How to Reduce Booking Abandonment in 2 Simple Steps3 min read
The global online travel booking abandonment rate has peaked at over 90% this year. Hoteliers must do more to optimize their booking process and incentivize online visitors to make direct reservations.
But as any hotelier will testify, customer demand often outweighs the capacity to deliver a seamless booking experience. Upon analyzing our database of 6,000 service users, booking engine conversions average just 3% or less.
So the big question is, how can we convert the 97% of visitors that only view your website once only to disappear without a trace?
This article will focus on two simple tried and proven techniques to convert your booking engine visitors into reservations.
How To Reduce Booking Abandonment in 2 Simple Steps
Although many hoteliers boast some of the most desirable properties, many miss the opportunity to resonate with online visitors at a personal level. Many more struggle with communicating the value they have to offer guests.
The good news is that nowadays hoteliers have a wide range of tools at their disposal to personalize the customer experience and drive website visitors into the e-commerce funnel.
If you already have a visually-appealing website in place, you are on the right track toward capturing the attention of your online visitors. But if you are still struggling to convert online visitors into reservations, these two simple changes could make all the difference:
1. Shopping Activation
Shopping Activation is a website widget that utilizes real-time e-commerce information to incentivize online visitors to check your booking engine. A Good example of shopping activation in action comes in the form of a ´dynamic widget´ featured on a hotel website.
A dynamic widget can be easily embedded into any webpage or pages of a third party website. These are typically displayed as a pop-up message to incentivize visitors to complete further actions on your website or booking engine.
For example, a dynamic widget informing visitors that a room was ‘Just booked’ has been shown to lift direct bookings by nearly 50%, according to our research.
2. Shopping Recovery
Shopping recovery, on the other hand, targets booking engine visitors with a low engagement ratio on your website. For one property group we work with, this technique yielded a lift of nearly 60% in booking engine visitor conversions.
This means when your website browser detects that a visitor is about to abandon the booking process midway, that same user will receive a personalized message requesting their email address in exchange for an exclusive offer.
The beauty of this shopping recovery method is that you can use the contact information provided to send personalized emails to the visitor with a link to the booking engine. This, in turn redirects them to their original booking process, with the dates and special offer pre-selected.
The Results Speak For Themselves
By deploying these two simple strategies, we have been able to vastly improve booking engine conversion rates for the hoteliers we work with, with some experiencing over 60% increases in direct reservations.
With competition fiercer than ever, it is crucial that hoteliers keep their booking engine visitors engaged in order to drive conversions.
Resonating with visitors through concise and visually impactful personalized messages is just one of many ways that you can stay ahead of the competition in today’s digital hotel marketing landscape.
About The Author
Filipe Machaz is the Co-Founder and Vice President of GuestCentric, and currently looks after our North American market. He specializes in revenue optimization and management, hotel management, e-Commerce, and direct booking solutions. Prior to his current role at GuestCentric, Filipe was Senior UI Product Manager at Corvil, where he designed and developed user interfaces that maximized productivity and efficiency for the end-users.
Want to Improve Your Booking Engine Conversions?
At GuestCentric, we act as an extension of your hotel´s marketing team to help you boost your organic online presence and drive direct reservations. Contact our support team to find out more about how we can generate the best results for your hotel!