There is no doubt that e-commerce websites are thriving in today’s internet age but selling time and services online may be just as lucrative. Creating a booking website that is profitable is not easy. It will take a lot of time and effort and use up your creativity and SEO knowledge.
A booking website may encompass many things: a website where users can book a room in your hotel, a site where users can reserve your time as a service provider, a website where they can now make an appointment to a particular physical location, and much more.
A booking-based website is a multifaceted concept that allows you to sell time on the virtual marketplace literally. This article consists of some tips that may help you to create a booking website there is lucrative, improve your existing site, and enhance user rapport.
Benefits of Dedicated Pages for Each Bookable Offering
- When you run a website, and you generate an individual page dedicated to a specific product, you give yourself enough space to describe in text the benefits of the product, its distinctive features, as well as how it provides a solution to a problem for your audience.
- When you create a booking website with separate pages for each bookable product, you have the opportunity to insert high-quality, high-definition images for each different page and product, enhancing user experience and making the product more visible;
- When you go for separate pages for each bookable offering, you have a chance to receive positive reviews for that specific product. Reviews could make a difference between a client opting for a simpler or a more complex service or product.
- When you create a booking website with a dedicated page for each one product, you increase the amount of your website’ general content, as well as increase clarity for your customers, and improve search engine optimization.
There is also the possibility to create a comparison page where users have the chance to look at exceptional products side by side. Some booking website owners believe this option helps customers make an informed decision about the product they want and buy.
If you decide to have a side by side comparison page on your site, you should still implement a linking system that will take the customer to check out each separate page for more information. Don’t clutter your website, but providing enough info is essential.
Don’t be Wary and Publish your Rates
When you create a booking website, you will face a critical decision: should you keep your customer in the dark as far as pricing is concerned, or should you make your rates public on your booking website? It is an important business decision, as well as a strategic move.
No matter which type of bookable offering you are trying to sell, your consumers have a right to know what to expect. As an entrepreneur, you may fear that by publishing their rates, you’re giving the competition a chance to undermine you and steal customers away via better rates.
A higher rate may not determine a customer to leave your booking website, but no rates at all will undoubtedly make them leave your online booking website almost immediately. And where will they go? Your competition. Are you willing to take that chance by not publishing your rates?
If you decide to publish your rates, you will no longer need contact forms or quote forms, which will make your booking website hassle-free for your customer. Plus, customers prefer a straightforward answer, and they don’t like being kept in the dark under no circumstances.
Of course, we can’t deny that publishing your rates will make them visible for your competition as well. However, you should know by now that a business’ value entails much more than a price. You have to prove that you have much more to offer to your clients for what they pay.
Offer your customers better services and excellent user experience, and they will go with you irrespective of your competition’s decision to lower their prices to drive clients away from you! Here is how you can make your website user-friendly:
User-friendly Booking Calendar
If you are looking to create a booking website that offers users a great experience, you need to implement a usable booking calendar. That isn’t the only reason, though. The first thing that consumers do upon arriving on a site that sells bookable offerings is check availability on a booking calendar.
To make your consumers’ job more manageable, you can fill out automatically current dates for your check-in and checkout boxes. Yes, it seems the obvious thing to do, but many booking websites continue displaying empty fields. Keep this tip in mind when you create your booking website.
Also, make sure the date in the checkout field fills out automatically once the date in the check-in field is filled out. Remember the plus-one-rule for either field and make previous periods unavailable.
Booking Progress Bar
Breaking down the booking process into smaller steps and marking progress as each step is completed will offer customers the feeling that they are in control of the booking process.
With a booking progress bar, they can visualize how much longer they will need to spend on your website until the booking is complete. A progress bar prevents them from losing their patience not knowing how long the process would take. Don’t keep them in the dark.
By displaying their progress, you are giving them a nudge to advance another step in the booking process. Implementing the booking process progress bar will help you to create a booking website that is well optimized for excellent user experience.
User-Friendly Booking Form
Unfortunately, you need a booking form to process your consumers’ information and make an adequate appointment or booking. However, the part where consumers are filling out the booking form is also the part where most booking websites lack usability.
