Cognitive Ease is the first hotel conversion rate optimization technique Booking.com uses.
Cognitive Ease is a neuromarketing principle that advises simplifying things for users. For example, it suggests making the reservation process as smooth as possible. Therefore it helps visitors in every step, allowing frictionless reservation process and highlighting the easiness of the process.
Conversion Optimization rule: The easier the better
The easier the interaction with the website is, the more our brains love it, and the more positive emotions we experience and, as a result, more likely we come back next time.
For example, to make the process easier Booking.com applies different features.
Remembers Guest actions and personal inforamation
- Autofills city names and hotels.
- Adds the number of people depending on your previous searches.
- Opens calendar without a click immediately after the city is typed. Booking.com date selector is handy. Surprisingly it is not always a rule for other websites.
- Reminds you about unfinished bookings (1 click to continue)
- Stresses out how easy it is to book – “it only takes 2 minutes”; “no credit card required”; almost done messages.
- Remembers your credit card details; your personal data; names of your companions. Prefills information from the previous bookings: your name and email.
- Shows which reservation form fields are optional rather than which are mandatory.
- Uses icons for description. Visuals are easy to understand.
Helps guests to choose with filters
- Applies automatic filters
The default search filter results are Booking.com pick. Only since recently, the OTA is obliged to notify customers that their ranking is not transparent and it could be manipulated by Booking.com.
On the other hand, Top Reviewed rating, based on customers’ opinion, is hidden at the right’s three dots.
In other words, Booking.com filtering policy benefits the platform, not the visitor.
- Pushes for popular filters.
For example, Places of interest, flexible cancellation policy, or similar hotels.
Visitors have the feeling that they are the ones in charge of hotel selection, yet is not exactly the truth. For conversion reason, booking.com suggests filters and gently and firmly directs your search towards reservation.
Adapts design and layout
Information is organized in a logical order, every element is at the place where it should be. For instance, the Shopping cart and Sign In button are in the top right corner. As well, to get better conversion the main element of the home page is the search bar, located is in the middle.
- Copywriting and visual elements are organized in order to make the page readable.
Paragraphs, titles, coloring helps visitors to see the most important thing and the things booking.com wants us to see.
Active verbs make copywriting easier to read
For an instant, Uses active verbs instead of passive, uses imperatives. As a result, a simple phrase in the active voice allows visitors to digest messages more easily, inciting a more positive reaction.
- Add additional information so guests wouldn’t need to search for the answers on other websites.
- Pop-ups information displaced when hovering over a product.
If you have a question, you’ll easily find the answer.
- The convincing techniques don’t stop after the guest makes a reservation.
After the guest completes the reservation, Booking.com suggests the next destination and encourages continued planning. Small improvements that help you to book the next hotel easier.
- Likewise, adds a button to easy cancelation/modification of the reservation
- Sends confirmation and reminder about the trip on your email, therefore it is easy to add the reservation to pass wallet or calendar.
This is the first post from the “Why booking.com converts so high and what hotels can learn from it?” series. We explored how Cognitive Ease helps with hotel conversion rate optimization. Read all the posts to find out how to get a conversion rate as high as booking.com for your hotel website.