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Booking Engine Filter Logic
01-05-2014, 03:12 AM
Post: #1
Information Booking Engine Filter Logic
Hello

I was looking at the Reception Page today and noticed some strange effects with occupancy filters. I believe that there is a fault in the occupancy logic (or the logic is aimed at hotels) when applied to apartments and villas.

For example, if I do a basic search on dates then all accommodations available are presented. That's good, as expected.

If I then choose to filter based on 3 people staying then I expected to see all accommodations listed except those that have 2 persons or less max. occupancy. However, what I got was only the accommodation specifically set up for 3 persons.

Of course, in our situation we have many properties that can sleep 3 people or more and it is their choice if they wish to book an apartment for 6 people but only have 3 occupants. Last year we sold many villas sleeping 6 that only had 4 guests or less. Their choice!

Is this logic something that can be changed?

Regards
Dave
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01-07-2014, 03:54 AM
Post: #2
RE: Booking Engine Filter Logic
Hi Dave,

the way the occupancy filter works is this:
- I check availability and get all the results (the number of occupancy for each result is very clear beside the room type and each result)
- let's say we have 4 icons available in the filter (for 1, 2, 3 and 4 people) and the customer search for 3 people
- he will click on the 3 persons icon filter and get results only for those rooms with occupancy for 3 people. He is already searching after seeing all the results something that fits perfectly his needs. I feel logical that an offer for 4 people is also available for 3 of them..
- let's say that after checking the perfect availability he is not happy and wants to look for more than 3 persons occupancy. So, without clicking again the 3 people icon, he will click on the 4 people icon and results will include (without excluding previous results) new availabilities for 4 people then.

The occupancy filter, in my opinion, has a correct way of showing less and more profitable results to make easier the booking process for the potential customer.
Remember you can disable it with a simple click in reservation preferences.. Tongue

Anyway, if you feel the usability is wrong and/or you feel a common user won't understand it, how will you modify it?
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01-07-2014, 04:23 AM
Post: #3
RE: Booking Engine Filter Logic
I understand what you are saying. And there is some logic there. I still think it is much easier though to show ALL accommodation types for the given number of guests rather than a small subset that exactly fits the number of guests. I think in your method there is a risk that guests will think that there are no other options and leave the site.

I should also say, I have never seen this method used anywhere else. In general, all of the BE's I have used show all options for the number of guests. Does that make it better or more correct. No, just more usual.

However, and here is the bigger problem. We are looking at ways of adding a search box on our website that pre-loads the from / to dates and the number of guests and then fetches and displays the results on a page, perhaps using fount / wired / alien. If the number of guests is let's say, 2 people, then by existing logic, only a 1-bed apartment will be returned and this could make the guest think that is all we have available. Of course in reality, all accommodations are suitable for 2 people, 1-bed, 2-bed and 3-bed villa. So we risk losing the client.

I am trying to think ahead here Daniele. The Online Reception is very good and we can turn off the filter or live with the filter logic. My concern is with the downstream solution and how this is affected by Wubook design and structure.

Of course, I am coming at this from a position of not fully understanding how we will integrate the booking engine into our websites. With other BE solutions it is easier to understand, simple SOAP functions using an XML library. We have done this before. Here we are having to learn a new way of integrating the BE so perhaps my questions / logic are impaired and we will have a better solution with wubook.

Many thanks for joining this discussion.

Regards
Dave
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01-07-2014, 05:02 AM
Post: #4
RE: Booking Engine Filter Logic
(01-07-2014 04:23 AM)DC041 Wrote:  I understand what you are saying. And there is some logic there. I still think it is much easier though to show ALL accommodation types for the given number of guests rather than a small subset that exactly fits the number of guests. I think in your method there is a risk that guests will think that there are no other options and leave the site.

I should also say, I have never seen this method used anywhere else. In general, all of the BE's I have used show all options for the number of guests. Does that make it better or more correct. No, just more usual.

However, and here is the bigger problem. We are looking at ways of adding a search box on our website that pre-loads the from / to dates and the number of guests and then fetches and displays the results on a page, perhaps using fount / wired / alien. If the number of guests is let's say, 2 people, then by existing logic, only a 1-bed apartment will be returned and this could make the guest think that is all we have available. Of course in reality, all accommodations are suitable for 2 people, 1-bed, 2-bed and 3-bed villa. So we risk losing the client.

I am trying to think ahead here Daniele. The Online Reception is very good and we can turn off the filter or live with the filter logic. My concern is with the downstream solution and how this is affected by Wubook design and structure.

Of course, I am coming at this from a position of not fully understanding how we will integrate the booking engine into our websites. With other BE solutions it is easier to understand, simple SOAP functions using an XML library. We have done this before. Here we are having to learn a new way of integrating the BE so perhaps my questions / logic are impaired and we will have a better solution with wubook.

Many thanks for joining this discussion.

Regards
Dave

Uhm, there is a point which I would call philosofical here and it is the following. Please follow me:
I land on your webpage. I find photos, infos, descriptions and so on. Then finally I'd like to check availability and/or prices so I click on the reservation botton. In that moment, it's possible I already have precise dates of stay at your property...or not!!
Let's say I have them, so I put them in the boxes and check for availability. I get results after it and here comes our philosophy: I would have results as well by only clicking on "show availbility", with no dates, no occupancy, no info. We do not want to frustrate users (potential customers) who will quit soon if not able to get easy and fast info from the tool. The Magic Calendar is a clear element of it!

