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Blog and News

China Union Pay

clock July 28, 2014 14:51 by author Jody

We're thrilled to be the first online booking engine in New Zealand to accept payment via China Union Pay cards.  You can read more about it here, and the list of operators that can now be booked (online bookings only) with a China Union Pay card are:

Nationwide
Travelbug (Accommodation nationwide)
Adrenalin Forest (Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington)
Canoe & Kayak Tours (Hamilton, Taupo & Taranaki)
Devine Rentals (Auckland & Wellington)
Kiwi Experience
NZ Ski (Queenstown & Mt Hutt)
O'Neill Surf Academy (Northland & Matakana Coast)
Precision Helicopters - Scenic Flights (Pio Pio, Urenui, Blenheim & Hokitika)
Wine, Art & Wilderness (Marlborough & Nelson)
Zest Food Tours (Auckland, Wellington & Martinborough) 

Akaroa

Akaroa Dolphins
Akaroa Shuttle
Banks Track
Shamarra Alpacas


Auckland
Airbus Express
Auckland Sea Kayaks
Fourforty Mountain Bike Park
Hauraki Moments
HikeBikeAko Waiheke Island
Muriwai Beach Horse Treks
NZWINEPRO - Auckland Wine Tours
Sky Jump & Sky Walk
Spookers
The Red Boats
Zombie Survival Challenge


Bay of Islands
Adventure Puketi - Guided Kauri Forest Walks


Cambridge
Camjet Boat Tours


Canterbury
Big Rock Canyons


Christchurch
Christchurch Bike Tours
Christchurch Segway Tours
Redbus Rebuild Tours
Snowman Shuttles
Welcome Aboard - Punting, Gondola, Tram


Clive
Boutique Horsetreks


Coromandel
Cathedral Cove Kayak Tours


Dunedin
Larnach Castle


Fox Glacier
Skydive Fox Glacier


Gisborne
East Bro Tours


Haast
Waiatoto River Safari


Kawhia
Kawhia Ocean Beach Horse Riding Treks


Mangatanoka
Tui Brewery


Methven
Methven Travel


Napier
Tailored Travel Hawke's Bay


Nelson
Economy Campers 2014


Paihia
Horse Trek'n
Tango Jet Ski Tours & Tango Island Boat Tours
Total Tours


Picton
Beachcomber Fun Cruises


Queenstown
Arrow Expeditions
Coronet Peak Tandem Paragliding & Hang Gliding
Glenorchy Air
KJet
Southern Discoveries


Rotorua
Happy Ewe Tours
Lake Tarawera Water Taxi & Eco Tours
OGO Rotorua


Stewart Island
Ulva Island Guided Walks


Taupo
Anarchy Boarding Park
Sail Barbary


Te Anau
Fiordland Horse Treks

Tongariro National Park
Adrift Guided Outdoor Adventures


Waimarino
Waimarino


Waitomo
Waitomo Caves


Wanaka
Ridgeline Adventures
U-Fly Wanaka
Wanaka Parasailing
Wanaka Wine Tours


Wellington
Capital Personalised Tours
Carter Observatory
Seal Coast Safari
Steam Inc
Wellington Extra Tours


Whanganui
Paddlesteamer Waimarie

Website health check

clock February 28, 2014 15:40 by author Jody

An operator recently contacted me wanting to know how to increase bookings and when I had a look at their website, I couldn't even see how to make a booking, and I consider myself pretty tech-savvy!
When was the last time you looked at your own website through the eyes of your customer? It’s important to ensure your website is a clear representation of your business as you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Do a self-audit of your site
There are plenty of companies who will charge to do an audit of your website, but with a keen eye and some helpful tips you can make some simple changes that may increase traffic and potential bookings at no cost.

The following are some questions you should be asking yourself about your website:
  • What is the first thing you notice when you visit your website? Is this what you are trying to portray to your customers?
  • Is it obvious where customers can make a booking and how? Ideally the booking page should be no more than 2 clicks away
  • Do all the links work?
  • Have you integrated Facebook & twitter so people can easily like your product and see what others have written about you?

