and improved display of photos.

Customer feedback on errors and omissions

We have strongly enhanced the way in which we give feedback to your customer when they enter incorrect information or attempt to book unavailable rooms etc.
  • Message wording in all error dialogues are much improved to help the customer better understand the problem and point out the options to resolve the error quickly.
  • Error messages are better "localised" on the page to where the specific problem is so that resolution is easier for the customer.
  • Clearer handling of all errors helps solve issues quickly and gives better conversion

Some Integrated Examples

Here's a few examples of how well integrted your booking engine should be. No linking out, no change in URL's and designed to match the look and feel of your brand

More Information

For more information on how Bookassist can improve your DIRECT bookings call us on 01292 521404 or mail Bookassist Scotland
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