Allocate has been developed by Airspace Software Ltd since 2004. It was designed at the outset to provide a hierarchy so that groups and consortia can manage many properties via one interface without the need to login multiple times. At that time competitor systems were one login per property, they also needed you to create a new room type every time you wanted a new Rate plan which resulted in you having to juggle availability. Allocate has one set of rooms that are referred to by any number of rate plans. Rates are held for each combination of occupants too, not just full occupancy.
Airspace develops with well established technologies, servers are Linux, DB is Postgres and Perl is the underlying language used. The latest booking interface uses media-queries to create self contained widgets which have private style namespace, iframes are not used.
During the booking process when payment is taken a transparent redirect is used to a PCI DSS compliant payment gateway, accordingly card details do not get transmitted through or stored on your servers or the servers used by Airspace, PAN information is inaccessible during the payment process.
Support is provided via online help, email or phone, whichever best suits the customer or is most logical for the query being asked.
When placing a booking you should find what you’re looking for quickly with as few clicks as possible, you should be able to see availability instantly. The whole process needs to be intuitive in order to increase the likelihood of a booking being completed. Mobile devices should scale and display the booking pages automatically.
The booking system must be simple to integrate within the accommodation’s website and you should stay on the accommodation’s server whilst you’re making the booking.
Different properties, products and guests need different styles of booking and several styles may be needed on one website;
- booking by date or price
- booking by room, property or pitch
- booking by discount or package offer
- booking by promo code
The customer must have the flexibility to set restrictions for the length of stays, or set when discounts are available.
Guests should be able to choose supplements or extras specific for each room being booked. They should be clear what stage they are at in the booking process, know what they’ve selected so far and how the price is made up. Confirmation emails should be sent when a booking is completed.
An optional Facebook App should be included on the customer’s Facebook page. Bookings made on the App should be contained on the Facebook page, without the need to jump to a separate browser page.
Cross property availability searches should be an option for groups, whether a Hotel Group or a collection of Apartments, Holiday Villas or Campsites, a guest should be able to check which members of the group have availability in one search.
Conversion tracking must be easily added.
An API must permit the easy transfer of data in and out., it must interface with common channel managers and PMS systems.
Payment processing must be secure and compliant.
The latest version of Allocate delivers all these features, with responsive widgets that can be added to a website’s pages, each gives a different way of finding availability and starting a booking. Each widget is no more than 5 to 10 lines of code.
Added to a page, the widgets take on the theme of the page. You can default the widgets to a number of nights and an occupancy so that there is an immediate display of availability and prices.
Where there is a stay length restriction it is displayed against a date.