Did you know that more than 50% of Brits are more than happy to book online or use AI technology to assist with pub and restaurant bookings?
There’s no doubt that in our increasingly digital world, the days of calling a pub or restaurant and asking about their table availability is a thing of the past.
So, to make sure your pub is attracting as many bookings as it should be, we explain how you can encourage more bookings on your pub website and ultimately improve your website conversion rate as a result.
How to Convince Your Customers that Booking Online is The Way to Go
The first thing you need to do to secure more website reservations is persuade your customers that booking online is the way to go. After all, your customers need to see the benefit of making bookings on your pub website, or they’re unlikely to bother.
By launching an online reservation system and marketing it widely both in-venue and online, you will gradually make your customers aware of the value of booking online. Let’s look at some of the benefits your customers will enjoy when they make bookings on your pub website.
Online booking system benefits
It's fast and easy
Offering bookings on your pub website enables your customers to reserve a table in a matter of seconds, with just a few clicks of their smartphone.One of the main online booking system benefits for your clients is that they don’t have to worry about showing up at a venue with no capacity. They can make their reservation for a time and day that suits them and be safe in the knowledge that they can enjoy their evening out.
Another great thing about online bookings for pubs is that it provides flexibility. When your customers visit your online booking system, they can select a time and date that works for them. This means they don’t have to worry about avoiding your pub at peak hours or waiting in line outside until a table becomes available.
It allows menu and price comparison
Enabling bookings on your pub website allows your customers to view your menu and compare prices before confirming their reservation. Ultimately, this ensures they know what to expect when visiting your pub, reducing their likelihood of leaving or going elsewhere because they’re disappointed with your offering.
It enables booking without interaction
Many consumers don’t necessarily want to call and speak to someone directly to make a restaurant booking. Initiating an online booking system ensures your customers can reserve a table without any interaction, thus increasing your potential client pool. The bottom line is that an online booking system makes things easier for your customers.
So, let’s now take a look at how taking online bookings can increase your website conversion rate from a business perspective.
Six Tips for Increasing Your Website Conversion Rate
A high conversion rate is the holy grail for any company online – pubs and restaurants included. With the right CRO strategy, it is possible to increase your conversion rates by 200% or more. Here are some key CRO tips that are guaranteed to make your conversions soar.
Identify your target audience and speak directly to them
How do you know what your audience wants to see if you can’t accurately define them? To truly understand the market you’re trying to appeal to; you need to conduct some market research and understand both purchase path and pain points.
Understanding what makes your customers tick (and what puts them off) is critical to conversion rate optimisation. Once you know what your customers want to see, you can tailor your content and marketing plan to speak directly to them.
Increase the likelihood of people opting in by offering a free incentive
An easy to implement CRO tip for pubs is to offer a free incentive as soon as a customer visits your website. This could be a complimentary pint with any meal purchase, 10% off the final bill or a buy-one-get-one-free offer to be utilised during your quieter times.
A simple pop up as your customers visit your website is an excellent way to offer a free incentive, as it appears immediately in their eyeline and will allure them into making a booking or finalising a sale – whichever your overarching aim is.
Create a persuasive design that appeals to emotions as well as rational thinking
Research suggests that ads with purely emotional content perform twice as well (31% vs 16%) as those with only rational thinking. So, when it comes to conversion rate optimisation, consider what your website is telling your customers.
You want to ensure people are happy to invest in your business because they feel something, not just because they think something. Planning content based upon emotion is an excellent way to increase your conversion rate.
Optimise for mobile devices and ensure all content is readable on smaller screens
Did you know that 62% of consumers are less likely to choose a restaurant or pub if they can’t read the menu on a mobile device? It’s impossible to understate the importance of ensuring your web content is mobile friendly.
If you don’t make your content viewable on mobile devices, you will almost certainly lose out on customers. As such, having mobile-friendly content is one of the most important CRO tips for pubs out there.
Increase customer trust in your offer
A recent survey found that 1 in 2 customers said that a ‘trust badge’ was the most important factor they look at when shopping online. After all, to truly appeal to your customers, you need to convince them to trust you to deliver excellent products and services.
For a pub website, include verifiable Google reviews, display TripAdvisor awards, and link out to trusted external sources where write-ups have been published about your business. The more your clients trust you, the more likely they are to book a table.
Make things easy for your customers to understand
When you’re putting together an online booking segment on your website, you want to make things as easy as possible for your potential customers. Make it explicitly clear how your booking system works, limit choice, and tell your customers what to do next.
Remember, the whole purpose of an online booking system is to secure bookings, not to provide your customers with irrelevant information about your business. Keep things simple, jargon-free, and easy to access, and you will undoubtedly boost the number of bookings you receive via your website.
Launching an online booking system for your pub is an excellent way to make life so much easier and to get more people in the door. Hopefully, the tips that we’ve shared above highlight the importance of providing your customers with a simple way of reserving a table online while giving you the confidence to take the necessary steps to improve your website conversion rate.