Apps

Published on May 18th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi

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How to build a hotel booking app that converts

Assuming that everyone is an active smartphone user, the importance of having an app is obvious. Hence, developing a mobile hotel app is worth the candles, isn’t it?

First, mobile apps greatly improve the user experience especially when it comes to solving some problems. If something goes wrong with a forthcoming trip, a traveler can easily change the dates or cancel the reservation within a few finger taps.

Also, mobile apps are second-to-no when it comes to loyalty programs.

What else can an app do for hotels?And what benefits can get the travelers with an app?
  • Reach out to more people
  • Ensure a stable mobile presence
  • One more powerful tool for advertising and promotion
  • Direct contact with the potential visitors
  • Social media integration
  • Content update
  • A quick and convenient access to the necessary information
  • Notification about special offers and hot deals
  • Information about upcoming events
  • Ability to book the room with an app
  • Pay for the stay via integrated payment systems

How to monetize a hotel booking app?

A merchant model

App owners contact with hotel owners to get the right to sell the rooms with a discount. Then the rooms are sold to the travelers with the average 10-40% margins. The prices for rooms may differ depending on hotel and travel demands.

Let’s take a look at Expedia, a clear example of a merchant hotel app. Nearly 17% of online travel business goes through the app. Expedia covers 200 countries. Note, Expedia uses a merchant model thanks to the enormous funds.

An agency model

In this case, an app is a mediator between a hotel and a traveler taking a commission fee (usually it doesn’t exceed 20%). Each transaction that is done via in-app purchase system will bring some money to an app owner. Such kind of monetization isn’t beneficial for hotels. In comparison with the previous, the profits of the hotel are assured. But you as an app owner won’t lose money if apartments are free.

Most of the present hotel booking apps take the benefits of such a business model even

Expedia. And the leading position in this business niche is occupied by Priceline. The agency model doesn’t require huge financial resources and any risks, but at the same time, it brings less money.

It’s right up your street if you have no experience in hotel booking and if you don’t have millions.

An advertising model

Advertising model doesn’t generate lots of revenue. The app owners get a few cents from each redirection to the website of a hotel. It’s the less profitable way when it comes to app monetization strategies. But, again, such model is less risky than the two mentioned above.

Tripadvisor is a clear-cut example of the advertising model. The app generates profits by charging cost-per-click. It’s an ideal way to monetize an app if you have massive in-app traffic.

What features to integrate?

Search and Reservation

Of course, these are the essential features for a hotel booking app. Make a reservation process as seamless and fast as possible.

Try to make filters to ease the search:

  • Reviews
  • Price rate
  • Rating

User account

It’s a great feature to implement. The user profile can make the search as well as hotel booking more convenient.

Consider integrating an authorization via social media accounts. Thanks to the account, it’d be great to offer:

  • Subscription for news and offers
  • Track of the past and future reservations
  • Personalization

Push notifications

App notifications will keep the users in touch with everything they like. Moreover, if you choose an advertising business model, keeping your users active and engaged is highly important for your app success.

Consider implementing a filter for notifications. It will allow the users to select what they want to track without being annoyed by dozens of cell phone bums.

Filters to consider:

  • Best discounts for reservations
  • Hot deals and special offers
  • Upcoming events

Payment

Integration of in-app payment can simplify the process of hotel booking and upgrade the user experience. It’s also highly beneficial for an agency business model as you have to take a fee for every transaction.

If you’re going to integrate a payment feature, be ready to spend more time as well as money to develop a hotel booking app. Moreover, your app will require more sophisticated security measures.

Information about hotels

Additional details are what the visitors are looking for when choosing a hotel to stay. Properly structured hotel pages with the up-to-date information will help your users make a right decision.

Also, more relevant information especially that linked to bonuses and hot offers can help a hotel attract more new visitors and advertise a hotel among the others.

What information should be included?

  • GPS coordinates
  • Photo gallery
  • Travel guides and locations
  • Restaurant menus

Social options

Enable the users to share their experience via the app since the social options are something that your users will definitely like. A social feature can keep the users active as well as help you promote a hotel in case you own an advertising app.

What can your users share?

  • Hotel reviews and feedbacks
  • Photos and videos

Types of hotel apps

Last-minute hotel booking appsBeforehand booking apps
Since there are lots of people traveling on the go, such apps come extremely popular.Such apps can help the users plan holidays and vacations beforehand.

Surely, each app type serves a particular problem and offer different solutions to the users. However, hotels receive various benefits as well as more quests.

Beforehand hotel booking apps

Such apps should feature a sophisticated search engine as well as a sufficient number of hotels. It will be great to include lots of hotel information including a photo gallery, history, travel guides, etc.

Hence, such apps create a beneficial environment for hotels to advertise themselves.

Check out best examples of beforehand hotel booking apps:

  • Priceline
  • Expedia
  • Triviago
  • Agoda
  • Ixigo
  • Cleartrip
  • Yatra
  • Makemytrip
  • Travelocity

Last-minute hotel booking apps

First of all, such apps should be extremely easy to use and require as less time to make a reservation as possible. In other words, the app should serve its primary purpose – quickly reserve a room for the same night.

The user advantages are obvious, but hotels also get some bonuses – the rooms won’t stay idle.

Here are the best examples of last-minute booking apps:

  • Hotel.com
  • HotelQuickly
  • Hotel Tonight
  • Hipmunk

How to make a hotel booking app?

There are many of ways that you might go when developing a hotel booking app. In a nutshell, there are four main ways:

  • Do it yourself

You can design and develop an app from scratch using available app templates or online app builders.

  • Hire freelancers

Just lay your desired app on the paper, and independent developers will bring your app idea to life. Additionally, hiring freelancers may save you money and time.

  • Outsource app development

Hiring not-Western software developing companies to create a hotel booking app. In most cases, hourly rates of those companies are 4-6 times lower.

  • Find a developer agency

Find a development agency, and pay for your app development. And wait for a fully-functioning hotel booking app. This is probably the most expensive way but at the same time the most reliable.

More useful information on app development, you can find on our blog. Check it out before setting off to your app development journey.

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About the Author

I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.



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