Hotels may be one of the oldest types of business in the world, but thi doesn’t excuse the hospitality industry from remaining at the cutting edge of technology. With the constant threat of online travel agents, new challenges to direct booking acquisition and changing consumer behaviours, it’s more vital than ever for hoteliers to keep up to date with the latest technological trends in order to remain at the top of their game.
Online hotel booking engines are just part of the puzzle. To attract potential guests, websites need to make the most of their online presence by staying one step ahead of the competition. However despite this being key, it’s true that many hotel websites don’t fit the needs of today’s savvy travellers. In fact, it’s fair to say that many actually fall behind many online travel agents when it comes to user-friendly web design and offering booking-friendly processes and features. So as a leading hotel website design company, we’ve counted down what’s next in cutting edge website design to help hoteliers meet the everchanging challenge of the online marketplace.
Modern website features
No longer is having a standard website enough – no matter how seamlessly it works. Nowadays there is an unprecedented number of tools available to help hoteliers improve how their website functions. One of the best features to capture short term income is to integrate live rates that update dynamically and placing them on the hotel site’s homepage. Not only does this entice future guests, but also removes the blocks that are usually put in the way when they are expected to perform live searches.
Mobile friendly sites
If your site isn’t mobile responsive, you really need to sit down and rethink your entire website strategy. Google has been penalising non-responsive sites for a while now, but with conversion rates for travel sites on mobiles growing 88% over the last few years, it should be crystal clear just how important mobile-friendly sites are to hoteliers. In order to make the most of the growing mobile booking opportunities, it’s vital to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. We’re not talking one tap booking, but it shouldn’t involve more than a few steps. Pages should be quick to load and form buttons should be thumb sized. Bonus points if you integrate mobile payment options such as Apple Pay.
Learn from online agents
There’s a reason online travel agents have become so popular; they are good at what they do. Many OTAs excel at creating a sense of urgency and leaving guests feeling like they are getting the best possible deal. Hoteliers can learn from this by making their website work in the exact same way. Countdown clocks for deals and detailing the number of rooms left at a certain price give off the illusion that visitors are getting an exclusive deal and should book right now or, miss out.
We know that UX is important for mobile, but making sure desktop sites are working to their maximum performance is equally as important. Consulting a hotel website design company is the best way to guarantee a site is working for you and not against you. This might seem counter-intuitive to the mobile emphasis outlined above but, studies show that conversions for certain demographics still overwhelmingly take place on desktop, with mobiles reserved for research purposes.