How to make your online booking
engine work for you
When driving click-throughs and conversions for online campaigns there are a few basic guidelines to follow regarding platforms, copy and creative, but when it comes to online booking engines, it’s a whole different ballgame. The key is simplicity, context and value. Your online booking engine needs to add value for the customer – real value. Just to be able to search does not necessarily add value for the customer. It’s the quality of the results that add real value.
Prioritise context to give your
online booking engine real value
Information without context does not add value. Thus adding an online booking engine on the wrong page of your website will add no value for the customer and will not be used. When conducting a proper content audit and formulating the Information Architecture (IA), you’ll have a much better idea of where the online booking engine should be placed to drive the decision-making process.
The visual design of the online booking engine should
not just be beautiful but also functional
Designing aesthetically pleasing interactive components can be tricky, as the functionality of a component is usually made up of several elements, each playing a vital role in the success of the component. The elements should not compete instead, they should complement each other to make the interaction as easy and efficient as possible.
Simplify the user interface (UI)
Online booking engines often include several input fields such as departure and arrival destinations, dates of travel, amount of people travelling, ages of travellers, etc. All these input fields can become quite overwhelming and even confusing if the layout is not thought through.
Use colours sparingly
It’s tempting to create a colourful skin for the booking engine to make it more appealing, but including too many colours and design elements can have the opposite effect. The key is to keep the interface design simple, create clear sections to allow the customer to effortlessly fill in the fields.
Offer help when things go wrong
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to complete a task and then getting stuck and not knowing how to fix the problem to continue. Give clear guidelines what’s expected of the customer such as compulsory fields or character limits. If the customer does get stuck, give them clear instructions on what to do to fix the error example IF an email field does not include a valid email, tell the customer that the email given requires an @ symbol.