The digital world is changing the way we socialize, the way we shop, the way we travel and yes – the way we make decisions to book hotels.
Your hotel website is no longer just a pretty brochure. Instead you should look at it as an eCommerce platform which would grow your revenue by turning your website traffic into conversions.
Here are some of the key features and best practices in the industry which would play a key role in getting those direct bookings.
1. User Experience
Keep the user experience as simple as possible. You need to have a simple navigation which would make it easier for the customer to click the ‘Book now’ button. The booking system should be intuitive and with a maximum of 3 steps.
Colourful and bold CTAs (Call-to-Action buttons) are a must have on every single page. “Book now”, “Book”, “Reservations” are some examples which have proven to work the best.
A fast website loading time is a must. In fact if it takes for the website more than 40 seconds to load, people tend to abandon that page. In eCommerce every second delay in loading translates into 7% reduction in conversions. So better get your website to be fast!
Responsive design is no longer optional. Mobile is king and its influence on the hospitality industry will continue to grow! The statistics show that 35% of all bookings will be made on mobile devices by 2018!
Some of the most important features that the OTA’s and the eCommerce websites are implementing have a lot to do with people’s psychology and the way people make purchasing decisions online. In short, what they do is CREATING A SENSE OF URGENCY!
How? By using limited time offers, showing limited availability and playing with loss aversion.
By creating exclusive promotions and offers with specific end dates, customers are motivated into making a purchase by only having a limited window to benefit from a special rate.
The limited availability makes a product more desirable. So letting customers know that what they want is dwindling in availability can motivate them into purchasing quickly before the availability runs out.
Triggering an emotional responses is an approach expertly used by Booking.com.
They overload their booking page with constant reminders about losing out. “You missed it” and “last chance!” leave customers in no doubt as to the risky nature of delaying their decision.
Credibility is key in driving conversions and in order to be credible in your consumers’ eyes you need to have the following key features.
88% of customers look at reviews first before they make a purchase! Don’t try to hide negative reviews, you seem to be more credible when your website contains positive as well as negative reviews.
Additionally Make sure that the best price guaranteed is the first thing that your customers see. Highlight and place it next to your booking system. And last but not least prominently display your SSL certificate and display security icons on your checkout page.
One size doesn’t fit all! 86% of consumers stated that personalization impacts the purchases they end up making!
Use a personalization tool to remember travellers’ booking history in order to make relevant offers the next time they come to your website.
Track their in-session activity to understand their behavior and booking habits.
Did you know about those key features? Well, now you do!
If you want to learn more about how to transform your website don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.