First, I want to say this, and I say it with all my heart. Booking.com is not just a leading technology company; it is a company that has done some amazing things. The moves they make for hotels and against their competitors continues to increase my admiration for them. I won’t go into details here; maybe sometime I will give a detailed analysis about these moves.
Here, Booking.com can make any move they wish; there’s no problem with this. What we need to do is understand this and move according to it.
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION
Why does Booking.com offer a free booking engine?
a-) To bless those that have gone before
c-) Using their expertise at user interface and web design, hotel website visitors are redirected to booking.com.
d-) God bless you, Donald Trump!
Ladies and gentlemen, let me first give you some homework. Research this topic.
How Web Design and Web User Interface Influence Decision
We’re going to help you out.Click on this link.
If you’ve researched this topic, continue to read on.
There are hundreds of articles and research done regarding the negative effects of people making purchases over poorly designed websites and wrong user interfaces.
Big companies spend millions of dollars fixing websites’ interfaces in order to have a positive effect on users’ buying decisions. They know this subject very well. One of them is Booking.com. And booking.com knows quiiiite well which design to sell and which not to sell.
This is where the impressive move comes in. They say, come and get a free booking engine. But, this booking engine’s interface (UI) and design is so bad that they actually try to get the user not to buy. Besides, the user gets subliminal messages from booking.com’s advertisements in the URL that include booking.com and the small icon that appear in browser. Since the design is irritating, they most likely go and buy from booking.com. (I say most likely, because, though I have don’t the scientific research myself, I can say I’m quite certain of this from my own experience and observation.)
In this manner, the hotel brings its website customers on a silver platter to booking.com.
(Even if the traffic came from booking.com to the hotel through billboard effect, the hotel has still lost a large percentage of its ability to sell through its website.)
And for this reason, booking.com gives its booking engine “for free!”
I am putting some screenshots I got from a hotel using the free booking engine below. I have blurred out the hotel’s name and picture. Look at how plain it is; the writing is running together; the fonts are tiny.
Find an interface (UI) expert, and he will show you 10 errors in it that a graphic designer who has only graduated from high school would not make.
Now, let’s look at booking.com’s paid booking engine’s interface and design. Look at how stylish and easy-to-read it is. In every manner, the interface(UI) would receive a value of 100 out of 100.
People are probably wondering why doesn’t booking.com, who has the interface and design talent, technology, and personnel resources available, put this type of design in the free booking engine they offer?
Revenue Manager often goes down the route of thinking, why should we pay 3–4% booking fee using our booking engine when we can use Booking.com’s provided booking engine for free. Well, unfortunately, this is a naive thought, and it is a stage in the manager’s career when they should learn about the pro’s and cons of this process of reflection.
As an alternative to using this “free tool”, you can simply embed a reservation booking form on your website. If you aren’t doing this already, you can add a sentence such as, “to make a reservation just email us directly on reservation@….hotel.com” on your reservation page. Is this the preferred method? Well maybe not, but it’s better than the other one on offer!
What I’ve written above comes completely from my own observation and experiences. Perhaps a scientist can research this, and then we can all see together the scientific findings.