How Secure Is Your Hotel Website?
When it comes to attracting direct bookings to your hotel, a secure website is an essential component to achieve higher conversion rates. Having a ‘secure’ website is important for providing a safe browsing and shopping experience for your customers which in turn fosters trust between the hotelier and the customer, this blog post explains how.
What Does HTTPS Mean?
When it comes to eCommerce, ensuring the security of your customer’s data is essential. Most websites use something called SSL encryption to protect any data which is passed between a website and a shopper. The SSL encryption requires a secure form of communication between a website and the consumer browsing their site, and the secure form of communication is known as HTTPS – the ‘S’ stands for ‘Secure’.
This secure form of communication is indicated to the shopper in the URL which displays ‘https’ in place of the standard ‘http’ in front of the web address. It also shows the padlock symbol on the left-hand side of the URL bar which users can look to as reassurance that their data is secure when entering bank details, viewing their account, or personal information online.
It is the protocol of choice for all web browsing traffic and means that your guests experience a more secure browsing environment.
Here are 2 big reasons why your hotel website should use HTTPS:
- Playing by Google’s Rules Pays Off
In August 2014 Google first announced that they would give websites that switch to the HTTPS protocol a minor ranking boost. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Google has a preference towards sites that are trusted and certified as it benefits all parties to switch.
The amount of bias Google has towards sites using the HTTPS protocol has continued to rise since then, with HTTPS sites on Google search results now topping 50% of page 1 according to data collected in 2017 by SEO Consultancy, Moz.
Whilst there haven’t been any major algorithm updates around security of websites, there has been a steady adoption across all eCommerce industries, indicating it’s definitely not just a phase.
- User Psychology Reduces Abandoned Baskets
In the world of eCommerce, understanding user psychology can lead to lower abandon baskets. To be seen as trustworthy in the eyes of the consumer is a no-brainer, and the small padlock symbol does just that.
According to a GlobalSign survey, 84% of users would abandon a purchase if data was sent over an insecure connection, and a large majority are concerned about their data being intercepted or misused online.
Chrome is also going to start making it really obvious when a website isn’t secure. It’s set to change the HTTP security indicator to the red triangle used for broken HTTPS when users enter text into a form on an HTTP page, obviously deterring users not to proceed with their transaction or giving their information.
Customers are growing more aware of the dangers of their private data being intercepted on the web. And they filter their purchasing alternatives against security criteria.
There’s an element of diminishing trust in online merchants. This is especially true when it comes to smaller, niche retailers. Customers focus on Amazon and other giants, shops with big brands behind them and don’t apply the same level of trust to a smaller brand.
So, the smaller your hotel, the more work you have to do to convince the user to book through your website.
Mastercard, an American financial services company, carried out a survey to see how online shoppers feel about security on the web. They found that just over half (53%) of the respondents suggest visible, explicit assurance that their transactions are secure would improve their shopping experience.
Despite this seemingly negative sentiment towards online shopping, over two thirds (69%) of respondents say they have made at least one purchase online in the last three months and a significant 87% of those reported being very or extremely satisfied with their experience.
The good news is that any hotel who partners with Net Affinity benefits from a HTTPS compliant website. Our clients are safe in the knowledge that their website and booking process is secure, and provides their customers with a safe browsing and shopping experience.
For more information about Net Affinity’s industry-leading Booking Engine technology, click here.