empty shopping cart reflecting loss of revenue if hotels do not address the top 5 reasons for booking engine abandonment

Booking engine abandonment is a critical issue that’s all too common in the hospitality industry. It can be a significant barrier to converting interested visitors into actual guests. 81.7% of potential travel bookings don’t reach completion. That’s over four in every five interested visitors leaving your site without making a reservation, which means lost opportunities and money.

NB: This is an article from Hotelchamp

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But why do so many guests leave at the last minute? The reasons are as varied as the customers themselves. From indecision to issues with the payment method—the bottom line is that understanding the essence of booking engine abandonment is critical. It’s not just about missing out on a few bookings; it affects your overall business and your return on investment. Fixing these problems can help turn more visitors into guests and make the booking process smoother for everyone.

5 Reasons for Booking Engine Abandonment

1. Traveller indecision

Indecision is a key factor leading to booking abandonment. With so many options available to them, potential guests find themselves in a loop of comparing hotels. As a result, they often hesitate to commit immediately. Either they keep weighing their options, or they grapple with uncertainties about costs or cancellation policies. Regardless of why they are uncertain, you need to clearly communicate your value—not only for potential guests to choose you above competitors, but also for them to be more willing to spend.

  • Alleviate uncertainty with clear communication

Engaging indecisive bookers proactively is essential. Here it’s crucial to highlight your hotel’s unique selling points (USPs). This distinguishes you from the competition and makes you stand out. Then, make sure to display compelling direct booking benefits. Exclusive offers and personalised messages in the booking engine can encourage them to finalise their reservation. Implementing features like Saved Search messaging can also be beneficial. By allowing guests to have their search details emailed, they can easily resume their booking at a later time.

Lastly, address the fear of inflexible cancellation policies or costly booking changes. Build trust by clearly stating your cancellation and refund policies on your website and booking engine. Through this, you can eliminate uncertainty and instil confidence in potential guests. And make yourself available. Incorporate a live chat or chatbot feature to offer immediate assistance for any questions, facilitating a smoother booking process.

hotel website notification which can help convert direct booking

Highlight your unique selling points (USPs) in the booking engine to show how you differ from your competition.

2. Technical issues

Technical hiccups like slow loading times and random website crashes are real deal-breakers when booking a hotel. In this day and age, a sluggish website is a quick way to lose their interest. When a site takes too long to load or crashes unexpectedly, it not only frustrates users but also diminishes their trust in your brand.

Read the full article at Hotelchamp