Those are two of the eight tips offered by travel technology start-up Triptease in its new eBook Get A Room, which sets out to help hotels aiming to attract reservations through their own websites.
Research undertaken by the company with 1,000 people about what they wanted when booking a hotel also found that price transparency was a big draw with 72 per cent saying they would book directly with the hotel if they were sure they could get the best deal. Having access to prices on dates either side of their preferred booking date was also a clincher in 71 per cent of cases.
Charlie Osmond of Triptease, which launched its Price Check widget to the market in January, said: “Our research shows that people will book direct on hotel websites if is easy and intuitive. There are some great hotel websites that provide a fabulous experience for the guest. The future is here but it is just unevenly distributed. By surfacing what the guest wants we are helping to level the playing field for hoteliers”.
Triptease's eight top tips to guaranteeing direct bookings:
One: Keep it simple, short and clean
Making the booking process simple and speedy is essential if you want to keep the attention of your potential guest, says Triptease who found that 94 per cent of people have abandoned a booking recently, 29 per cent of which because of the system being too complicated.
Two: Include lots of photos
The best hotels show, don't tell, says TripTease whose research found that 70 per cent of people rely on photos to learn about a hotel.
Three: Show lots of dates and prices.
Having availability of dates and prices either side of the ones selected was found to be useful for 71 per cent of people surveyed.
Four: Display prices in the searcher's currency
More than half of those surveyed said they found it frustrating when shown prices in currencies other than theirs.
Five: Reassure the user they are in the right place
As Triptease says OTAs rely heavily on reassuring their users that they have been given the best price. By constantly reminding guests they are getting the best price through your site and showing them how much they have saved you reassure them they are in the right place.
Six: Offer add-ons
Sixty-eight per cent of people said it was useful to see what else the hotel could offer them during the booking process.
Seven: Give them extra content
A confirmation email for example is a good way of highlighting other offers or a way to publicise social media networks. Giving information about local events could also persuade them to see you as a trusted guide, says Triptease.
Eight: Let them use their Facebook login
Just over a quarter of people said they would log in to a hotel's website via Facebook if the function was available.