Contrary to popular belief, a booking website isn’t used only for booking hotel rooms and traveling tickets but to schedule appointments, reserve an expert’s time, and for many other purposes. Since the competition is strong in almost all industries and many small businesses are started and closed during one workday, you need to stand out and having in mind your offer, it is best to do so with the website design.
The website design’s competitiveness revolves around user satisfaction and unless you provide them with optimal conditions, they will have no problem choosing your competitor’s offer over yours. With that in mind, here are a few pieces of advice on how to create a competitive design which will attract new and keep present users.
Offer easy navigation
If your website is swarmed with vague CTA buttons, users won’t be able to find their way through that conundrum and will soon give up on your booking website altogether. This also applies to websites that load slowly since you have to bear in mind that most people live hectic lives and don’t have any time to waste, which means that they will just move on to your competition’s website in search of what they couldn’t find on yours. This is why you need to make navigation user-friendly and the website’s design intuitive because by facilitating the search process, you would be increasing the conversion rates.
Implement local currency detection
What will definitely give you a competitive advantage is predicting users’ needs so make sure you leverage on data you accumulate on website visitors. For instance, they will value you providing the prices in their local currency because it would save them time and tedious actions of converting the prices and then forgetting the amounts as soon as they need to compare them with another option. What you can do is set default local currency for each country the searches are performed from and then use users’ IP addresses to detect their location, that is, the country they are accessing your booking website from.
Provide additional information
A booking website shouldn’t contain too much text because people come to such websites for concise information but it is also good to give them at least a snippet of some useful information and a link to the source so they research it further if they are interested. For instance, if they are booking a trip to Indonesia, you can put a link to websites of companies which facilitate foreign property investing, such as Invest Islands investment firm or to a website that deals with their culture and history. Those extra pieces of info might come in handy to an entrepreneur or a tourist and might the reason why somebody would opt for your over your competitions’ offer.
Make it responsive
If you lift your head long enough from your smartphone, you will notice that other people spend a lot of time on it as well which is something you need to keep in mind when finding ways to outshine your competition. This observation means that a lot of the searches happen via smartphones while users are on the move so it is crucial for your website to be mobile-friendly and to have a responsive design across different devices. Features such as functional zooming, readable font size, and proper text formatting are essential for users which will be navigating through your booking website via their smartphones since it is not difficult to imagine the frustration of trying to book something and getting upset because nothing is displayed as it should.
Add a booking progress bar
If you think about it, it takes fewer steps to make a purchase then to book something so it is quite easy to get lost in the process or lose patience and give up if you are uncertain about how long it lasts. Users shouldn’t be kept in the dark about anything since they will neither purchase with you again nor will they recommend you or rate your services well. Booking something can also be a race against time because some offers may be at discount prices so adding a progress bar will show them that you do business transparently and give them peace of mind because they know exactly the number of steps and approximate time it would take them to fill in everything.
Introduce a practical calendar
Many websites with bookable offerings, such as accommodations or dental appointments have messy booking calendars, although their functionality should be one of their primary concerns. First, make sure that unavailable dates are clearly marked so as to avoid confusion. Next, it would be useful for the check-in field to be automatically set to the date when the user is visiting the website and not for it to display an empty field because the manner the calendar functions will be easier to grasp straight away. In addition to that, the checkout field needs to be filled out automatically once the user feels out the check-in field. And don’t forget the plus-one option so the user can make the search even more precise.
If your bookable offer is up to par, all that you need in order for your business to be successful is user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing website design. You would need to prioritize the users, of course, since if their user experience is not satisfactory, the visual elements won’t matter and the business will not be lucrative.
Therefore, you need to make sure that the design is intuitive so they can find what they are looking for quickly and from any device they might be using. Displaying costs in their local currency, as well as adding some additional information can be valuable to your users because it can save them time and effort. Once you have all that, an easy-to-use calendar and a progress bar are final elements which will tip the scales to your advantage.
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