Award Winning Innovation //
Founded on Research and Listening to Clients' Needs
Innovation is about making things easier for you, our partner. Making your business more efficient. This gallery presents a small selection of the innovation that for years has made Bookassist unique in online strategy, reservations technology and online marketing and has won Bookassist and its staff awards such as "NetVisionary Award for Online Trade". You can check out more about Bookassist innovation and technology in our press releases featuring innovation.
Award Winning Innovation // Apr 2008
It's all about information
We realise that as an accommodation provider you need to access your booking and yield information in multiple ways, for multiple reasons. Data is crucial to understanding where your business is and where it can go. Visualizing data is vital to allow fast reaction to trends.
In April 2008 Bookassist launched a radically re-written reporting engine as part of the administration system for the Bookassist Booking Engine. The reporting engine is unprecedented in our industry in its flexibility and makes extensive use of the recently-launched Google Chart API to generate rich on-the-fly graphics and downloads.
Even though the Google Chart API had been launched as recently as 4 months earlier, Bookassist again moved quickly to embrace the new technology and bring it to our clients. Bookassist is a Google Adwords Qualified Company and also works closely with Google and has access to early technology releases which we capitalise on for our clients.
Award Winning Innovation // Mar 2004
First instant SMS confirmation
Since 2004 customers have been able to book hotels using Bookassist for check-in on the same day. Hotels can sell right up to midnight on any day using Bookassist. In 2004, Bookassist and Dublin Tourism also launched touchscreen booking services to allow customers at airports, ferryports etc to make instant bookings online via a touchscreen terminal. Customers at airports don't have printers for confirmation printouts - but they usually have mobile phones.
Bookassist therefore introduced SMS text messaging for instant confirmation of reservations, not just to the customer but to the accommodation provider as well. Feedback has consistenly shown how valuable this service is - people often forget printouts but their phone goes with them everywhere.
Obvious in retrospect? Sure, but many online booking providers still do not offer SMS to this day.
Award Winning Innovation // Mar 2008
Travel 2.0 comes early to our clients
As Web 2.0 functionality becomes more mainstream, the public uptake of the platform is causing a revolution with huge growth in social networking, online conversations and customer generated media. Bookassist researchers are at the forefront of this revolution (see Industry Blog / Travel 2.0).
Bookassist clients can fully seize the Travel 2.0 opportunity.
In March 2008 Bookassist rolled out a new generation of Booking Engine technology to offer parallel online services such as interactive Google maps, electronic voucher purchase, online customer reviews, blogging right inside the award winning Booking Engine. Online customer reviews in particular are a huge interest area online and Bookassist's implementation of them within the Booking Engine on the client's website is an innovative first. This was the beginning of Travel 2.0 services within Bookassist. There are quite a few more in the pipeline putting Bookassist services far ahead of the curve.
Award Winning Innovation // Jan 2007
Now, everything is for sale
The online booking experience must mirror the offline if it is to be successful. All options and services that a hotel offers should be bookable online. Bookassist analysed the differences between online and offline offerings among our clients and bridged the gap. In early 2007 Bookassist launched two major innovative features in the Booking Engine: Room variations and Add-ons
Room variations, unique in online booking, allows hotels to offer a range of different configurations for the same basic room type without cluttering up the interface for the user. With hotels offerings 10's of different packages the information overload can become very real. Bookassist user interface experts solved this by uniquely "grouping" similar offerings.
Add-ons, now more commonplace, allows hoteliers to offer value-added extras to their guests as part of the booking process. Guests love the option of being able to customise their stay, hotels love the opportunity to upsell on the basic room booking.
Award Winning Innovation // Oct 2001
Real-time Credit Card Verification
Bookassist realised early on, 2001, that online customers want to book in their own currency and feel secure when they can do so. That's why Bookassist implemented a direct XML link with the European Central Bank to do live currency conversions right there in the engine.
Hotels are often the subject of fraudulent online bookings where stolen credit cards are used simple to check the credit card status or false bookings are made as part of obtaining travel documentation. This can result in significant "no-shows". Bookassist introduced live direct credit card checking as far back as 2001 with bank servers as part of the booking process. Each card transaction is checked directly, to ensure validity. Bookassist hotels have not had to deal with no-shows for many years.
Customers using the Bookassist Booking Engine have the added security of knowing that their card has been checked online, pre-authorised and verified for the hotel, ensuring the hotel will honour the booking.
Award Winning Innovation // Feb 2002
Online marketing ahead of its time
Having the best website in the world is no use for sales unless you are seen. Bookassist has long recognised the need for its clients to be visible and to achieve the most from direct internet sales on their own website.
Years ago, Bookassist launched its Trafficbuilder product to advise on website structure. To be number one in natural listings you must deserve your position and Bookassist search engine optimisation is second to none in achieving that. Later we followed with the design and management for our clients of their Search Engine Marketing strategies using pay per click advertising and have seen an unprecedented growth in direct business for our clients. Bookassist seminars regularly advise on best practice in this area where we are recognised as an industry leader.
Bookassist is a Google Qualified Company and has had Google Qualified Professional staff since the inception of the Qualified Professional programme at Google. (See Bookassist Status)
Award Winning Innovation // Aug 2008
E-commerce integration tracks every cent
Every visitor to your website is a potential buyer and the conversion of "lookers" to "bookers" is crucial. Gathering intelligence on what users are doing when they do land on your site, tracking their patterns through your site and through the booking engine is absolutely vital to ensure you rectify bottlenecks and increase conversion.
Since Mid 2008, Bookassist not only tracks users through the entire booking process, allowing constant tweaking of the process to improve booking conversion, but also directly integrates Bookassist's own tracking with Google Analytics tracking via the E-Commerce API from Google. This allows Bookassist clients to see where every cent they spend on Pay per Click is going, what accommodation products customers are buying, and how each and every booking can be linked back to a specific trail through their website and to a specific cent spent on Pay per Click adverts.
Coupled with constant tweaking to the booking interface and innovative Traffic Builder SEM and SEO, this has allowed Bookassist to reach jaw-dropping conversion figures for lookers to bookers way above industry averages.