And a good deal for your guests should mean more profit for you.
We know that travelers are eager to find hotel deals, and you’re eager to maximize profit margins. And it just so happens that when guests win, hotels (you) win too! Not only can your guests get the best deal when they book with you, but direct bookings yield you the best profit margins.
So, what are the signs your guests are paying too much to book your rooms? (And what are the signs you’re not maximizing profits either?) Here are a few:
They booked through Trivago, Hotels.com, or Kayak. According to research done by Frommers, Trivago, Hotels.com, and Kayak offer some of the worst hotel room rates. Not only are the rates poor for your prospective guests, but you’re handing over a hefty commission when they book through those sites. The better option for you and your guests? Drive visitors to your site and provide a simple, mobile-first booking experience. After all, ￼52% of travelers who book hotel rooms online through an OTA visit the hotel’s website first.￼ A number of products can help convert these visitors into guests: Triptease makes a direct booking platform that integrates with your existing booking engine and website to engage with guests and “nudge” them, with customized pricing and messages, towards a booking.
It’s also important to make your website compelling with visuals and video that allow customers to imagine themselves enjoying your property. If a guest books a stay through your website your customer acquisition cost is a low 8-14% even after accounting for a marketing spend to get them there—versus up to 22% in commission costs through an OTA!
They’re not enrolled in a loyalty program. Generating new business and attracting new guests can require loads of marketing and advertising. Far easier and cost-effective? Incentivizing your guests to return. Guests receive discounted rates from you through a loyalty program, and you earn the business at a fraction of the cost.
Guests can accumulate benefits and get deep discounts when they make repeated stays. A program could offer guests value-added benefits such as free room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, discounted spa treatments and guaranteed room availability. The bottom line? Your guests get lower prices and added value – and you get better margins.
You’re using an out-of-date booking engine. An out-of-date and clunky booking experience is the leading reason a prospective guest will abandon your website and head to an OTA site. And once they leave your site, you risk losing them to a competitive property. Even if they book your property via an OTA, you’ve lost profitability by paying a much higher commission. Your booking engine should be mobile-responsive and have a modular design that allows for different features, and should reflect your existing web design to enhance a seamless experience. It should also serve as the guests’ memory if they accidentally veer off course. Along with friendly error reminders, the booking engine should offer as many opportunities as possible for the guest to avoid re-entering information.
Think about the Amazon shopping experience. This is the online shopping standard your customers have come to expect. If your booking engine isn’t as simple and enjoyable to use as Amazon, you are losing direct-booking customers to your competitors and to the OTAs.
Would you like to maximize your chances of having guests book directly with you online?