Scotland’s Best B&Bs – a highly regarded group of nearly 100 bed and breakfasts, all rated 4- or 5-star by VisitScotland– have awarded Freetobook a major contract to provide commission-free online booking. www.scotlandsbestbandbs.com
Freetobook’s technology enables customers to select from any of the available properties on the group’s website and book them immediately. Thanks to us, Scotland’s Best B&Bs are now open for business throughout the world, 24 hours a day. No potential booking need slip through their fingers just because someone couldn’t answer a phone or reply to an email enquiry. As you can well imagine, a small B&B group like this one doesn’t have enormous resources, so Freetobook’s agency solution is ideal for its members. Set up costs are minimal and bookings are commission-free.
Freetobook has several similar group projects under development, helping independent properties harness the power of cutting-edge technology and benefit from strength in numbers.
We have recently completed an integration with TripAdvisor to enable Freetobook customers to advertise on their TripAdvisor (TA) page. We believe this makes good
business sense because potential customers visiting your TA page are at a late stage in the purchasing cycle – in other words they are ready to buy, a perfect time to advertise your direct link to them.
As part of our service, Freetobook provides an interface to show how many clicks/searches you have paid for and which bookings have resulted from the clicks.
This keeps you in control and gives you the information you need to calculate your profit from advertising on your TA page. The graphs and figures are easy to read and monitor.
What does the new TripAdvisor upgrade mean to the “Show Prices” button ?
TripAdvisor call this upgrade their “meta interface” and it has some big advantages over their older system. Show Prices button is clicked by customers after they have put in their desired dates.
A neat interface showing customers your available rates on searched dates as provided by various suppliers.
If you are not available (sold out or closed) you will not show on the list and therefore no click charge can occur from the “Show Prices” button.
You only pay when the customer clicks the (Book) button
See an example of the new “meta interface” page below.
Clearly this has major advantages to advertisers. You will not pay if the customer is searching for dates when you are full or closed, nor will you pay if they are speculatively checking rates and availability. You only pay if the customer clicks on the (Book) button. Obviously a click on a (Book) button is far more valuable than a click on a (Show Prices) button.
With the new “meta interface” (live API) click prices will be higher than for the old system but the number of clicks will be far lower. There will also be a different price for TripAdvisor’s mobile pages. We are currently busy completing the new integration to the “meta interface” which we are confident will be a great benefit to freetobook customers.
The Meta Interface page is fed by the live API. A customer will see this when they enter dates and click the (Show Prices) button.
Meta Interface TripAdvisor live API results (example)
1) The top 4 advertisers with a live API are shown in Cost Per Click price order
2) The top paying advertiser (Expedia in this case) is highlighted with a bigger box, different coloured ‘book’ button, one additional room type shown and a marketing tagline (in this case “120,000 hotels all over the world”) which is provided by the partner
3) Other advertisers with an API who are not in the top 4 show at the bottom with a price
4) Advertisers without an API show at the bottom as a text link
5) Advertisers with an API who did not have availability show, but you are not able to click on them (in this case LateRooms)
Happy New Year, it’s going to be a good one…. but it’s important to have everything in the right place for 2013.
Here are 3 “must do” things for 2013:
1) Ensure you have rates loaded for the whole of 2013 – January is one of the busiest times of the year for new bookings. Early bird customers are looking to book dates throughout the year. Don’t lose out. Have your rates loaded until the end of summer or even the end of the year. If you don’t have rates loaded they can’t book.
2) Create at least one special offer…especially for your low season dates – If you have some low season dates in the winter months load a special offer to help persuade customers you have the best value. Do a last minute offer or a longer stay offer, eg 10% off when you stay 2 nights or more.
3) Show off your very best images on your freetobook widget – Pictures are so important, customers will look through all your images and make an assessment of what you offer. It’s quick and easy to make a judgement on appearance, so make sure they get the right impression with a great set of photos.
As with any engine, they all need a bit of a shine every so often and a little oil….