For marketers, managers and hoteliers, abandonment at the checkout stage can be a real hassle. According to a research, around 81% of online visitors abandon the process at the booking stage in the travel industry. At a time when hoteliers are under pressure to increase direct revenue, this is a real thorn.
But don’t lose hope yet – a lot of these visitors do intend to return. You just have to turn that intention to a decision.
Here’s how you can do that.
Issue no. 1 – Just browsing
More than half of website visitors don’t even have a fixed destination in mind when they’re browsing your page. They’re just looking for their idea of a dream vacation. They passively browse through photos, prices, and deals.
Just because visitors are passive doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be active. There are still plenty ways you can inspire visitors to plan their next vacation.
Take the lead by using amazing visuals. Like I’ve said in my previous blogs, tell, or rather show your hotel’s story on the website. Know more about your target guests, and tailor content and imagery accordingly. You can show a story about the great location of your property, the emphasis on a comfortable stay, etc.
Convince them that NOW is the time to travel, that they deserve that break from their busy schedule. This can help the visitor take the decision to travel – and if he does, yours will be the property of choice.
Issue no. 2 – Price
Not surprising, is it? Most of the visitors abandon the booking process when they reach the billing stage. They may find it too expensive or low value, or may be put off by the final tax-inclusive cost.
I’ve 3 ideas to avoid this abandonment cause –
- Don’t shy away from heavily advertising your special offers. Visitors are always on the lookout for a great deal, so display whatever promotional deals or loyalty programs you have clearly.
- Show all inclusive prices, such as taxes and other charges. Nobody likes bad surprises, so display such costs upfront.
- Include a currency converter widget or link in your website. Many of your guests will be from foreign countries (hopefully!), and may find conversion of costs inconvenient. Don’t let this situation arise!
Issue no. 3 – Forms, surveys and too many questions (It’s like exam time again for visitors!)
Asking guests and visitors to fill in some information in forms and surveys is a great idea – I agree. But the process doesn’t have to be so long, complicated, and intrusive!
First of all – stay clear of asking any personal information. Also, make the process short and simple, and do away with any unnecessary question. Lastly, make sure the questionnaire appears AFTER the booking is complete. The idea is to ensure that the booking process requires the minimum number of clicks.
Issue no. 4 – Bad website design
This one seems the obvious problem, yet it’s frustratingly the most common. How will you encourage guests to book with you, especially the millennials, when your first impression has glaring errors?
The first thing I want you to do is check your mobile website. The number of users visiting your mobile website is increasing day by day, and it makes no sense to not invest in it. The common problem I see is the excruciatingly long amount of time it takes to load the website. Invest in a visually appealing mobile optimized website with a seamless booking process. As I’ve written before, Google’s algorithm now also prefers mobile optimized websites, so look forward to improved organic search results as well. Browse through http://m.lemontreehotels.com/ to take inspiration.
I’d written a blog on the website crimes that should result in capital punishment; you can check it out here – https://goo.gl/jNxD5d
Guys, just some small, quick fixes can go a long way in improving your booking process. As a hotelier, you should do everything in your power to make the process as seamless as possible. Strive to create a visually appealing, fast, and mobile optimized website. Get on it ASAP, and check out the #AskAviArya show after that – https://goo.gl/8fuoy2