How to better convert online direct bookings

Hotel News Now
Independent Insights

REPORT FROM THE U.S.— Shopping-cart abandonment—which occurs when visitors to websites who make it to the booking engine but suddenly leave the site—is a huge problem in the travel industry.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Statista reported an 82.1% rate of shopping-cart abandonment for the travel industry. That was the highest rate of the five sectors observed by the firm.

Whether visitors are jumping ship to book on online travel agencies or simply changing their minds, independent hoteliers who rely on direct bookings to combat high commissions need to invest in their website and booking-engine strategies so that they don’t leave money on the table.

That strategy is even more important when it comes to mobile design, said Becky Rogers, VP of operations for IDM Hospitality Management, which manages several independent hotels in the Midwest. In addition to websites and their booking engines being responsive, they also need to have clear call-to-action buttons that drive visitors to “book now,” she said.

But the placement of those call-to-action buttons is just as important, Rogers said. For example, if the button is at the bottom of the page and therefore takes a lot of swipes to find, chances are site visitors will never click it. A better placement option is the right corner at the top of the site.

“That button is the cash register to the hotel,” Rogers said.

Read full article on Hotel News Now’s website here.