It happens sometimes, I try to book hotels and to get a quote from their booking engine I got frustrated to have to specify so many details before having at least a simple quotation. Many pop up saying "please, select a date!" or "specify number of people" or "specify room type" and so on.

I really feel this is the opposite I am looking for.

And sometimes the most funny is that after specifying all the details (loss of time, really) I get a message from the bookign engine "I am sorry we have no rooms available"!!!

This works for hotels, hostels, apartments, bungalows, bycicle, motos, cars, whatever you want to book. Make it easy means to improve conversions..

But as always, it's my opinion!
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01-07-2014, 08:47 PM
Post: #5
RE: Booking Engine Filter Logic
Morning

I looked again this morning to be sure if my feelings are valid. I also asked a friend to test the system. His comments were similar to mine, he also felt it was likely to confuse our guests. His advice was not to use it. He is a hotelier with 25 years experience of hotel booking systems so his comments are very important to me. We both felt that the approach was more useful for hotels rather than self-catering villas and apartments.

I have now turned off the filtering so that at least guests will now see all appropriate options at all times. It's a shame but necessary.

One thing which might help other uses is to change the word Filter: to Just for: as this implies showing accommodation results which are optimal just for 2 people, just for 3 people etc. Sometimes even a simple change of words can help people understand better.

As you say Daniele, it is purely individual perspective. The filter is neither right or wrong but for us, and our guests, we feel it is a little too confusing.

Kind regards
Dave
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01-07-2014, 11:06 PM
Post: #6
RE: Booking Engine Filter Logic
(01-07-2014 08:47 PM)DC041 Wrote:  Morning

I looked again this morning to be sure if my feelings are valid. I also asked a friend to test the system. His comments were similar to mine, he also felt it was likely to confuse our guests. His advice was not to use it. He is a hotelier with 25 years experience of hotel booking systems so his comments are very important to me. We both felt that the approach was more useful for hotels rather than self-catering villas and apartments.

I have now turned off the filtering so that at least guests will now see all appropriate options at all times. It's a shame but necessary.

One thing which might help other uses is to change the word Filter: to Just for: as this implies showing accommodation results which are optimal just for 2 people, just for 3 people etc. Sometimes even a simple change of words can help people understand better.

As you say Daniele, it is purely individual perspective. The filter is neither right or wrong but for us, and our guests, we feel it is a little too confusing.

Kind regards
Dave

Great Dave!!

I feel your point is exactly what we need! Let's change it into Just for which explain exactly what it is for.
And yes, if you feel it is confusing, better to turn it off.

Please, change the sentence in the .po file so that everybody could be beneficiated from this change. Big Grin

Thanks again!
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01-07-2014, 11:16 PM
Post: #7
RE: Booking Engine Filter Logic
Quote:Great Dave!!

I feel your point is exactly what we need! Let's change it into Just for which explain exactly what it is for.
And yes, if you feel it is confusing, better to turn it off.

Please, change the sentence in the .po file so that everybody could be beneficiated from this change. Big Grin

Thanks again!

I have done quite a lot of the translations. There are some fields I have no idea what they mean - they are just characters e.g. διαμερίσματα αριθμός - any ideas?

Would it be a good idea for me to send you what I have done and for you to validate them? I can keep fine tuning the English until completely done.

Let me know.

Dave
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01-08-2014, 02:30 AM
Post: #8
RE: Booking Engine Filter Logic
Ok,

I've inserted on the roadmap a different approach for the "inline fitlering". What Dave suggests is not wrong: if I select occupancy 2, I can be interested on a triple room, in particular in the case no double room is available.

It should be done fast enough. We will now proceed with Holiday Packages.
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01-08-2014, 04:17 AM
Post: #9
RE: Booking Engine Filter Logic
(01-08-2014 02:30 AM)yellow Wrote:  Ok,

I've inserted on the roadmap a different approach for the "inline fitlering". What Dave suggests is not wrong: if I select occupancy 2, I can be interested on a triple room, in particular in the case no double room is available.

It should be done fast enough. We will now proceed with Holiday Packages.

I am pleased you see merit in my approach. Thank you.
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01-09-2014, 03:51 AM
Post: #10
RE: Booking Engine Filter Logic
(01-07-2014 11:16 PM)DC041 Wrote:  
Quote:Great Dave!!

I feel your point is exactly what we need! Let's change it into Just for which explain exactly what it is for.
And yes, if you feel it is confusing, better to turn it off.

Please, change the sentence in the .po file so that everybody could be beneficiated from this change. Big Grin

Thanks again!

I have done quite a lot of the translations. There are some fields I have no idea what they mean - they are just characters e.g. διαμερίσματα αριθμός - any ideas?

Would it be a good idea for me to send you what I have done and for you to validate them? I can keep fine tuning the English until completely done.

Let me know.

Dave

Yes Please, Dave. Send them to me. We'll update servers soonish with it too!
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