Your website can easily become an additional income channel – just give it the option!
Since living among the beautiful islands in the Gulf of Thailand, I have noticed how only a few businesses really take advantage of their online presence. Although some businesses already have a website, not many of them appear to be actively driving sales or bookings through their own website, rather, a reliance on 3rd parties such as local and online travel agents seems to be the norm for the local tourism businesses.
When it comes to travel planning and booking, search engines are still the leading source of information with 59% of consumers using search engines, 51% using online travel agencies and 36% referring to review sites or apps in the last six months*. Furthermore, over 60% of online purchases are made outside of normal business hours. If your website doesn’t represent your business well, does not have the right exposure or your booking system is not up to scratch, who will get the sale?
Nowadays an online booking system is a real no-brainer, by allowing your customers to purchase your goods and services at any time and from anywhere in the world, you capture sales while your web visitors are in the purchase intent stage, you will also significantly save on commissions you pay out to 3rd party bookings or online travel agents and decrease your administrative tasks. You can create your own packages and rewards for direct customers (without violating price parity rules set by OTA’s), driving increased loyalty, customer retention and better control over your brand message and communications.
Getting a booking system up and running on your site is a great start, it must, however, be easy to use on all devices. Barriers to sale on smartphones include ‘too many steps in the booking process’ – 38%, ‘difficulty entering information on a small screen’- 31% and failure to easily find the information required to make a decision- 13% *. This presents a huge opportunity to boost sales simply by streamlining your website’s usability with a smart, responsive design.
While many users still prefer to use their computer to make an online purchase, travellers don’t always have one to hand, what they do have is their smartphone! Making last minute reservations has never been easier, 51% of travelers cited that smartphones allowed them to be spontaneous with their travel plans and reservations. Missing out on these conversion opportunities because you do not have an adequate website for all devices is just like directing a taxi full of potential customers to the business next door!
A website is not just an online brochure, when done right it is your sales and marketing team that never sleeps, bringing you prospects and conversions 24/7.
Check our services range to learn how we can generate additional income for your business.
*(Source: Google/Ipsos Industry Multi-Screen Survey).