Travelers today do deep online research in order to find the best hotels that meets their needs and price expectations before they make a reservation. From visiting influencer profiles who have the power to affect decisions to online reputation platforms which make a big impact in the decision-making process, consumers tend to double-check things in more detail during their pre-purchase routine.
But that is not all, they assume this process to be easy and fast from start to end — and here this is where hoteliers have the opportunity to gain direct bookings and achieve better revenue performance during peak and off-peak seasons.
Do you know how long the booking process takes on your website? How easy it is? And most importantly, have you tested it on all devices? If not, do so urgently and think about how to cut out any unnecessary steps and how the online booking experience can be optimized to reduce booking abandonments on your site.
It is vital for hotels to step up their strategy to improve their online reservation system so that it always provides customers with the best prices and experience when booking directly through their website. In the digital era, it is not acceptable having limitations of mobile booking sites, making them switch and book on other devices due to a non-responsive website or due to the big number of the steps a traveler has to take in order to make a reservation.
A well invested hotel booking engine will drive online bookings and help your business to shine online. Take note of these three key components that you can’t miss:
Currency & Language Variations
As a hotelier that is welcoming guests from all over the world, your reservation platform needs to be accessible from abroad and can show your room rates in a local currency. Consequently, your site should also be available in different languages during the payment process — otherwise, you are likely to lose them on the booking journey as they will simply make a purchase from a different provider that is more accessible for them.
Customizable Abandonment Messaging
The number of unfinished booking sessions can also be reduced by serving customizable abandonment messages. For example, should a user attempts to leave the booking process before checkout, a customizable pop-up can be shown to encourage the user to continue. Furthermore, if an email address has been captured before the user is idle or attempts to navigate away from the booking process, the customer can receive an automated email prompting them to continue their journey from a hyperlink that picks them up right where they left off.
Profile Management Tools
Particularly for repeat bookers, providing a more personalized service throughout the booking process is a must. Profile management tools allow users to set up and maintain a guest profile which can be used for express check-out, to access loyalty benefits and manage their past, current & future reservations among other things. Therefore, ask your customers to create profiles and then use the data to personalize and enhance the guest experience even before they stay at your property.
To learn more about which main features your reservation system needs to be sleek and responsive, and to turn room rates into room nights, read here for the key back- and front-end features that can solve your direct booking dilemmas.