07 Jun [BLOG IDISO] 7 Steps to achieve more website more direct online booking conversions (II)
In the previous post we start our list of key elements for your web becomes more and generate more bookings. Here we complete the list we leave the last recommendations
5) YOUR BOOKING ENGINE: THE KEY TO DIRECT SALES
Your booking engine must show information in a clear, complete way, allowing bookings with as few steps as possible, it must be optimised for any device, have PCI security certificates and incorporate the most advanced of today’s features, responding to present booking needs.
But all this will be useless if you don’t offer the best price. Hoteliers must be sure that users can’t find their rooms at a better price through an online agency. It is now always easy to control parity, but price chaos is a direct invitation to book anywhere else but your website. Beyond the prices, hotels must at least equal the payment or cancellation policies that other intermediaries offer. They can also include incentives for direct bookings, like upgrades, offers of added value, or small details that the client won’t find through an online agency, always with the aim of getting users to book through your direct channel.
All said, it is possible that at some time your user has visited your website, not found what they are searching for and booked through an OTA, those masters of conversion who never waste a chance. It is an unforgivable error for you to let these show your hotel off better than you do.
6) BE PERSUASUVE
With the aim of encouraging conversion, we can add interactive solutions to our own website. These range from widgets that compare your hotel prices on the OTA’s with your own website prices, giving the user the confidence that they are booking at the best price, without having to leave the website, to windows that show comments from TripAdvisor or Trivago users.
Exit Widgets are also powerful tools, they are notifications that detect the user’s intention to leave the site, offering them an incentive to stay; or Smart Notes, direct powerful messages of added value (free cancelation), or real time notifications regarding the page’s activity (3 users are viewing this room), appealing to the sense of urgency so the user doesn’t lose out.
All these elements have the common aim of making sure your user doesn’t leave the website while searching for information, with the subsequent risk that they will not book though your own website.
7) PERSONALIZATION IN ITS PURIST FORM
There is still a long way to go in this field that offers much potential. Begin by allowing your user to register on your website so you can send personalised content. Get ahead and communicate with your client before they arrive, offer them extra services, local information, or even more, offer them rooms you haven’t managed to sell, this way freeing up rooms with more demand. And don’t forget communication once they have left, it is a good time to ask your client what their experience was like, if it’s positive ask them to share it with their friends and followers, rewarding both the potential visitor and the existing client (10% discount off your next stay).
Personalise your contact centre, showing your user geographic numbers according to their country of origin. And last, but not least, personalise the messages that appear on the website, for example, taking into account the normal abandon rate and the present occupation of the hotel, offer an aggressive discount to stop them leaving.
Technology is advancing at a rate that means hoteliers need to assess their website more often than they’d probably like, they need to adapt and predict web design and development trends. This is an unavoidable fact, but we must never forget: “Above all else: usability and user experience so as to achieve conversion”.
Never lose sight of the fact that the user is at the centre of our strategy and we must understand how they browse, search, compare and book. Every user that visits has shown interest in your hotel, so never miss the chance to convert that interest into a sale with a well-developed website.