If you are a hotelier or a travel industry veteran or just someone with a keen interest in the travel business, being inspired by Booking.com or Airbnb is very likely. The success stories of hotel booking apps don’t just end with such a handful of examples anymore. There are loads of successful hotel booking apps that in recent years achieved phenomenal success. Many of these apps actually had a humble beginning like a single page travel website.
Here through the length of this post, we are going to explain all the key attributes of a successful hotel booking apps ranging from the business models, features and technology stack. Before you hire mobile app developers for building your booking app, make sure to do some groundwork on how these apps really work. But before that let us spare a few words on how these hotel booking apps made the big push towards growth and prosperity in the travel and hospitality industry.
For the past few years, the travel and tourism industry is experiencing steady growth and has emerged as one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. This growth is further perpetuated by the growth of the online travel industry. Let us mention here some statistics that clearly depicts this growth story.
The booking apps play an important role in improving the user experience and creating more scopes of business conversion. Let us have a look at the key benefits of booking apps.
If you are ambitious to build a robust and feature-rich booking app, you need to first decide about the type of booking app that suits your business and intended audience. There are several different types of booking apps. Let’s explain these types of booking apps separately.
So, whether you are a hotelier or just a travel business aspirant or just a new entrant in the industry, you can either make a booking app for promoting your own hotel rooms, work as an aggregator by partnering different hotels or just run an online travel business with an emphasis on the hotel booking.
When you build your booking app, this is another key area of consideration. You need to decide about your operational area and the target audience. First of all, it is always lucrative to focus on a global audience. But this requires scaling up your business with great investment pumped into the business over time. Becoming a business with the global audience also requires considerable time. This is why, as a startup, you can always start locally by focusing on some specific geographic location and then scale gradually to other areas. Starting with your own country or continent can be a good option for a beginner.
Why the user will opt for your new hotel booking app when they have so many credible options already in the market? This is the first question that you should begin with. After all, without offering a unique value proposition you just cannot set your brand apart from the competition.
Depending upon the value offerings offered by most online booking apps, here we are going to explain some value offerings that a new booking app can deliver to its users.
Now, let us explain the key and must-have features of the booking apps. Whether you hire an iOS or Android App Development Company USA for building the app, having a detailed idea about the key features is crucial. Let us explain these features separately as basic and advanced features.
Basic features of a hotel booking app mainly consist of the key UX elements that any modern business app should have. When building an MVP of your intended app, these are the features to get priority. Here are the basic features of any booking app.
The advanced features will only help improve your hotel booking app further with additional functionalities. These features bear the hallmark of sophistication and improved the user experience for your hotel booking app.
Now, you need to have a clear idea about the various types of business models for your online hotel booking app. There is a variety of business models ranging from merchant model, aggregator model, dedicated model to advertising model. Let us explain these models briefly to give you an idea of which model suits you best.
This model requires the app business to partner the hotel owners to get booking rights for a number of rooms that they can offer to their users at a discounted rate. In this model, the app owner gets the rooms at a wholesale rate. The prices of the rooms can vary as per the demands of the travelers and booking status. This type of hotel booking apps make a win-win situation for all parties including the hotelier, the users, and the app business by offering the rooms and accommodations with flexible price tags.
There are several booking apps in this category. Expedia is one of the best examples of such apps. At present, Expedia dominates a large portion of the web and mobile travel business worldwide. Having a presence across more than 200 countries is a great example for new apps to get inspiration from. Such global expansion could only be possible by the app thanks to continuous popularity and investment.
This booking app model is the most popular and dominates the vast majority of booking apps in the market. As per this model, a comprehensive list of hotels across various types, specialties, prices, and categories are listed in the app. Different reservation platforms and payment gateways are also attached to the app. After selecting the accommodation the user is redirected to the respective platform and payment is done. Both Booking.com and HotelLook are great examples of this business model.
This model is another popular one that allows making money through ads on your own booking app. Since this doesn’t require many risks or involves a lot of intricacies for monetising the app, it is the less profitable one among all the booking app business models. TripAdvisor is a great example of this business model.
This model is particularly popular among the renowned hoteliers and hotel chains. The hotels connecting the visitors and travelers through their own apps allows booking rooms and suites right on their mobile screens. Almost all major hotel chains now boast of their own hotel booking apps. From Hilton to Maurya Sheraton to Marriott to Grand Hyatt, all big brand hotel chains have their own apps that allow online booking.
Finally, to build a great booking app you need to use all the appropriate technologies and tools to ensure superior user experience. Let us explain the technology stack for a great booking app.
In conclusion, let us remind you of the importance of a sophisticated user terrace to engage users. Make sure your app is extremely easy for searching hotel accommodations by using different filters and it looks lean, clean and beautiful. Last but not least of all considerations concerns your app security. You should give utmost priority to the app security to safeguard user data and transactions.
WRITTEN BY: Atman Rathod
Atman Rathod is the Founding Director at CMARIX Technolabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading web and mobile app development company with 17+ years of experience. Having…
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