Planning and booking a holiday is all fun and excitement for your potential guests—or is it? There are a lot of assumptions when it comes to travel shopping. These shape the information displayed and the way it’s presented on hotel websites. But what do your potential guests want and how do they shop? By understanding guest behaviour, you can make sure that your website addresses your guests’ needs and expectations.

We’ve busted four myths on how travellers shop, plus learn what you can do to make it easier for them to book with you.

Myth 1: All website visitors want the same thing

Many hotels have a “one-size fits all” approach to their website. The reality is that every visitor is after something different. Some want to learn about your hotel location, some want to see photos of rooms, others care about family amenities, while others are looking to see how prices compare to Booking.com. Serving the same story to each and every website visitor means that you waste the precious time visitors spend browsing your website.

How to fix this on your website:

  • Map out the different personas for your website. For example, family vs long stay vs business travel. Work out what your brand proposition is to these visitors. What makes your hotel special for them, why should they choose you.
  • The website should adjust based on who the visitor is and what they’ve shown interest in already. Using Hotelchamp’s audience targeting, you can show personalised and relevant content to your visitors.
A personalised message appears for couples
A ‘Date Night’ package for couples is shown in the Booking Engine search for 2 adults.

Start personalising your hotel website ›

Myth 2: People read hotel websites

They may glance at some text, skip through some images, and click on a page or two, but the vast majority of your website will remain unexplored. Website visits are short, very short. By the end of the visit, only a small part of your website will have left an impression on your visitors. Jakob Nielsen ran an eye-tracking study showing that less than 20% of the text content is actually read on an average web page.

How to fix this on your website:

  • Add important snippets of information and USPs to the booking engine that the website visitor likely would have missed.
  • Stop burying USPs in massive text blocks, keep the text short and to the point.
  • Use USPs, images, video, quotes, iconography, and colour to make the content digestible and fun to read.
  • Use storytelling to keep audiences engaged.
Social proof is shown on the booking engine
Social proof and short snippets of information are shown on the booking engine.

Myth 3: Planning a holiday is straightforward

With endless destinations and endless hotels, the fear of choosing the wrong option weighs on the customer minds. No matter how attractive a hotel may seem, there is always another option the customer is thinking about.

How to fix this on your website:

A voucher form is shown on a hotel website
A ‘Free cocktail voucher’ message is shown to help with email collection.

Myth 4: Booking a hotel is easy

With so much choice in the market and so many decisions to be made on price, location, quality, and space—customers are relying on mental shortcuts to make decisions. Lots of them. When in doubt, we use reviews to help make decisions. We look at price and design as a signal of hotel quality. Instead of making pros and cons, we form an emotional connection with images in a photo gallery, or the tone of voice on a website.

How to fix this on your website:

  • Make sure reviews are used.
  • Make sure information is really easy to digest with USPs and ticks.
  • Display key information on your website that visitors are looking for, for example how your price compares to OTAs, or what your best offer is.
Two different price comparison messages are shown based on the guest persona
A different set of USPs are shown to business travellers vs couples in the price comparison message.

Next steps

By understanding how your guests plan their holidays and what they are looking for, you can make sure that your hotel website meets their needs and expectations. To start personalising your hotel website, check out Hotelchamp Convert. Or, contact our team at welcome@hotelchamp.com to find out more about these strategies.

Posted 
Jun 21, 2021
 in 
 category
Trends and Insights
Written by
Hotelchamp Team
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