If you look at popular social media platforms, you’ll see that most have started incorporating direct shopping options for users. From Instagram’s Checkout feature to Facebook’s Marketplace, these leaders are taking advantage of the demand for simple and convenient shopping.
The same goes for the vacation rental industry. Having a website that allows direct bookings gives you full control of your business but also simplifies the booking process for your guests. There’s no doubt that one of the top priorities people have in our hyper-productive society is practicality, so if your booking process takes minutes longer than your competition’s, you’re already in trouble.
But what do you do if you already have a website? This article will focus on how you can incorporate a booking widget into your existing website and four reasons why it’s crucial to the success of your business.
Booking widgets are plugins that can be embedded into your external website to allow your guests to make direct bookings. Although this may sound and look abstract, the process of adding a booking widget to your website is quite simple.
Let’s say you already have a WordPress website but you’re losing potential business because you don’t offer online reservations. Implementing Lodgify’s booking system will allow guests to make safe credit card payments directly from your website.
How can vacation rental businesses use booking widgets?
Adding a booking widget to your vacation rental website is easy. All you have to do is copy and paste an embeddable code into your existing website and you’re good to go.
If you’re a Lodgify customer, you can do this by going to your Main Menu and selecting Websites. Click Edit and then Settings. Finally, select the Widgets tab and choose your Widget Type. You’ll see three options: a Search Bar, a Book Button, and a Book Now Box.
The Search Bar option allows guests to put in their desired check-in and check-out dates, as well as the number of guests. This option is recommended for websites with multiple vacation rentals.
A great example of the Search Bar can be seen on Flop House’s website.
The simple Book Button is aesthetically pleasing and redirects guests to a step-by-step booking process.
Villa Lumia Bali has added this feature over their stunning slideshow of pictures.
Book Now box
The Book Now Box is ideal regardless of whether you have different rental types or not. Upon entering their dates and number of guests, potential clients will be redirected to an easy-to-use booking page.
Naustet’s minimal website uses a customized Book Now Box.
Benefits of using a vacation rental booking widget on your website
As previously mentioned, having a booking widget will only be beneficial to your vacation rental business. The list is endless but here are a few reasons you should incorporate this feature into your website.
Receive direct bookings on your website
If your existing website was created in a generic CMS (content management system), it’s very likely that there are no features to accept reservations and payments. By using Lodgify’s booking widget, you can make your WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace websites bookable and more attractive for your potential guests.
The use of mobile phones continues to increase at a rapid rate, meaning more people are getting things done on a smaller screen. Having an easy-to-use booking widget on a mobile-friendly website will increase the chance of your property getting booked.
Not only are you offering a convenient process that only takes a few minutes, but you’re also making it easier for less tech-savvy clients to book as well. By having a straight-forward booking button or search box, you’ll be able to target a much broader audience in terms of age.
Save time with Lodgify’s reservation system
Offering direct bookings won’t just save time for your guests – it’ll save hours of work for you as well! As a vacation rental owner or manager, you probably have a list of tasks you need to get through so reducing the time spent on reservations can have a huge impact on the way you manage your business.
Staying on top of multiple listings and reservations can be overwhelming but by embedding Lodgify’s booking system into your existing website, all you have to do is accept and reject incoming bookings!
As a vacation rental owner, you’ll get access to other Lodgify features like the channel manager. A channel manager syncs your calendars from different platforms and helps maximize your time and effort. You’ll be able to easily manage everything with our reservation system that allows you to keep track of all your bookings with one centralized calendar and inbox. Not only will your guests see real-time availability from all your channels, but you’ll also be able to reduce the likelihood of double bookings or other human errors.
Save money on commission
At the end of the day, the commission that OTA’s (online travel agencies like Airbnb and Booking.com) charge ends up being significant. While these are great platforms to jumpstart your vacation rental business, the fees do add up.
That said, having your own website with a booking widget will cut out the middleman and allow you to use that money for things like online marketing.
Whether you have one property or 25, a booking widget is a simple way to increase business. In an industry that is driven by bookings, offering attractive features will undoubtedly help boost booking numbers and take your vacation rental website to the next level. Try out Lodgify’s booking widget free for 7 days and find out for yourself.
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