Here’s How Easy Your Booking Engine Should Be
Real talk: Booking on a lot of hotel websites is pretty bad.
The process often involves many different pages and places of confusion. Some booking engines even take users to separate websites! The hassle of hunting, figuring, and data entry often leads your potential guests to bounce — they leave and book on one of those OTAs like booking.com instead… which means you lose a substantial amount to commission costs. That is, if they even bother booking with your hotel at all. If they book with a hotel that has an easier-to-use website, then you earn zero. Damn. That is pretty bad. BUT…
We know that you can be way more awesome than that!
How about this scenario instead:
Great user experience
The customer experience is nice and easy.
The booking button is ever-present and right where you’d expect it to be. When designing websites, we tend to make the call to action button (book now) a complimentary color as that of the rest of the page. Check it out, and you will see the difference a slight color change will make.
Incentives for direct booking are apparent; you’ve got perks, special offers, etc so folks know that they should book on your website for the best value, and not elsewhere.
Clear accommodation details & options
When people search for a specific date range only available accommodations are shown and they’re easy to compare. Also under each room type, additional details are available in clear, concise bullet points; they don’t get in the way or overwhelm with long paragraphs.
Clearly show prices and fees
Make sure your price breakdown is available, so visitors know exactly what they’re paying for. Springing surprise charges on your guests is never a good way to promote guest loyalty and return business.
Reservations happen on your site
Once your guest chooses their room type and dates, the booking then happens on the same page — right on your own website — nice and easy. It’s even pretty simple to book on a mobile device.
Seamlessly include upsells and add-ons
It’s completely appropriate also offer any options, add-ons, or upsells right alongside the booking process, so the guest can easily include them with their purchase. No extra calls or inquiries need to be made.
Your guests want to make sure everything went through as it should, therefore confirmation happens right on this page and the guest receives an email confirmation as well. Done! What a breeze.
In just a minute or two, you’ve got a new direct booking. Congrats!
Still wondering what this looks like in action? Take a look at a sneak peek from True Blue Bay Boutique Resort’s website. They’ve got all of this coming along in spades, and it’s pretty stunning!
Does this seem like a pretty far stretch from your own website’s booking process? Not to worry. We’d be happy to take a look and give you some pointers! Give us a shout out and let’s get started.