Want to set up a promotion to encourage more direct bookings through your own website?


Whether you are offering a Free Breakfast or Discounted Rates, iBex can help you set this up to achieve more sales.


Incentives for customers to book direct...


  • Booking direct through the property means you know exactly who you are dealing with, and you know exactly where your personal details are being stored.

  • We keep your details confidential, and you can rest assured we do not provide or sell this to any third party advertising companies.

  • We provide a secure Payment Card Industry certified credit card storage system, so you can be sure your details are kept safe. All credit card details are deleted 60 days after your departure.

  • Booking direct means you can communicate directly with friendly staff at the property who know the local area and can answer any of your questions. We all know it can be frustrating at times dealing with third party offshore call centres.

  • Booking direct through the property means you can also book additional options such as breakfasts, dinners, tours etc that are only available exclusively on their own website


Below we have easy to follow instructions that will show you how to set up your own agent booking screens, so that you can offer discounts/promotions so that guests are encouraged to book directly through your own website.



Initial Setup


If you are wanting to offer your guests a discount or added extra when booking, then the easiest way to do this is to set up an Agent and Selling Group in iBex. This way the discount will be applied automatically, and you can also keep track of bookings/discounts in your reports.



Instructions to add a Selling Group


The reason we are going to add a new selling group is so that any rates you create for your promotion will not be available to any existing selling group, this keeps things tidy in your account.

  • You will need to go to Add a Selling Group in iBex.

  • Give your Selling Group a name - such as Promotions and click Save Selling Group.



Instructions to add Agent


  • You will need to go to Add a Sales Channel in iBex.

  • Click on Create Custom Sales Channel as below.


TIP - Only the ID and the Name are mandatory fields.


  • ID: Enter a short code (between 4 – 8 characters) for you to identify this agent/sales channel in your iBex system.

  • Name: Enter the name of the agent/sales channel here.

  • User Code: If you have your own reference or code system, you can enter this in this field. If not, ignore.

  • Type: Select what type of agent/sales channel they are.

  • Notes: Add any notes about the company here.

  • Reporting Group: If you have created any Reporting Groups, you can assign the company to a certain group.

To add new Reporting Groups, please add them in the Manage Company report groups screen (also in the Users & Clients section in the menu).


  • You can fill out the Contacts and Address sections if you wish, although this is not necessary.

Rules section:

Here you can set the Selling Group and Rate Modifiers that will be used for your booking screens.


For the Selling Group section use the new Selling Group that we you have created in the first steps.


  • Selling Group: Here you can select which selling group you wish to use for your agent booking screens. For our example we will use the Promotions selling group.


If you do not wish to set up separate rates for your promotion, then the Rate Modifier can be used to add a general discount percentage to your rates.


  • Rate Modifier: If you do not have a rate modifier set up already then please click here for instructions. For our example we will use Rate 2 which has been set with a modifier of -10%.

  • Extras Modifier: You can set a rate modifier for any extras that are added to the booking also, for our example we will use the same as our Rate Modifier. If you do not wish to sell extras then you can select this under the Sell Extras option.

  • Credit Options: Here you should set this option to Payment or Credit Via Invoice.

Policies section:

  • This is not currently supported with new front booking screens. In the near future under the Policies section you will be able to set a specific Payment Policy and Cancellation Policy for your Agent if you do not wish to use your default iBex ones.

  • Click Save Sales Channel and you will see 3 more tabs appear allowing you to view any payments, invoices and bookings made by them.



Instructions to set up new rate for promotion


If you are wanting to set up new rates for your promotion (such as Free Breakfast Included), then the easiest way to achieve this is to 'copy' any existing rates.

  • You will need to go to Search/Maintain Rates in iBex.

  • Click on the ID for the rate that you wish to copy - this is in red on the left.

  • When the rate opens, make sure you are on the Details tab, and from the right hand side under the Actions section click on Copy Rate.

       

  • Your screen will then refresh and you will need to check the settings for your new rate.

General section

  • First give your rate a Marketing Name - this is what will appear on the booking screens for your guests.
    Add an iBex name, which is for your reference from within your iBex account.
    Add any rate descriptions/inclusions that this promotional rate includes.


Guest Rules section

  • Edit the Base Guests, and Additional Guests if needed.

  • Ensure that the Rate Type has been set as a Main Rate, and alter the Allowed Guest Types if necessary.


Linked Rates section

  • If you wish this rate to inherit prices from another rate then you can choose the parent rate from the Link rate drop down selector. You can then choose to offset the rate values by a specific amount or percentage.

  • Under the Child Rate option you can select any Child Rates that will be applicable to your new promotional rate - as with Infant Rates.


