Booking abandonment occurs when consumers visit hotel websites, initiate the booking process but then fail to confirm a reservation before leaving the site. For hoteliers, this represents an enormous amount of unconsumed revenue and begs the question, “Why does this happen?”
One reason why booking abandonment occurs, particularly in the early stages of travel planning, is that consumers visit hotel websites simply to view rates and room types, explore service offerings, and see how properties compare to others in the local market. Like all other purchasing decisions, consumers want to feel confident that a hotel can meet their needs and provide great value before spending their money.
All website visits won’t result in bookings, but there are solutions for increasing potential booking opportunities and mitigating reasons why consumers abandon the booking process. Here are a few insights:
Make online booking easy
Another reason why booking abandonment occurs on some hotel websites is that completing a reservation is simply too complicated. If an independent hotel website is not intuitive and user-friendly, the odds of securing reservations likely decreases with each additional click required to confirm a reservation. The easier the online booking process, the more likely travelers will be willing to complete the process.
Don’t bury the details
Some consumers fear confirming reservations too soon due to highly-restrictive change and cancelation policies that are buried on some hotel websites. While hotels must protect themselves against late cancelations and no shows, posting clear and easy-to-understand booking policies in highly visible areas of websites can help consumers feel more at ease with the booking process.
Incentivize travelers to book now
Capturing bookings in today’s online marketplace is competitive and challenging—consumers have lots of lodging options at their fingertips. By leveraging special deals, time-sensitive offers, professional photography, and persuasive copywriting, hotel websites should strategically incentivize consumers to book before leaving the site. The longer hotels can keep travelers engaged online, the better the opportunities for securing valuable bookings.
Booking abandonment will always be challenging, but there are ways to make the website booking process more efficient for consumers and more profitable for your hotel. Let innRoad help you maximize the value of your hotel website, contact one of our independent hotel experts today.