Booking a hotel room shouldn’t be complex, and doesn’t require any more details than the average ecommerce purchase. 94% of people abandon a booking online because of the quality of the website they’re using.
70% of survey respondents say they rely on images to learn about a hotel, but so few sites do this well. This is a great opportunity for anyone who does have professionally photographed images beautifully displayed on their site and tell a unique story to engage the user emotionally.
1. Make it simple, short and clean
What they want is to be able to find the ‘book’ button quickly, to be offered concise information that helps them make a decision, and to be able to get through the payment in as few clicks as possible.
2. Photos, photos, photos
Many find too much text overwhelming and off-puttng. Photos should be a hotelier’s best friend and ‘show don’t tell’ should be the general rule. It’s easier to absorb a picture than read four paragraphs of words.
3. Show me lots of dates
Before showing prices, make it easy to select dates. Transparency is a key factor in building better relationships with guests, provide guests with a clear view on all the information they need to accurately compare choices when booking.
4. The price isn’t right if it’s not in my currency
53% of people told us that they are frustrated by being shown prices in currencies other than their own. Bookers find themselves confused by prices that switch currency from one page to the next, or when they were unable to locate a button to switch to the currency they wanted.
5. Reassure me
Reassurance is something OTAs focus heavily on. The ‘book’ button will read ‘show deals’, percentage discounts are referenced repeatedly and our bookers were shown up to five messages reassuring them that they were getting the best price. ‘It’s telling me how much I’m saving, which is good to know.’
6. Tell me what more I could have
Personalisation is a growing trend and 68% of people said it is useful when they are shown what upgrades they can pay for during the booking process. Some bookers liked sites which gave them options for add-ons, but it’s not for everyone. Make sure lists are short and easy to skip if necessary.
7. Shorten the delay in gratification
Becoming trusted starts with ensuring that people have a strong sense of your brand. In some instances the change between a hotel’s website and the booking engine can be quite pronounced – our bookers gave positive feedback for booking engines that carried through elements of the brand, either through design or photos. It helped keep the levels of energy and anticipation high throughout the booking process.
8. Let me use my Facebook log in
Social login is a core facet of Airbnb. It both speeds up the process of logging-in and provides them with powerful social data. Booking.com have also started provided a Facebook login op?on. 26% of people told us they would use a Facebook log in if it was available on a hotel booking site and it comes as no surprise that this was higher among younger age groups.