Your website should have one simple goal: to get customers to book with you. However poorly optimized websites can cause travelers to encounter problems when browsing and making bookings online. And turning visitors to your website into booked travelers is no small feat.
Here are some best practices to turn online shoppers into paying customers.
1. Your website is your primary online promotional tool. Make it outstanding. Use stunning homepage images to draw customers into your website, telling a story about what you offer and who you are. Potential customers want to see the real-life experience they will have. Real photographs are a must, make sure they are not pixelated and avoid using stock photos.
2. Make sure your website is Mobile-Responsive. Web browsing on mobile devices continues its upwards trend. This is particularly the case for travellers, many of whom plan their trips in-destination and use a tablet or phone for browsing.
3. Display ‘Trust Symbols’ to show you are a legitimate business. Examples include TripAdvisor badges, industry association logos, links to your active social media pages and an ‘about us’ page with photos and bio’s.
4. Allow your customers to book immediately from your homepage. Don’t make your customers dig into your site to find your book now button. Many will be returning to your site just to finalize their reservation. Make it easy for them.
5. Use clear calls to action. Make sure your book now links and links to key information stand out.
6. Make your online booking process seamless. For booking funnels Simple is better. Less is more. Easy is essential. Use a customizable booking engine from a tour and activity reservation and management software like Zaui Software.
Key components of successful booking engines include:
1. Can be embedded into your own website for an easy interface between your site and it’s booking engine. Important: if you do this, get an SSL Certificate for your website. Find out more here.
2. Customized design to be in-keeping with your website’s theme. Or a simple design (best for embedded booking engines).
3. Mobile responsive. If your website is mobile-responsive, you can be sure your booking engine also needs to be!
4. A Calendar view. Especially important if you have an irregular schedule as it to shows the days your tours and activities are available at a glance.
5. Available in different languages and in multiple currencies
6. Offers upselling and cross-selling opportunities
7. Shopping cart for booking multiple different tours
8. An agent login for easily accepting commissioned bookings
9. Ability to accept online promotional codes and gift certificates