Make it work on mobile devices
As screens get smaller through the use of smartphones and tablets it’s important to view your website from these devices to see how your website reacts. A common issue is a website may work perfectly on a desktop computer, yet on a mobile device with touch capabilities the user experience is just plain horrible.
Here at Trade Me, 50% of our traffic now comes from mobile devices and this is something a business needs to consider as smartphone use continues to increase.

Keep track of your site analytics
If you want to get into the nitty gritty of your website you could sign up with Google Analytics to give you data on what visitors are doing on your site, which pages they spend the most time on and numbers of visitors. More importantly, though, is to track your bookings back to referral source to see which sources are most valuable.

Customise the bookings pages
Another way to enhance the booking experience for your customers is with a custom template. This matches the BookIt booking page with the look and feel of your website to give your customers a seamless booking experience. It adds an element of trust to your site as the customers feel like they haven’t even left your site. Check out Akaroa Dolphins, Sailbarbary and Discover Waitomo as examples of custom templates in action.

Some other tips:
  • Don’t forget to add the BookIt facebook booking button to gain additional booking exposure
  • Increase the value of each booking by using BookIt add-on’s. These can be anything at all and our most popular add-ons include packed lunches, additional tours, photo/video packs, transfers or even t-shirts.
  • Don’t forget to check out the competition to see how your website compares to theirs. Is it obvious to a customer comparing both sites why yours is better and offers something different?
  • It doesn’t have to cost the earth to build your site. Sites like Weebly offer free website building tools, or hosting with Go Daddy even the totally un-technical can be the master of their website domain.

  • What have you done recently to improve your site? Share your ideas with us.

    Cheers,
    Jade

Updating your photos

clock October 8, 2013 12:43 by author Jody

Login to your BookIt, go to SETUP, then EDIT BUSINESS. Click on IMAGE GALLERY:

* It's easy to load new images, just choose your file and then click CONTINUE and repeat, until you've loaded them all.  NB Maximum size is 4MB.

* Here you can view your current photos.  If you want to change the one you currenlty have set as the 'Key Image', simply find the image you want as a the main one then click on 'Set as Key Image' and click CONTINUE.

* You can also easily change the order of your photos, simply number them 1, 2, 3 etc and like magic they'll order themselves - so long as you click CONTINUE.

 

We recommend at least 8-10 photos. If you are an accommodation operator, your listing will be pulling through to Travelbug and it's essential that you have a minimum of 4 photos, as these 4 photos are the first thing a potential guest will see.

Example of how to do it right:

Example of how not to do it:

 

Updating your photos

clock October 8, 2013 12:43 by author Jody

Login to your BookIt, go to SETUP, then EDIT BUSINESS. Click on IMAGE GALLERY:

It's easy to load new images, just choose your file and then click CONTINUE and repeat, until you've loaded them all.  NB Maximum size is 4MB.

Here you can view your current photos.  If you want to change the one you currenlty have set as the 'Key Image', simply find the image you want as a the main one then click on 'Set as Key Image' and click CONTINUE.

You can also easily change the order of your photos, simply number them 1, 2, 3 etc and like magic they'll order themselves - so long as you click CONTINUE.

Email confirmation text

clock September 19, 2013 08:47 by author Jody

Login to your BookIt, go to SETUP, then EDIT BUSINESS.  Scroll toward the bottom of the page and you'll see:

Click on Configure email templates:

The information you type into the Email text box will print on every confirmation for a guest/customer who books through a site using BookIt.

 

FOR ACCOMMODATION OPERATORS ONLY:

All guests who book through Travelbug receive a Pre-travel email from us, 72 hours prior to their arrival.

Directly underneath the box for email confirmations, there's another box where you can choose to enter a message that will print on these arrival emails:

 

If you have any questions, please contact us support@bookit.co.nz 

Using BookIt in your own website

clock September 10, 2013 16:16 by author Jody

It's simple and FREE to set up a BookIt BOOK NOW button in your own website.

