Personalized Incentives Will Convince Your Visitors to Book Directly
Increasing direct bookings through your own hotel’s website is a New Year’s resolution almost ubiquitous amongst hoteliers in 2017. The big booking platforms have managed to assume a strong position during the industry’s ongoing transition from offline to online business with four out of five online bookings now done through OTAs. This has led to decreasing customer contact, and it has allowed commission revenues of big-scale agencies to grow month upon month. Starting a couple of months ago, hoteliers have just begun to realize: “We gotta catch up and strengthen our online marketing! What we need are more direct bookings, so our distribution range become more balanced and ultimately lowering distribution expenses!” It’s at this point that the following questions emerge: “What is important to us? What are the prerequisites? How can the processes be optimized?”
Which factors are essential for online distribution?
Direct online distribution takes place right on your own hotel website. Naturally, this means that the prerequisites for digital direct distribution include a website, as well as website visitors and a booking engine facilitating the actual booking process. Nowadays, most hoteliers have got all these covered already. That said: don’t you feel that the share of direct bookings is still too small? If you do, the next step for you is to increase the performance of your hotel website! First of all, it’s important to take a look at your hotel website’s current performance by making it measurable. The key measure indicating the performance of your hotel website is its conversion rate (abbreviated: CVR). It tells you how many of your website visitors actually book directly through your own online booking engine. The average CVR on hotel-owned websites ranges between 0.3% and 6%, currently. In other words, 0.3 to 6 out of every 100 people visiting your website actually follow through and book there. Likewise, the higher your conversion rate, the more bookings you’ll have managed to generate per visitor, thus, the better your website’s performance.