Technology has changed the way hotels acquire bookings. With the advent of online bookings, hoteliers have more options for converting leads and generating more revenue. However, it has also created a new issue - online hotel booking abandonment.
It is considered to be a nightmare for hotels. You lose the lead and forgo revenue that you could have gained if it did not keep the reservation on hold. Hotel Booking Abandonment happens when the guest books the hotel but does not complete the booking process i.e abandoning the booking without paying.
This is a loss in revenue since you have kept the room on hold for a customer that did not pay. The same could have been given to the customer that would have paid immediately.
Some common reasons for booking abandonment include a long and tedious booking process, additional charges, checking rate as per dates, technical issues, payment issues etc.
8 Best Ways To Reduce Online Hotel Booking Abandonment
Hotel booking abandonment can hurt your business. However, there are 8 ways to reduce online booking abandonment.
1. Booking Process - Simplify It
One of the first things to do before anything else is to simplify the hotel booking process. Guests feel irritated when they have to go through several, and often unnecessary steps to book a room. Hoteliers need to ensure that the booking process is smooth and easy.
Make it easy for guests to locate the booking engine and select the date, price and availability of the hotel. Reduce the number of pages required for booking to only two - one for dates, room types and the other for payment details. Make sure that the booking process is optimized for mobiles as well.
2. Mobile Experience
Since more users are consuming and using the internet on their smartphones, optimizing for a mobile-friendly experience is of paramount importance. A mobile-friendly hotel website is a revenue stream that one cannot ignore.
Nowadays, many people use the internet for mobile bookings extensively. If a hotel does not provide a great booking experience on mobiles, they will not be hesitant to look for mobile booking elsewhere. To prevent that, ensure that your booking process is streamlined for mobile phones.
3. Improve User Experience
Simplifying the booking process is not enough, you need to improve the website’s UX or user experience for the guests. Your hotel website has the potential for driving direct bookings. Hence, make all efforts to realise that potential.
Make sure your website calendar's usability is seamless for the guests. The calendar should initially show the current date for check-in and the current date + 1 for check-outs.
When the customer chooses a date for check-in, the check-out date should be that date plus 1. This way, the guests can quickly check the rates per day and then book the length of stay they want.
4. Be Transparent in Pricing
One of the main reasons for hotel booking abandonment is the lack of clear pricing. Many hotels make the mistake of showing a price without taxes initially. However, when the guests see the real price with taxes, they abandon the booking process.
To avoid this, you need to show the price inclusive of taxes and other charges from the get-go. If you are including complimentary services such as breakfast, spa access etc, show the ordinary price and also the additional charges for the service, and then the total cost.
The guest will get to know how much they are paying extra for the complimentary service, which they will gladly pay if they want to enjoy additional perks.
5. Deals For Direct Bookings
If you don’t actively promote your direct booking options, how can expect them to make use of it? You need to promote your direct booking channels with the help of discounts, promos and complimentary services. You can also make use of upselling and cross-selling.
6. Diverse Payment Options
Not having payment options contribute to online booking abandonment. Although credit cards and debit cards are gaining in popularity, nowadays people want to pay using UPI, Google Pay, Paytm, PhonePe etc. As a hotelier, you need to provide these options to the guests.
You need to also ensure that the payment getaways work properly, otherwise, it will only frustrate the customer, losing out on bookings.
7. Improve Page Load Time
Slow loading time is a sure-shot way to make the guest impatient. This causes the visitors to abandon bookings. There are many ways to improve loading speed. One of the ways is to reduce the size of the images. Picking up the best web hosting services can also help in improving booking speed.
One of the reasons for hotel booking abandonment is due to guests not getting help while they are booking a room. There are occasions when the guest has queries and they are not able to able to find answers to them. You can solve this issue by incorporating chatbots into the hotel website.
These chatbots can act as real-time customer care executives, solving all your queries and doubts on the spot. This will also drive bookings.
With these steps, you will be able to avoid hotel booking abandonment and gain revenue. The marketing funnel should move smoothly to provide the guest with the best experience. Read our blogs to know more about the hospitality industry.