Advanced Rules section

  • Edit the advanced rules section if necessary. Please note that if you are creating a Linked Rate, then your new rate will follow any Early Bird or Last Minute settings from the parent rate that you have linked it to.

  • Click the Save button at the bottom of the page, your page will then refresh and you will have two additional tabs at the top.

Room Types / Selling Group Mapings section

  • Proceed to the Room Types/Selling Group Mappings tab.

  • Here you will need to map your new rate to the appropriate room type and selling group. In our example we are mapping our new rate to the 1 Bedrrom rrom type, and the Promotions selling group that we have set up.
    When you have finished mapping clcik the Save Mapping button.

       


Pricing section

  • Here you can set your prices for your new promotional rate. The prices can be set for the period that you wish to run your promotion.


       



Set up new extras for your promotion


If you are wanting to set up any Extras to go with your Promotion then you can make these available only for the new Selling Group you have created. You can also make Extras such as Free Breakfast mandatory for all bookings.

  • To set up a new Extra go to New Extra under the Extras heading in your iBex menu.
    Please click here for detailed instructions on creating a new extra.

  • For our example we are running a Free Breakfast promotion so we will set this new Extra as Mandatory for all bookings, and we will make the Extra only available to our Promotions Selling Group as below.
    Extra Settings

       

  • When you are finished click Save at the bottom of the page to save your new Extra.



Booking Screen Setup


We are now going to create a new Front Booking Screen template that you can use on your website.


The main purpose of setting up a new booking screen template is so you can have Rates and Extras that are only applicable to the Agent and Selling Group that you set to be used.


  • You will need to go to Search/Maintain Booking Screens in iBex, which you will find under the Website Feed heading. If you do not see this option then please email support@seekom.com and ask to be upgraded to out new front booking screens.

  • Click on the orange New Template button at the top right of the page.

  • You will then see a popup box, and you should select the New Template (Single Property) option.



General Settings


GENERAL SECTION



Field completion instructions below.


Template Name: This will be displayed on the front booking screen (if set to on the styling tab) the customer will see and also the previous overview screen


Property: Select which property this template will apply to


Display Summary: Select position of top, bottom, both or hide.


This is the overview screen which is on the extras, visitor details and payment screens on the front booking screen, it shows dates booked, amount of guests, price, extras total, accommodation total and then the overall total.


Adult Label: Amend default text as required.


Child Label: Amend default text as required.


Infant Label: Amend default text as required.


Show Extra Category: Select option of First Expanded, All Expanded or All Collapsed.


On the extras screen when first opened you can choose whether to have the categories to be expanded, collapsed or just the first expanded - i.e Transport and all running transports could be expanded but you could have a subsequent category of Miscellaneous items (guide books, tT-shirts, etc) collapsed.


FILTER OPTIONS SECTION


Click + adjacent to section title to expand if required (see image below).
                                                        



Field completion instructions below.


Order Selector: Select option for room ordering.


This controls the order you would like your room types displayed on the booking screen. Choose to Show or Hide (which will set random ordering).
Selecting show will use the room order set in iBex as a default, or you can over ride by selecting in the drop down selector (see image below).



Room Selector: Set options as required.


This field controls the maximum units allowed to be booked in a booking. Select to Show or Hide this option. The subsequent numeric entry fields set the maximum bookable by Public and then Agents.


Promo Code Field: Set to show or hide as required.


The Promo Code field will show at the bottom of the Guest Details page of the booking process. To set up a promo code, you will need to ensure that this iBex Add-On is enabled in for your account. Please contact Seekom Support directly for Promo Code activation. For help setting up a Promo Code, please go to the following link: http://seekom.freshdesk.com/solution/articles/231565-promo-codes


ADDITIONAL OPTIONS SECTION


Click + adjacent to section title to expand if required (see image below).
                                        



Field completion instructions below.


To make the booking process easier for repeat guests you may wish to bypass the credit card option when they book as below:


Credit Cards: Set as required.


If set as ‘Unticked’ the payment screen will be bypassed. If set as ‘Ticked’ one of the following options will be presented

  • No deposit:  iBex Vault screen will be displayed for credit card entry.
  • Deposit or full payment:  Payment gateway screen or iBex Vault screen will be displayed for credit card entry- depending on whether or not you have a payment gateway connected (eg. DPS, SagePay, etc.).

Combine Min Stays: Set as required.


Combine minimum stays on the calendar into one row rather than having all minimum nights stays on separate rows on the front booking screen.


 Full Rate: Set to show or hide as a required.


