Why Guests Don’t Finish Making Their Reservations

By: O'Rourke Hospitality Team

Since 94% of bookings are abandoned at some point during the booking process, reservation recovery is an important tool for hoteliers to create conversions and direct bookings. Luckily, according to Econsultancy, 87% of people who have abandoned bookings would consider returning to complete the booking process.

Guests abandon their bookings for many reasons, but the most common given reason (39%) is that they are “just looking.” People tend to browse multiple properties while researching and planning a trip. When doing so, they may begin a booking process, only to abandon it later to continue searching for accommodations. Econsultancy reports that guests might visit up to 38 travel sites when planning a trip.

While it’s difficult to prevent potential guests from researching other properties, hoteliers can create sites that help conduct research more effectively and encourage guests to return to their site. Saving customer preferences and using search tools like flexible dates can make the research process more efficient and can entice guests to return to your site to book a room.

The second most common reason (37%) guests give when they don’t finish making their reservations is that the prices are too high. Many guests will abandon the booking to compare prices with OTAs and other hotels and resorts. In fact, most guests that abandon the booking process do so when they are shown the price. 53% of abandoned bookings occur when the final price, including fees and taxes, is revealed.

Hoteliers can provide clearer pricing info on their sites to avoid losing customers due to high prices. Language such as “rooms from $400 and up” or “starting at $400” is confusing to guests who have been conditioned to expect hidden fees when booking hotel rooms. More transparent language such as “total price” will result in fewer abandoned bookings at the pricing step.

Guests also tend to abandon the process when they are asked for their personal information and when asked for payment. To avoid losing bookings at these steps, hoteliers should make sure that forms are clear and easy to fill out, especially mobile forms.

Other reasons guests abandon bookings is that they want to check travel review sites (21%), the process takes too long (13%), they encounter technical issues (9%), or trouble with payment options (7%).

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