Honestly, How Many Clicks Do I Have To Go Through Before I Can Book With You?
Do you feel like you should be getting more bookings through your site than you are?
Do you get the impression that people are dropping off during the booking process?
Your booking process may be deterring more bookings.
Have you actually gone through your own booking process, lately?
Have you counted the number of times you need to click to actually confirm the booking?
Chances are good that the process is uglier than you think.
We took a look at a number of major hotel websites and tested out their actual booking process.
This isn’t an exact science, mind you. It’s something anyone can do — including you. If you take a moment to try this out yourself, you may be surprised at what you find.
Here is one of the most important tidbits from our findings…
- In order to book, the average the number of windows a visitor clicks through is four. We found a few hotels had less, while others had a few more.
You want your booking process to be stress-free — and quick!
While you want booking to be fast as possible, you still need to manage your guests’ expectations by providing all the necessary information to help your guests book the room that they’re looking for. There’s nothing worse than dissatisfied site visitors! They are likely to leave, frustrated.
By the way, here are some important details to include in the booking process, or room info pages:
- Included amenities in the room and hotel
- Information about parking
- Check-in and check-out times
- Max number of people allowed in the room, and if there is an additional charge per person
- The number of bedrooms, beds, bathrooms, etc.
Take a moment to make sure you’re setting clear expectations, as long as you’re reviewing things.
Remove unnecessary hassle.
As you go through your booking process, you want to remove anything that prolongs the booking, or which a potential guest could find deterring. A great example of this is requiring folks to sign up for membership, or to create a profile. You will get their name and email from the booking, so signing up for a membership feels like extra work and could turn some folks away. Of course, after the booking is complete, then you can invite a guest to spend time on that!
Progress bars may seem like a great idea, or they could really hurt you! If you have a quick booking system, it would be beneficial to tell your visitors that they can “book in three easy steps!” Easy-peasy! On the other head, if you require six or seven steps, folks will not respond as well to “book in seven steps.”
Ways to make your booking process quicker and easier.
An easy step is to have guests enter the payment info on the same page as their personal info. You really don’t need to separate these two sections, as the visitor is eager to confirm their booking.
Keep visitors on your site!
We’re also big believers in keeping payment on your own site, and not redirecting to a third party. This is important for you to think about, because you may lose bookings if folks do not recognize the url of the company they are actually booking through. If the booking process is on your site, then you’re also able to completely control the branding, and easily feature specific deals or rooms right on your site.
Have guests submit their information once, only.
There’s nothing people hate more than re-submitting their information. Honestly. Your reservation search fields should remember dates and details. This may seem like a simple detail, but it will create a smooth and stress-free search experience for your visitor.
When we make a website for a hotel, the booking engine is fast, easy, and directly integrated.
As always: if you have any questions, we’re happy to help!