Often known in the industry as a rack rate, this is the rate at which the room is sold at it’s highest price (ie. full occupancy and peak season or event pricing).
The rate is set in the Rack Rate field on the Property Maintenance > Search/Maintain Room Types > then select a room.


Hot Deal Flags: Set to show or hide as required and then configure (if show is selected).


There are 3 options of different ‘Flame’ styles to choose from, these will appear on the front booking screen once the rate has ‘dropped’ the set % below the full room rate set (refer full rate field above).


Promo Text: Enter as required.


Replaces the current Lead in Special field which was set on the property page. Styling and images entry (through HTML) is supported.



Guest Fields Tab



Field completion instructions below.


To make it easier for your repeat guests to book, you can limit the amount of mandatory fields that you require when they are booking. If you require additional information then you can send out an auto email after the booking to collect extra information.


LEAD GUEST SECTION


Confirm Email: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.


Mandatory means email address must be entered twice, optional means email address can optionally be entered a second time, hide means no field for second entry of email address is presented.


First Name: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
Last Name: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
Daytime Ph No: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
Mobile Ph No: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
Fax: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
Postal Address: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
Suburb/Town: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
City/Town: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
Post Code: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
Country: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.


All above in reference to lead guest making the booking.


GUESTS BY ROOM SECTION


Guest Names: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.
ETA: Select from options of Optional, Mandatory or Hide.


On completion of all fields, select 'Next' button to proceed to Confirmation tab .



Confirmation Tab


Field completion instructions below.


CONFIRMATION SCREEN SECTION



Enter/amend text here to display on the final booking stage -  confirmation. Styling and images entry (through HTML) is supported.



CANCELLATION SCREEN SECTION



Here you can enter/ modify text displayed on the booking cancellation screen (if you have enabled online cancellation).


FACEBOOK LIKE BUTTON SECTION



Your facebook URL is your facebook page address commencing with https:// - for example Seekom's is https://www.facebook.com/seekomibex


TWITTER FOLLOW BUTTON SECTION



To enable your Twitter follow button you enter only your Twitter account ID (not your full Twitter URL) - for example seekom


CONFIRMATION EMAIL SECTION



Brochure Link: Check if you wish a link to your brochure to be sent with booking confirmation email.


Unit details on receipt: Check if required.


Confirmation Email from: Set as to whom the confirmation email will show as coming from.


On completion of all fields, select 'Next' button to proceed to Styling tab.



Styling Tab


GENERAL STYLES SECTION


Field completion instructions below.


Click + adjacent to section title to expand if required (see image below).
                                                    



Loading Message: Set text you wish to display while the booking screen is loading.


Booking Screen Title: Select from options Hide, Use Property Title, Use Template Title (per General fields tab).


Pages to Show Title: If the Booking Screen Title has not been set as hidden, select on which booking screens you wish the title to appear.


Alter other fields in this section to set colours and font styles as desired.


CALENDAR STYLES SECTION


Click + adjacent to section title to expand if required (see image below).
                        



No of Days to Display: Set how many days you wish to appear.


Alter other fields in this section to set colours and font styles as desired.


EXTRAS SELECTION STYLES SECTION


Click + adjacent to section title to expand if required (see image below).
    



Extra Default View: Set initial style as required.


Your website visitor can change extra layout to suit their viewing preference. If you have loaded extra images we would recommend selecting list & grid, or grid view as providing a better wow response to aid in up-selling extras.


Alter other fields in this section to set colours and font styles as desired.


BUTTON STYLES SECTION


Click + adjacent to section title to expand if required (see image below).
                                                        



Set button labels, hover tips, colours and font styles as desired.


ADDITIONAL WIDGETS SECTION


Click + adjacent to section title to expand if required (see image below).
                                            



All fields in the Additional Widgets section style the booking progress indicator at the top of the booking screen.


Step Widget Line Thickness: Adjust as required (units are px).


Step Widget Line Colour: Adjust as required.


Step Widget Line Colour: Adjust as required.


Pages to Show Steps: Select pages on which progress indicator should be displayed.


Show Step Widget: Select to show or hide booking progress.


On completion of all fields, select 'Next' button to proceed to Advanced Filters tab.



Advanced Filters Tab


Field completion instructions below.



This is very useful to tell where bookings are coming from if you operate secondary websites and/or landing pages and you wish to track/compare their success.


Rooms: Select which rooms you wish to appear in the booking screen (default will be all selected).


Rates: Select which rates you wish to appear in the booking screen (default will be all selected).


Days Offset: Set how many days from today as the start date for the booking screen.


0 = today. Your prospective guest can alter dates to suit.


