Online Reservations: Increasing your site's 'Look to Book' ratio

By Jerry Tarasofsky CEO, iPerceptions Inc. | January 27, 2012

Hospitality web site's "look to book" ratio is a benchmark that can be directly compared and related to shopping cart abandonment. There is no real difference between making buying something online and making an online reservation. Both require the use of a credit card and a commitment to make a purchase.

Data taken from the most recent Rush Report on User Satisfaction & Hotel Web Site Performance published by Hospitality e-Business Strategies and iPerceptions confirms that the overall "look to book" ratio in the hospitality sector is approximately 65/35 - in other words, for every ten people who visit your site only three actually make a reservation. Imagine how your revenue numbers might look if you could increase that ratio by 25%. Do the math and I'm sure you will agree reservation abandonment is one of the most important issues facing hospitality web sites today.

I have used this example in other articles before, but it makes my point - what if seven out of every ten people waiting to check in to your hotel suddenly walked out with no explanation and went somewhere else. That's exactly what's happening on your web site when people abandon the reservation process. You've got them ready to check-in but at the last moment they up and disappear.

My guess is, if this situation took place in a traditional bricks and mortar location, you would quickly take the appropriate actions to find out what the problem was and without any hesitation you would implement a program to insure that once people entered your hotel, they opted to stay.

Your web site for all intents and purposes is your online property and should be treated in much the same manner as your traditional bricks and mortar location. With six out of ten prospective customers abandoning the reservation process, there is much room for improvement.

Following this same analogy in the traditional world, would it not make sense to stop the people leaving your hotel and ask them what the problem is?

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Elaine Fenard
Jennifer Dunphy
Bruce Fears
Jim Poad
Rollin Bell
Amy Locke
Melinda Minton
Maricha Ellis
Larry K. Kimball
Gary Leopold
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.