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6 reasons why your tour operator website needs booking widgets

The Bókun Team • September 21, 2022

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Your website is the most essential part of your online presence. It’s how you present your business to potential customers. So it’s very important that your website is as good as it can possibly be.

A lot of factors go into this: the design, the functionality, the content you post, and more. And it’s your job to constantly improve on them. But overhauling your entire website every week is not exactly a good solution. Instead, you should look into the advantages of using website widgets. But what exactly are website widgets? And why should you use them?

80% of users book their holidays online , which in 2019 translated to about 755 billion USD worldwide . 10 am CET is the time of day when most bookings are made , with 6am CET being considered the hour when the least bookings are made.

Your travellers are more likely to check for their upcoming holiday on a Monday at work. This only makes researching online a much more convenient way for travellers to book their holidays or work trips at any time of the day.

In a nutshell, as a tour operator, being able to offer online bookings are crucial for your overall growth and widgets can help with that.

What are widgets?

A widget is a functional block that you add to your website; it is typically a third-party application embedded into the website to add a useful function your theme is lacking. Widgets fulfil a wide variety of purposes.

Because of this, many websites use them to provide their users with the best possible experience. They won’t stand out on your website or slow it down, even if you have more than one.

Widgets will help you have online reservations available on your website and most importantly capture them. They can even be used to give access to quick and simple customer support. While most can be customised to a degree (to include or exclude certain information or to look several different ways) each widget is programmed specifically for its function.

From capturing online reservations to directly communicating with your travellers, widgets can allow you to effectively review the data from your website and bookings received so you can understand your audience better. They are also vital for increasing your online exposure and getting you discovered by more travellers.

There are different types of widgets ranging from a full out product list to just a book now button.

Should I use widgets?

The obvious answer is YES! We’ve compelled 6 main reasons that will convince you of the power of using widgets for your website.

Reach guests at all times

Adding a widget means your website is bookable 24/7. Customers who have decided to book a tour don’t want to wait until you are in the office or have the time to reply to your emails or calls. Having a ‘booking now button’ or calendar on your website is a crucial way to allow them to book your activities whenever they want.

Improve customer communication

Instead of waiting for you to get back and confirm the reservation, the guest will directly have a confirmation email. The guest will directly have access to all the information they need through the product description and images. Also no need for emails or phone conversations on how to pay either, everything is at their fingertips.

Cut off admin work

A great online booking system and engine will handle all the aspects of the booking, but often helps you in more ways than just booking:

  • Bookings can only be received when you have availability. So, there’s no overbooking or rechecking sheets, calendars and planners.
  • Send automated emails to your customers after they finish the online booking process or email reminders closer to the date of the booking.
  • Get all the customer information you need to best cater to them and their reservation. Dietary restrictions? No problem!
  • Have all the information you need in one place. Promotions, bookings, customer information, payments and analytics.
  • Set up and manage all invoices, taxes, terms and cancellations with ease using one system.

Manage your availability easily

You don’t have to use another system to sell to OTAs and use your booking engine online! Your availability will be shared across the systems, and kept up to date.

Secure payments

It’s easy to integrate a payment provider for your guests to directly and securely pay online. This also means you’ll get your money faster and do not have to worry about sorting out payments later!

Analyse and check your performance

An online booking system provides you with a dashboard of analytics that help you grow your business. You can check everything in real time, from which products are the most popular to what is currently trending amongst your travellers. You can also make adjustments to your business and increase your bookings!

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Bókun's widget

We currently have 4 different widgets:

Button

A Booking button is a simple button that you can edit, so it fits your website and your personal brand. The button widget can open up in any of the widgets below. Once you have selected the functionality of the button, you can pick the product you want to connect.

Product page

A product page is a web page that shows product descriptions, images and provides all the information for your customers to make an informed decision and book directly on your website.

Calendar

The calendar widget enables travellers to select the date they wish to book and see all available and booked dates, and it is linked to the checkout widget.

Product list

A product list is a widget that shows a list of selected products. The list shows pictures, duration and prices for the selected products and will lead travellers to the product page if they select a product they want to inspect further.

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Want to get started?

If you don’t have a booking engine on your website, why not give Bókun a try? Sign up and try our 2-weeks trial .