Your website is your best sales tool2 min read
Hi, I have been thinking about writing this blog entry for a while because I believe it is important to understand the meaning of a good website. Many studies reveal that e-commerce failure is related among other things to these three aspects: website appearance, hotel information and website security.
In order for a website to be successful it should transmit to the visitors the look and feel of the property. This is particularly important for the independent hotels since most of the success of their business comes from the personal experience provided to their customers. This personalized experience should not start when the guest arrives to the property but from the moment the visitor opens the website of the property.
When you look at websites from hotel chains you can notice that they have a couple of things in common: the way the information is presented, the ease to move around the website (navigation) and the simplicity of the information. GuestCentric conducted a series of research to different websites trying to understand the website patterns of hotel chains vs. independent hotels. It didn’t take a long time to arrive to the following conclusion: while chain hotels create their website based on different usability tests that cost a lot of money, independent hotels create their website based on their good feelings and recommendations from different people. As customers, we create purchase patterns and we don’t feel at ease when they are broken. Take a look at your website and make sure your main menu provides a good navigation flow, that your menus are easy to access, that the information about your property is accurate and to the point and that your pictures are of good quality.
“My husband and I have just returned from our honeymoon in Sagres. We stayed at Memmo Baleeira for a week, and I can honestly say we loved it. I’m always a bit wary when hotel websites are as professional as the Memmo one, as all too often they don’t live up to the impression they give online. However, in this case the opposite is true – the hotel was everything we expected from our website research.” (comment posted by a customer of Memmo Baleeira Hotel on TripAdvisor: September 4, 2008)
Talking about e-commerce security is not easy; if your website doesn’t transmit confidence to the visitor they will never feel comfortable booking directly with you. Even if you have certificates that provide a secure website! According to a study conducted by Forrester Research 31% of US online leisure travelers hesitate when sharing their personal information, if on top of that you add a website appearance that is not trust worthy your e-commerce is doomed to fail. That is why a professional design and security shields are of extreme importance in a website.
Think of your website as your best sales representative and not as a brochure!