Heading to another city and thinking about staying in a hotel? Earlier you may have struggled with price and amenities but not any longer. The era of premium budget hotels has arrived. Platforms like OyoRooms and ZoRooms are trying to disrupt the hotel industry by helping travellers book a comfortable accommodation at their chosen location, time, and prices. Their business model revolves around creating a low-budget hotel chain that enables users to book rooms through the website and mobile application.
Looking at the popularity and growth potential of this market segment, FATbit Technologies did an in-depth analysis of various hotel booking platforms and their business model. After thorough analysis, we came up with key website features that would give entrepreneurs an insider’s view of how to proceed. Before moving ahead, first let’s look at the business and revenue model.
The budget hotel rooms industry is pegged at over $20 billion, and growing at a double-digit rate. A good portion of this demand is due to emerging tier one and three cities where there is a severe lack of quality accommodation. This is where platforms like ZoRooms and OyoRooms pitches in to become a chain of premium budget hotels. These platforms are reinventing hospitality by providing travellers with friendly, affordable, secure and reliable rooms.
The reason behind accelerated growth behind this business model is its technology offering. Thousands of hotels across India are not sophisticated enough to manage their online listing, bookings, and customer reviews. The online budget hotel chain platform tries to eliminate these shortcomings by bringing these unbranded hotels under its brand and offering them 70-90% occupancy.
When it comes to generating revenue, there are two type of approaches you can take:
Main players in hotel booking industry:
Business model of these platforms is based on the idea of providing a premium chain of low budget hotel rooms under a single banner. This ideology needs to be visible across the website, where you need to focus on providing a user-friendly platform to find and book rooms. Following are the website features and aspects that no prospective clone ought to ignore:
When a user lands on the homepage, it just takes him one glance to determine whether to use the service or head on to a competitor. This is the reason you need to go all out when it comes to homepage design. Some of the necessary features worth including are:
In order to make the user experience unique, you need to implement several design implementations across the website. After careful analysis of various websites our designers came up with an idea of incorporating a 3D carousel slider on their homepage, which highlights most popular cities where you provide services. Each thumbnail of the city can display the number of rooms available in that city.
Every online venture needs a USP to connect instantly with its target audience, and it ought to be highlighted clearly on the homepage. It informs them why they should choose a particular service provider. You can choose to focus on:
Whatever USP you pick, make sure it is highlighted consistently on all the critical website pages.
In this era of mobility, it has become imperative to have a mobile application so that users can purchase, book, or study on the go. To ensure that users are aware of your offering, you can have a dedicated section preferably on the homepage that displays a link to your mobile app. In addition to it, you can also make provision of a discount on first booking to entices users into downloading your mobile application.
In case you are not yet ready for the mobile app, then, invest in a script that promises a mobile site.
Without any doubt, search is one of the most vital aspects of any eCommerce platform. Moreover along with hotel booking functionality, you need to put a lot of emphasis on search experience.There are various search parameters that ensure optimal performance such as:
FATbit recommends incorporating all these parameters right on the homepage, to make the search highly focused. You can also add autocomplete feature in the location text bar to further enhance the process.
During our analysis, we frequently felt the need of user-friendly design layout. This also holds true for listing page, which displays all the results tastefully. So, our recommendations include:
These recommendations can make you online budget hotel aggregator hit the bull’s eye when it comes to page design .
Success of an online hotel booking platform depends upon the user experience of the website and information it provides. This is why you ought to put all the necessary information on the room page. Our experienced team of designers came up with various points that would result in an exquisite Room Page. These include:
There are two options via which you can allow users to book a room on your platform. The first one is Request a call. In this process, a person has to put in their contact details like name and phone number, so that some representative from the hotel can call them back for taking the booking process forward. This process is ideal for those properties, which have their own booking process in place.
The second option allows users to directly book from the website. Users only have to input the check-in/ check-out date, number of rooms and travelers. After clicking on the book now page, users are taken to a payments page.
You can also offer two types of payment options to the users for their convenience. Users can either pay online or make their payment at the hotel itself. If you are building your hotel booking portal for a developing country, then, the latter option can turn out to be beneficial. Leading brands like OyoRooms and ZoRooms do the same.
Incorporate a verification process on your website to ensure that the users are legitimate. This is also vital to ensure there are no spam bookings. To confirm users have to put in an OTP code which is sent to their registered mobile numbers. After verifying the OTP, users get confirmation of their booking.
FATbit analysts advise to looking for a similar feature if you are planning to build your hotel search and booking site with a clone script.
Provision of feedback form can bring you across improvement areas and suggestions from your target audience. A simple form using which users can forward queries to the customer services department can serve the purpose perfectly. Plus it will not require much effort from the development team.
Testimonials and user reviews make it easy for first-time users to make a decision. Studies have shown that users rely heavily on testimonials before opting for a product or service. This is why your online budget hotel booking platform must have a dedicated section of testimonials on the homepage itself.
Create a separate page for featuring reviews to generate search benefit.
The overall idea behind premium hotel chain at affordable prices is unique. Within few years, this sector has been able to carve a niche for itself. Platforms like Fab Hotels work on the same business model and there is huge room for new startups as any hotel under a particular brand does not have any obligation to stay with them. A better clone with a more lucrative business model can surely capture the market share.
If you want to enter this sector with your own booking portal, then, this is the perfect time. Look for an advanced clone script with above-mentioned features or hire a team of UX designers and developers to get a custom solution.
If you have any further queries regarding this business model or website feature, then, send them to us. We would be happy to assist you!
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