Hotels can invest hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars each month driving traffic to their website. But if your website isn’t optimized to drive direct bookings, then all that time and money is wasted.
Booking abandonment is a real issue for the travel industry. As many as 81.6% of online travel bookings are abandoned, worth an estimated $1.78 trillion! If we drill down further, 78% of hotel & lodging bookings and 86% of OTA bookings are abandoned (see below).
In this article, we outline 3 things you can do right now on your hotel website to improve purchase intent and drive more direct bookings. By “purchase intent,” we mean getting more people to your booking engine, because once you’ve got them there, the higher your chance of conversion.
Common Reasons for Booking Abandonment
Let’s start by looking at some of the common reasons why travel shoppers abandon their bookings online. According to SalesCycle, 39% of travel shoppers are often just researching and comparing prices on your website, which comes as no surprise. However, other reasons for booking abandonment include finding the price too high (37%), the reservation process too long (13%) or technical issues (9%). The good news is, these things can be fixed.
Tip #1: Tell Your Unique Story
An excuse that the “Price is too high” can mean one of two things:
1. The price exceeds a travel shopper’s budget
2. The price doesn’t match the perceived value of the hotel
While there’s not much you can do about point 1, there is for point 2. This is where storytelling comes into play. Use your website to demonstrate what makes your hotel unique from all the others in your area.
It may be Billy, your friendly concierge who’s been there for years, or a signature cocktail in your bar, guest movie night every Monday, or something else. Don’t discount your uniqueness, and play up to it on your website.