The Wired Hotel: Make Your Website 'Look to Book' Friendly
By Jerry Tarasofsky CEO, iPerceptions Inc. | January 27, 2012
It goes without saying that probably the most important people who visit your web site are those that are there to make a reservation. Satisfying their needs quickly and allowing them to get the information they need to complete the reservation process will translate into increased revenue, increased customer loyalty and a high probability that your visitors will refer friends and associates to your web site.
One of the first things you must do to make your site "look to book" friendly is understand who is visiting your site and for what purpose. Put another way, what percentage of your total visitors are bookers as opposed to lookers?
In a recent report we published with HSMAI and Cindy Estis Green, information from our own client database revealed 41% of all website visitors to hospitality websites come with the intention of making or changing a reservation. Think about that number. Four out of every ten visitors to your site are there to make or change a reservation. What is disturbing is that 21% of the people visiting your site to make or change a reservation abandon the site before completing their purpose of visit.
Your challenge is two fold. Increase the number of visitors coming to your site to make a reservation and more importantly decrease the percentage of those bookers who are abandoning the site before they make a reservation.
To this end, the research we just published, which is available from HSMAI confirms that those bookers who frequented the site more often, rated satisfaction highest. It might seem like common sense but this is positive proof that if you can keep your visitors coming back, they develop an affinity for your web site and will tend to make more reservations.
As study author Cindy Estis Green says "There is no doubt that a higher level of engagement yields higher satisfaction levels with a website". Engaging your website visitors is a key factor to insure that they become frequent visitors and satisfied customers.