What if, instead of investing so much in improving visibility, you tried to increase your conversion rate?
What destroys your hotel direct conversion
Every hotel believes in its own uniqueness. Of course, it is healthy to be proud of your product. However, it is equally important to be aware that your property is just one among many others. And, each is just as good in the eyes of your customers. So what hampers direct sales, and what do you do to increase your hotel direct bookings?
The Internet was supposed to make travel easier by giving customers instant access to hotel offers. In reality, there are plenty of interesting offers to choose from. It is now becoming increasingly difficult for customers to make a choice. This paradox is known as analysis paralysis (more info here).
Analysis paralysis is a huge threat to sales. In fact, e-commerce moguls such as Amazon and Booking.com spare no effort in reducing the choice range they offer their customers. Think about Amazon recommendations or Customers that purchased this item also bought…
As far as hospitality is concerned, currently, 42% of travelers are spending more time choosing their hotel than they were, 5 years ago (more info here). This phenomenon can be correlated to the ever-increasing volume of online travel websites that crowd the internet. According to a 2017 Phocuswright study, 50% of travelers reported that they now visit more websites before making a choice than they did 5 years ago. To be precise, 55% of them even claimed that they felt they had to browse many websites to find the information they needed.
In short, your hotel is one option among many. And customers are looking for simplification. As a result, personalization is a strategic challenge for your hotel. In fact, customers today expect it. 80% of travelers are ready to share personal data if they get a better experience in return.
2 simple ideas to increase your hotel direct sales
The Internet is crowded and traffic has become expensive. Maybe, increasing conversion would be a much more cost-efficient way to increase your hotel’s revenues. The key to boosting conversion is increasing your relevance.
For starters, when it comes to booking a room, here’s what travelers said. 41% of travelers informed PhocusWright that they were influenced by reviews. 39% claimed that price was central to their decision-making. In my view, the best tool to address this need is Hotel Price Explorer. It combines a parity check and reviews in one single widget.
Once the basics are in place, considering a chatbot is the logical next step. This is because apart from price and reviews that are relevant to most online visitors, you can’t know in advance what will be interesting for each customer. It is your hotel chatbot’s job to handle immediately, all customer requests, 24/7. In short, the main role of a hotel chatbot is not to mimic a human being. It is to provide personalized access to information that will be relevant and to engage each online visitor.