Finding the delicate balance of features and visuals to get your conversion rate to its best level is incredibly tough – and nowhere is this more obvious than on your hotel’s booking page. Your booking engine is the final step in the consumer’s purchase journey, and the slightest thing can cause them to lose heart and abandon the booking entirely.
So what are these mysterious booking engine factors that can affect your conversion rate optimization? Let’s take a look at some of the most common.
Online transactions still require a degree of trust. The consumer must be able to put their faith in the company they’re booking with in order to impart their sensitive payment details online. It’s drummed into internet users that strange URLs or URLs which don’t correspond with a certain brand or website can be a sign of spam – so if your hotel booking engine for websites has a slightly different URL, it can plant the seed of distrust in your potential customers.
Different look and feel
The same goes for the way your booking engine looks and feels. Visual consistency creates a sense of reliability and trust – you know what you’re getting when every page on a website has a similar look and feel. But if you’re suddenly transported to a booking page that is very different from the rest of the website, it can be off-putting. Yes, there will be consumers who can overlook this significant shift, but you may still end up losing a small number who are concerned about the sudden change.
CAPTCHA is a popular way to fight spam and automated form submissions, and it’s used widely across the web. But a study by SEOMoz found that it can bump up the number of failed conversions significantly. Having a CAPTCHA also broadcasts to the world that you might have a problem with spam – not a good look.
Sure, a few spam mails might end up getting through without the CAPTCHA system in place, but that’s easier to deal with than losing customers at the final hurdle. If you have a CAPTCHA setup on your hotel booking engine for websites, try turning it off and see whether it affects your conversion rate.
Many hotel booking engines have a comparison tool built into them, to reassure guests that they’re getting the best possible deal on their chosen room. Without this kind of feature, you’re risking guests visiting an OTA or a local rival to double-check that your deal is the best for them.
Slow load times
We know that today’s consumers are impatient. They have no qualms about abandoning a booking because a page is taking too long to load. Speed is vital when it comes to choosing a hotel booking engine – you need one that’s going to instil confidence in consumers, and one that won’t let you down in the home stretch of a booking.
For more information about hotel booking engines for websites, contact the Digital Hotelier team today.