Either you are a businessman traveling due to your job’s demand or a family guy arranging family summer holiday, if you have a smartphone in your hand, you will likely search for an app to book a hotel room.
Everything is online these days and, as you may know, hotel and tickets booking websites have been around for quite a while already. But as the lifestyle gets busier every day, users need high quality mobile release of such platforms to be able to arrange their trips on the go. Creating mobile versions of such websites isn’t the most convenient thing to do, as it takes quite a lot of time too and a mobile version of a website isn’t half as handy as a phone application.
Today travelling is as popular as ever, so get prepared to be inspired to develop your own hotel reservation application.
How Does a Hotel Reservation App Work?
Why booking application instead of a regular website? Well, let me tell you, I’ve got a whole list made up.
For starters, it will come as no surprise but a mobile app is just very convenient. You carry your phone everywhere therefore you can book a holiday everywhere.
Being a registered user, you will be able to save personal data in your profile. Depending on the app, the options vary from routes to price preferences and your favourite places to stay. In addition to that, you will be reminded of your bookings which is handy if you are not too organized.
Another feature that booking apps have started to adopt recently is offering to rent an apartment, a room or a whole house from the local natives. AirBnB were the one to launch it and they have really opened a new route in travelling.
Key Features and Functions
The very basis of hotel booking app is to give your user an opportunity to pick and reserve a hotel room. Such applications are divided by multiple criteria which we will discuss later in this article, but for now let’s stick to the features that your app must have despite any specifications:
- Hotel search and reservation. Add the price list and give basic information about the hotel’s amenities such as free Wi-Fi, allowance to stay with pets, view etc.
- In-app payment method. There is no point in creating a booking app without providing potential users with an option to pay for their reservation. Customers might want to pay for their room immediately to make sure they’ll have it when you need it and hotels might require prepay. You can collaborate with PSPs (Payment Service Provider) like PayPal and it’s offsprings on that one.
- Personal user profile. Offer your users an option to create a personal account where they can easily view their reservations. It is a good idea to enable Facebook or some other social media authorisation to make the registration process easier and faster.
- Push notifications. Suggest registered users to get notifications about their upcoming reservations or if there is a chance to book a room in a hotel they are interested in.
- Adjustable settings. As traveling is a multinational concept, make your app multilingual and add some currency options so there is no need to turn to a third party converter.
- Simple UI/UX. And lastly, make your app simple and intuitive. If a person is in a hurry and needs to book a room immediately, complicated and inconvenient app is the last thing they need.
Of course the best option is to make your app cover the entire globe, but that is not the headstart that everyone can have. Being local at the beginning is not bad at all. This way you have more chances to success in the competition thus grow stronger and get an audience before you reach the bigger market. For example, OneNight is an app that offers only same-day bookings. It was created by the same company that owns a Standard Hotel chain and it is only available in New York, LA, Miami and Austin. Despite that, the app is widely known and used, and there is a word that they are working on adding more locations.
How to Improve Your Hotel Booking Application
We have already discussed the basic necessary features, now let’s get to what additions you can implement to upgrade your app:
- Flight reservation. Bying a ticket and booking a hotel room are quite connected processes. As your user is probably in a hurry, provide them with an opportunity to get a flight and an accommodation fast and in the same place. Filters like price and time are necessary in this feature.
- Feedback section. Let your users rate the hotels and left comments so they can share their experience and choose the best place to stay referring to their fellow travellers’ comments.
- Schedule organizing advisor. Be more than just a seller, be an advisor. A good idea would be adding a map with all the most famous must-visit sights and users’ best recommendations. Of course it is not crucial to make your app successful, but the spontaneous travellers would be glad to find such feature.
- Car rent. It is common now to add a car reservation feature into booking apps. Concider adding filters like the amount of people on a vacation, the type of the car and the amount of money your user is ready to spend.
- Discounts. Offer your regular users discounts for their bookings as a thank-you note. For example, eBookers Travel offers a discount program for their frequent clients.
Drawing a commission off every order. Of course there are in-app purchases included, so the best way to earn from your app is to draw small commissions off every money transaction.
Advertisement. The good old ads are always the way. Make them convenient and not too intrusive so your customer doesn’t want to find another app that would not distract them.
Partnership. A good idea is getting a partnership with a hotel chain, travel agency or an airline company. Make the hotel partners first in the list of offers, and actualize your other partnerships in banner ads or special offers like discounts etc.
Subscription service. Provide your customers with a privilege of being informed about great deals first and getting extra service for a monthly payment.
There are a lot of different kinds of hotel booking applications on the market, and what you need to turn your idea into a successful and innovative affair is a professional, reliable dev team.
If you are interested to know any additional information, ThunderRise team is ready to answer any of your questions.