What is a Chinese wall?
A Chinese wall is a virtual barrier obstructing the smooth flow of information between two functions, in our instance, the website and the booking engine. This is because both are built in silos and with different technologies.
When customers want to book a room, they first browse through the hotel website. They then need to navigate to the booking engine to view prices and confirm their booking. This is where the problem lies: the booking engine is completely different from the hotel website. The look and feel is distinct, the load time is maybe slow, key brand elements are missing and the booking engine is hosted on a separate domain. This disrupts a seamless browsing experience for the customer. Any inconsistency or delay in the above factors may cause visitors to not proceed with their booking. Consequently, hotels may lose out on direct bookings. It is therefore essential to break the Chinese wall.
Comparison with offline shopping:
E-commerce websites should emulate an offline shopping experience. For instance, some multi-storeyed retail outlets have the billing only on one floor. As a result, the checkout time is longer as customers need to wait in queues. They find it cumbersome to visit two sections, one for shopping and another for paying the bill. Similarly, this analogy applies to the online experience. When shifting between domains for browsing and bookings respectively, guests undergo a disjointed experience. This is where hotels lose out on potential customers.
How do we break this Chinese wall?
Hotel websites and booking engines need to be integrated well to make them appear as one entity and provide a seamless experience to the customer. Your hotel brand website should act like a magnet to attract and retain customers. It must have an automated response system that allows re-marketing — nudging customers to make purchases through personalised emails, secret offers, etc, if they quit their booking process midway.
The absence of a Chinese wall not only ensures a smooth transition from browsing to purchasing but alsoimproves purchase intentionsand directly affects the conversion rate of bookings from your hotel website. But how do you break this massive barrier? With the best booking engine and website creators in town — Simplotel!
Simplotel Website Builder & Booking Engine
At Simplotel, we believe that the hotel website and the booking engine are one. We drive this notion home by providing our own booking engine which is seamless with your hotel website. We call this solution Simplotel Hotel E-commerce, which comprises Simplotel Website Builder & Simplotel Booking Engine.
We do the following:
Make your booking engine look the same as your hotel website and run it on your domain.
Display real-time room prices from the booking engine on the website.
Customize the website based on the actions of the user on the booking engine.
Provide unified metrics which include the number of visitors, number of clicks, statistics concerning the bookings made through your websites, etc.
Additionally, the journey of every visitor on your website is tracked, recorded and presented in a comprehensible format. We believe that it is never just one thing that drives website conversions, but a combination of a zillion things, all of which are automated for Simplotel websites! Another unique aspect about our websites is that they remember every customer.
This has helped our customers reach nearly 5X growth in direct bookings and save massively on commissions to online travel agencies (OTAs). (Read The Serai hits 40% of total online bookings through website)
Simplotel breaks the Chinese wall and provides a customised experience for your prospective customers. So let us take the wheel and accelerate your direct bookings for a successful growth story!