All that matters at the end of the day is whether or not your website drives your business forward.
For that to happen, you need to make sure that your website and booking process is optimised for conversions throughout the customer's online buying journey.
If your company isn't using an online booking tool yet, perhaps it's time to look into it. For companies who already have an online booking solution, here are 3 you're probably doing that drive your customers away.
1. You've placed your "Book Now" button at the bottom of your page
This might be a no-brainer but take a second to analyse your "Book Now" button. Is it somewhere obvious like the top right corner of your Activities page? Or is it all the way at the bottom of your page? What colour is it? Does it stand out or blend into all the other content on the page?
If you're finding it difficult to find it, chances are that your customers are too.
Some quick fixes:
- Use colours that stand out from the rest of your page
- Keep text on your button simple, short and straight to the point
- Place it above the fold (the section of your screen that appears before you start scrolling down)
2. You're asking them too many questions during the booking process
Firstly, no one likes forms.
Secondly, why are you asking non-essential questions before your customers have made a booking?
Apart from collecting basic contact details, the whole point of your forms appearing before a booking is to make sure that your customers are eligible to join your trip. That could be making sure they're over 18 to join your pub crawl, or they've got the right insurance or certificates to join your diving excursion.
HubSpot found that forms with three questions led to the highest conversion rates, and a lower chance of them closing your tab and searching for another provider who's less complicated.
So, leave other questions like life jacket size, food allergies or dietary requirements till after your customers have booked and paid with you.
3. You're using a booking system that charges your customers a mandatory fee
Surprised by this?
Here's the deal. While some booking systems offer you a low-priced plan or a pay as you go plan with minimal transaction fees, it is common for them to also charge your customers a mandatory fee to cover their cost and make a profit.
Let's think about this for a second. How would you feel if you've filled out all the forms and required fields for an online purchase, only to be surprised by an unavoidable transaction fee at checkout?
How many times have you decided to search for an alternative when you found out that you were forced to pay a booking fee that only drives up the cost of your purchase?
As a tour or activity operator, let's break down how this could affect your business:
- You could lose customers if they end up booking a trip with another provider, at a lower price and without any "surprises".
- If you also promote your trips on an OTA at the same price, your customers might shop around and find the exact trip on the OTA and book there to avoid paying a fixed transaction cost. So, instead of you paying a 4% - 8% transaction fee to your booking software provider, you would end up paying a larger 20% - 30% commission to your OTA.
One thing you can do is offer a discount or rebate to customers who reach out to you about this fixed fee.
Another thing, and a more drastic measure, is to consider switching to another software provider who gives you control over how much you want to charge your customers.
Increase your booking conversion rates with a booking optimised solution today
Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.