Many entrepreneurs overwhelm users with stuffy booking forms that often end up deterring the consumer away from their website. It is important to refrain from asking your consumers to register with your website the moment they land on your page. It’s not the experience they want. Wait until they grow accustomed to your website, let them save the desired products, and then ask them to sign up.
User Experience Mistakes and How They Affect Travel Websites
There is a set of common mistakes many entrepreneurs make when it comes to creating and running a booking website from a user experience perspective. Here is a number of commonly encountered errors:
There are many websites out there that sell bookable products. Many of them overwhelm the customer with too much information, which makes navigation difficult and takes the focus off the product’s key features.
A user-friendly booking website only provides the most relevant information in a simple and easy to access manner that enhances the completion of CTAs. Here is how you can fix information overload:
Easy navigation and search
Booking websites that offer simple, straightforward navigation, as well as excellent browsing functions will rank better as far as user experience is concerned.
One reason consumers stay away from overly complicated copy, as well as pre-selected checkboxes, is their awareness that dark patterns exist in the virtual world. Using language that is reassuring takes that worry and concern away from your consumers’ minds.
Consumers know that there are websites specifically created to influence their decisions and push them into doing or performing an action that they don’t want to perform, such as signing up to an email list without even being aware of it.
There is a paradox when it comes to information overload because, on the one hand, consumers want to stay away from a dense copy that may mean a dark pattern while, on the other hand, they want detailed information on potentially attractive extras.
Your job as a webmaster looking to create a booking website that targets a great user experience is to find the perfect equilibrium between displaying appealing extras, avoiding information overload, and sticking to a clutter-free look.
Why offering extras is vital for users, you need to make a compromise and provide them with extras in the form of skippable extras. It is a very efficient solution that gives consumers the opportunity to make their own decision whether or not to take out those extras.
A Site That Doesn’t Adapt to Its User
Sometimes, webmasters expect their users to adapt to their website when, in reality, it should be the other way around. It is your website that should adapt to your user’s specific needs and requirements. It isn’t an easy task, but it is an achievable task that pays up in the long term.
Here is how you can prevent not adapting your booking site to your user:
Local Currency Detection
One way to keep customers happy is to provide them with travel costs in the currency they use in their everyday life. To achieve that, you need to equip your website with local currency detection function.
You can use the IP address of your user to detect the location and set the default currency as the currency of the country they are performing the search form, which, in most cases, is also the currency they are most familiar with.
One way to adapt your site to your user is to provide options by proximity. There are many applications available that detect the location and come with solutions accordingly.
One example is the easyJet app that learns where you are and can make suggestions of the closest airports per your location.
Date Pickers That Aren’t Intuitive
Another mistake that many booking websites seem to overlook is using unintuitive date pickers. They neglect the importance of selecting a date for a vacation or trip from the consumers’ perspective.
Mispositioning Discount Codes
When you create a booking website, you have to pay attention to your discount code positioning. Discount codes that show up in a highly visible place on your website could make the users think that they actually need a code to enter the website.
Since that is not true, they will waste a lot of time looking for that code. At one point, they will get bored, frustrated, or tired and eventually leave your website. Do you see how easy it is to turn a positive incentive into a downside?
Creating Booking Websites That Are Not Mobile Friendly
Considering that we are living the climax of the mobile era, it is unbelievable that so many webmasters fail to make their website responsive across mobile devices.
If they create a booking website that is not mobile-friendly, they reduce their chance of reaching a higher conversion rate drastically.
To make sure your booking website meets all the standards of the modern digital community, ask Amelia for help.
It’s not easy to create a booking website that sells your time online in a user-friendly manner. It is a challenging task, but it is an essential task if you want to build a successful business. Remember that your website is only half of the job and you still have to build the actual business.
Hopefully, the tips in this article have provided you with the information necessary to make your booking website more appealing in the eyes of your potential customers without investing a ton of time, money, or effort.
You can find a nice overview of the most popular booking plugins in this post on WPBuffs. Our recommendation is to use Amelia, but you may decide to choose something else.
With some strategic tweaks, you will be able to create a booking website that provides users with a friendly experience, which will gain you more revenue in the long run by generating more sales.