Shopping online today is an enjoyable experience for consumers; they’re typically given complete control thanks to the diversity of e-retailers on the market.
But when you compare the traditional shopping experience with the hotel booking experience, the two don’t match up.
When you look at two different hotel booking engine options from rival sites, it’s likely that the shopping cart experience is almost exactly the same. In a bid to speed up room turnarounds, consumers are faced with the same packages no matter which brand they’re staying with.
In the digital age, where consumers are being given more choice and freedom than ever before, hotels are lagging behind. As industry competition intensifies, travellers are increasingly searching for hotels that meet their needs and those brands that are offering ‘off the shelf’ bundles could be missing out on an opportunity to boost sales and foster customer loyalty.
When you’re buying consumer goods, whether it’s clothing or electronics, you’re faced with a huge amount of choice, so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a feature that consumers are coming to expect.
It should go without saying that the more consumers are paying out the greater level of control they want. For hoteliers that are welcoming guests from all over the world, their customers are likely to be making a considerable payment to visit a destination. As a result, taking the time to tailor the customer experience right from when they first see your hotel booking engine could have a huge impact.
Provide more room options
The most important factor in booking any hotel is the room. Typically, travellers are faced with two or three options of room to choose from. But even your standard rooms are different and many customers will have a preference. Those looking for accessibility will be delighted if they can choose a room on the lower levels, while those wanting breath taking views over the surrounding might be keen to snap up those residing on the top levels. These choices are likely to have little impact on the running of your hotel but they will enhance both the shopping cart experience and their stay.
It’s also an opportunity for you to increase revenue on the most desirable rooms through upselling. For example, tourists looking for that added wow factor can be tempted to pay more for a balcony or stunning views.
The small details matter
When you’ve covered the room selection, don’t forget the small details matter too. Giving customers a choice of the mini bar options, mattress firmness, or fragrance of bathroom products creates a customised experience and sets a precedence from the outset. With the right processes and hotel booking engine in place, providing a greater shopping cart experience doesn’t have to mean more work for your employees and the return on investment can be significant.
While improved shopping cart experiences may have a slight impact on the number of reservations being made and reducing the number of abandoned carts, the key reason for implementing this is customer loyalty.