SiteMinder, an open hotel commerce platform, is growing its metasearch and hotel payments programs to give hotels more choice to manage and protect their revenue in unpredictable travel markets.
SiteMinder is adding trivago, a hotel price comparison website, to its metasearch program, ‘Demand Plus’. Through Demand Plus, hotels have their metasearch setup, billing, bidding and campaigns managed entirely by SiteMinder, and pay for completed stays booked directly through their own website from Google and, now, trivago.
Over the October to December 2020 period, when hotel bookings globally dropped to 41.2 percent of the prior year’s levels in the SiteMinder World Hotel Index, total bookings made via Demand Plus grew. One hotel seeing the benefits is Grupo MX in Mexico. Mauricio Hernandez, Manager of Commercial Connections, says, “Demand Plus has increased direct reservations for my hotel by 30 percent. As our official site offers the most competitive rates and now appears in metasearch channels, it gives us more possibilities to generate direct reservations.”
Another hotel is Hotel Aquino in Berlin, Germany. The property’s business development manager, Benedikt Winkels, says, “Even in light of the overall difficult market conditions, we have seen an encouraging number of bookings coming through Demand Plus. To us it’s an important component of our efforts to increase direct revenue as the market recovers and into the future.”
In addition to growing Demand Plus, SiteMinder is introducing the ability for hotels to process guest payments from within its platform, as part of the SiteMinder Pay program which provides integrated payment solutions. Using the new capability, hotel subscribers can now more securely process payments and refunds for bookings made via OTAs, by digitizing the process rather than processing credit cards manually.
The capability caters to the thousands of hotels that are yet to integrate their booking technology with their property management system, and consequently record their guests’ credit card details in non-secure, often paper-based locations. Research by SiteMinder shows that four-in-five of those hotel customers currently log in to its platform at least daily to access the credit card details of their guests and manually enter those details into their property management system or point-of-sale terminal. By allowing those hotels to process guest payments within SiteMinder’s platform, they can process payments at the time of booking or quickly after the initial deposit, to reduce credit card fraud, increase the security of how payments are managed and get cash in the bank sooner. In addition to offering a contactless payment option for guests, hotels can eliminate the risk of credit card declines or guest no shows, forecast when future payments will arrive, and make refunds with no fees for either the property or guest. Early adopters of SiteMinder Pay also report saving an average of 4.2 minutes in manual handling, per booking.
The growth of SiteMinder’s Demand Plus and Pay programs addresses two of the most complex and vital areas of e-commerce for hotels—direct bookings via metasearch, and managing payments—during a critical time. By reducing the complexity involved with both, SiteMinder is giving hotels more choice to manage their direct and indirect revenue streams, and to protect those in the current travel climate and beyond.
“Right now, hoteliers across the globe are faced with the dual challenge of fewer travelers and an increasingly-complex plethora of digital marketing options. Most hotels don’t have the budgets and resources they need to leverage all the opportunities available to make themselves more visible and improve the management of their revenue,” says Dai Williams, Chief Growth Officer at SiteMinder. “The growth of SiteMinder’s metasearch and payments programs is part of our commitment to supporting hotels with more choice, during this difficult time and as travel recovers.”
The adoption of SiteMinder’s transaction-based offerings, including Demand Plus and SiteMinder Pay, grew over 50 percent in the year ending March 2021, reflecting deeper hotel customer needs that have been met by SiteMinder’s hotel commerce platform and partner ecosystem during the pandemic.