Allow Same Day?: Check if you wish to allow same day bookings.


Bypass Extras: Check if you wish to hide the extras selection screen.


Repeat Calendar Header: Set number of rows after which date headers should repeat.


If you have lot of room types/rates this will aid prospective guest in not having to scroll back up to check dates.


Adult is Required in Every Room?: Default state is checked.


De-checking means you will allow rooms to be booked without an adult. You can still specify that there must be an adult in each booking (see below).


Required in Booking: Select 'Adult' (default state) or 'Adult or Child'.


Use Address Auto-Complete: Select Yes to use the Google address auto complete option



Custom Scripts Tab


Field completion instructions below.


CUSTOM FIELDS SECTION



Complete custom fields if you wish to add further fields to the booking screen which will be included in the booking record.


SCRIPT/TRACKING CODE SECTION



Google Analytics ID: Enter if applicable and check 'Ecommerce Tracking'.


Customise CSS: Enter custom CSS if desired.


Entry of custom CSS should not be attempted unless you have at least a fundamental knowledge of CSS.


Click the Save Desktop Template button to save your booking screen template.



Mobile Booking Screens Settings


The mobi booking screen is not a separate template in that each full booking screen template has separately configurable mobi settings.


If you have the new generation booking screens active in your website then the mobi booking screen will automatically be presented to website visitors using small screen devices.


While you may not need to make any changes we recommend at the very least you set the web address to return to your website from the mobi booking screen (General Tab > Additional Options Section) and ensure font sizes are sufficiently large enough (Styling Tab > General Styles Section). This and more will be covered in the instructions below.


To switch to the Mobile booking screen template select the option as below:



More step by step instructions are available - please click here to view.


You are now ready to add your new booking screen template to your website.



Add to Website


CMSWebsite2Go Instructions


If you are using a CMSWebsite2Go website, then it is easy to add your new booking screen template to your website.

  • First you will need to create a new page in your website.

  • From your website Dashboard menu, go to Pages -> Add New Page.


  • Give your new page a Title.



  • If you do not want this new page to be visible to all customers (so it will not show in your website menu), you can untick the option to include this new page in lists of pages as below.

  • Next you will need to get the iBex Booking Screen Template ID. To do this go to Search/Maintain Booking Screens in iBex, and note the ID to the left of the booking screen template you have set up in the previous steps (or any existing booking screen template ID).



  • Now going back to your newly created website page, under the Page Type section you will need to select the Extra Content to be iBex Booking Screen (calendar). Once you select this, then another field will appear to allow you to enter a Template ID, here you need to add the Booking screen ID that we have gathered in the previous step as below (or any existing booking screen template ID). You will also need to add the Agent ID that we have set up in the first step.



  • You can now Publish the page as below.



  • You can now click View Page to view your new booking screen page, and copy the URL as you will need this if you are going to set up an email template in iBex so that you can market your promotion through emails.



Other Website Hosting Instructions


If you have a website that is not hosted with Seekom, then you will likely need assistance from your Web Developer to add your new booking screen page to your website.

  • First you will need the code for the new booking screen template. To do this go to Search/Maintain Booking Screens in iBex. Here all of your booking screen templates will show, and you will need to select Generate Code next to the new booking screen template we have set up previously.

       

  • You will then get a popup box where you can select the Agent ID hat we have set up in the first step.

       

  • Next click on Show iFrame Code and copy the code as below.

       

  • If you have a Content Managed Website then you may be able to add this code to your website, otherwise you will need to consult with your web developer and provide them with the code from the previous step.



Promote Your Special


You can view our demonstration page here. You will notice if you make a booking that a Mandatory Extra will be added to the booking automatically as we have set up in step 1.


Now that you have set up your new Agent Booking Screens, and added this to your website, all that is left to do is to promote your new special.

  • You could utilise Email Templates in iBex to send a link to your promotional booking page to any future or past guests.

We are planning an enhancement - Task Scheduler - that will allow you to essentially use iBex for marketing emails (and much more). It will allow you to select guests based on your filter options, such as all guests that have previously booked through online agents. You will then be able to select to send an email to this group.

For now you can use Retrieve & Search Bookings and use the Filter option to generate a list of your desired marketing group. You can then Export this and use the export with any email marketing software such as MailChimp.



  • You could deploy an Adwords campaign to help reach your target market. This is typically what online giants such as Booking.com will use, as it ensures that your Ad will be placed towards the top of the Search Results when a customer searches in Google by your chosen search term such as below.

       

  • You could create any promotional marketing print material to send to your target market. This could include a QR Code which allows your customers to scan on any smartphone and be taken to your new promotional website page.