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  • Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ research for website conversion

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More than 60 percent of all online hotel bookings are made on the first visit to a hotel’s website, and over 80 percent of all online bookings are made on the same day of the first visit, according to Sabre Hospitality Solutions’ research.

These statistics represent a tremendous opportunity to gain customers, but at the same time, lose them if a hotel cannot close the booking in the initial online visit.

The company cited the example of its recent re-designs of both Destination Hotels & Resorts’ corporate site and Tarrytown House Estate and Conference Center’s website. They incorporated background images and a clean and organised homepage to ensure a good first impression along with a strong overall user engagement. As a result, homepage “bounce rates” for Destination’s site fell 17 percent and Tarrytown’s fell 29 percent.

According to Sabre Hospitality Solutions, in addition to a visually appealing home page, “calls-to-action” repeated consistently throughout the landing and interior pages will directly impact online bookings. Destination’s Website now includes behaviorally targeted content as well as “smart defaults” on search consoles which make it easy for the visitor to select a hotel category or specific property from Destination’s group. They have seen booking volume originating from the corporate site increase 164 percent.

Tarrytown’s homepage includes a visually prominent booking console, making it easier for users to find. The console is also strategically placed in a horizontal format under the masthead image. A series of Sabre Hospitality Solutions multivariate tests (the practice of changing a website element and using the results to refine the website) have documented that this placement drives more visits to the booking engine. As a result, Tarrytown has seen bookings increase 46 percent.

Source: TravelDailyNews International