Wonderlust Magazine


Drive up your online booking conversions with technology

September 13
11:04 2017

The Wonderlust Bureau speaks with the Research & Development team at Qtech to understand the new technology they are researching on and implementing to improve online booking conversions on their travel ERP platform, OTRAMS.


Rahul Kathet and team.

With a combination of developers across different disciplines, the R&D team at Qtech is constantly finding long term answers to data and digital travel challenges by widening their reach across technology platforms.
Booking conversions in the online travel space are a constant challenge. With the variety of choice available to customers and agents, it is increasingly difficult for Travel Management Companies to convert the many visits to their websites and mobile apps into bookings.

Speed for dynamic inventory is a challenge for any technology company. One of the key factors to decision making for a customer is the speed at which results are displayed. “A customer who doesn’t have to wait long won’t move to another site. Ideally, your website should be displaying results in 4 seconds or less.”, said Rahul Kathet, Project Manager, Research & Development at Qtech.

The Qtech R&D team invests significant time implementing new technology that optimises the website for speed. Combinations of technologies like NodeJS, socket programming, Python and JavaScript have been used to reduce the time to display results and make faster checkouts.

Multilingual and multicurrency interfaces
Talking to your market in their local language will earn your brand credibility and give your customers the ease of making a booking in a language they use. Allowing users to book in their local currency also gives them an impression of safety and familiarity. This automatically leads to an increase in searches and conversions.

OTRAMS products are compatible with any language and currency. The R&D team at Qtech has made it possible to add and display human and machine-translated versions of static site content in any language, with a seamless change in the orientation for languages read from right to left. “We have achieved these results through our studies on multilingual data types and characters, and implemented our learnings in our platform.” said Rahul.

Flexible payment options
Giving users the ability to split their payments among friends or pay directly at the hotel are key to increasing the conversion rate for B2C websites. For B2B systems like OTRAMS, travellers hold their bookings till the cancellation deadline and pay later, giving users a line of credit till the last moment while providing for free cancellation.

Testing your site using different versions
Users react differently to different layouts and experiences. Sometimes, the difference between a user clicking on a button or exiting a page is the placement of the button on the page. The R&D team advocates A/B testing to find out which version works better. With this tactic, two versions of the same page  are shown to users randomly. The difference may be minimal – a placement of a banner, a change in the font, adding an ancillary service in the right place, or even the colour of a ‘book now’ button. Using analytics, it is possible to find out which page performed better, and with the data observed, implement the solution that brings the site maximum conversions.

Portal and app analytics
Pages on your website or app that are not yielding results can be easily identified using analytics. Data analysis can provide important insights on the hits that a page is receiving, at what times of the day it is popular, and which offers are converting the most.

Beyond page specific data, analytics also provides data on the users visiting the site, the locations they are visiting  from, and if they are accessing the site from their computers or mobile phones. By cross matching the data against the conversions on the site or app, it is possible to tailor the right content to the right audience. Conversion patterns can provide valuable data on what can be done more often, while user abandonment data can be used for optimisation.

Natural Language Processing
Using technologies like Python and Natural Language Processing libraries, the Qtech R&D team manipulates and convert a natural human sentence like “i want to book a hotel in dubai for 23rd august with 2 adults and 3 children” to a language that the website can understand. Users can enter in a simple statement of what they are looking for and get a list of results that match their request.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence
Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, the Qtech R&D team is also working on developing suggestions of booking options that match users search and booking patterns. This will give the platform the ability to learn more about the user as more and more searches and bookings are made, and tailor the experience for that specific user.

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence are an important focus area for us. Innovation is essential to ensure we are always ahead in the technology game, and with so many unsolved challenges in the travel industry that we are sure we will never run out of areas where a new opportunity exists”, said Rahul.

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Official editorial team of Wonderlust - The Business Travel Magazine.

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