Login to your BookIt account and on the dashboard you will see this:

Click on Booking buttons and it will bring up the following screens, with 3 options:

The third option is suitable if you already have a BOOK NOW button, but no booking engine.  All you need to do now is copy the relevant HTML code and paste it into your website and you'll be able to take bookings directly.

There is a small commission payable on bookings made through the BookIt link in your own website - just 4.5%, and this includes the credit card processing fee.

NO SET UP FEE AND NO CONTRACTS! If you have any questions, please do email us support@bookit.co.nz

Cancellation Policies

clock September 3, 2013 10:05 by author Jody

We recommend you have at least one cancellation policy against each room type/product, as without them a guest can cancel at anytime without penalty.

To check what you have loaded, go to Setup / Edit Business / Cancellation Policies; you’ll be able to see all cancellation policies at a glance…

If you want to add new policies, click on Add cancellation policy…

You can choose from:

·         Loss of fixed amount – you specify the amount

·         Loss of % of booking – you specify the percentage

·         Loss of x nights – you specify how many nights

You will notice there's also the option to add a policy for a specifc date range only (eg Christmas & New Year).

Important to Note:

1. If you have duplicate cancellation policies, like in this example…

And the guest cancels, you would need to honour the lesser of the penalties.  So in this example, even though it’s a non-flexible room and therefore non-refundable, you would need to honour the 24 hour cancellation policy.

2. Simply noting your cancellation policy in your property description, isn't enough.  When a guest books, they tick a box to confirm they agree to the cancellation policy and this refers to your set up as above, and will override anything you may have written in your property description.

Rate Seasons – what’s their function?

clock August 27, 2013 14:35 by author Jody

Rate Seasons – what’s their function?

Have you ever logged into your BookIt account and wondered why your inventory looks like this?

If so, this is because you don’t have Rate Seasons loaded for any/some dates.

Rate Seasons are essential if you don’t use a Channel Manager to manage your inventory.  If you don’t have Rate Seasons set up, then you won’t be bookable.

·         If you have one rate for each room type throughout the year, or your rates fluctuate daily then the easiest option is to set up a Rate Season that never ends…

 

·         If you have specific seasons, then you can set up multiple Rate Seasons

 

Remember: BookIt inventory can be loaded, and bookable, for 365 days so it’s best to set your multiple rate seasons up for a long way in advance to ensure you’re continuously bookable. It's currently possible to update your rate seasons right up until December 2015!

How to get the most out of 'Billing'

clock August 20, 2013 13:21 by author Jody

Login to your BookIt account and click on Billing...

Billing and Accounts

·         You can see which account your payments will be made to – very important to keep us updated if the bank account changes for any reason.

·          If you receive a payment but don’t know what it’s for, you can look it up here:


_______________________________________________________________________

Bank Account Details

 

·         Here you can see the total amount paid to your account in the past, plus the amount that is waiting to be paid:

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Already paid – Amount that has been paid to this account

·         Click on View amounts and you’ll get a breakdown of payment dates and amounts

 

_______________________________________________________________________

·         Click on any BKT reference and you’ll get a summary of each booking paid in that transaction:

_______________________________________________________________________

·         Click on 'View', after Remittance email and you’ll be able to view the remittance advice that was emailed to you.  If you need another copy of the email, simply click on Resend Email:

_______________________________________________________________________

If your bank details need to be updated, please email or fax a copy of your bank deposit slip, or top part of your bank statement, through to us - support@bookit.co.nz

Cheers!

User Logins

clock August 13, 2013 08:14 by author Jody

It is important to keep the information in your User Login's up-to-date to ensure emails are being sent to the correct person.

___________________________________________________________

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·         The minimum user logins you need is one – Master.  This is perfect for small businesses where all emails, whether a new reservation, remittance advice, or a newsletter, will be sent to one email address

 

·         You can set up multiple email addresses to receive confirmation emails, cancellations & amendments

 

·         It’s simple to amend change your password

 

·         You can even check the Login History of each user (an IP address next to the time means a person physically logged in; no IP address means updates from your Channel Manager)

 

If you get stuck, or have any questions please contact us at support@bookit.co.nz - we're here to help you!



 

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