Marketing team of OTA’s to pay 10% - 25% to OTA’s. Nowadays around 80% of hotel bookings come from OTA’s and there’s an enormous booking-battle going on where hotels are starting to fight for direct bookings as they are realising the benefits. hese direct bookings are lowering a hotel’s dependency on OTA’s and corresponding commission fee’s and also gathers customer data and insights to start building a relationship with the guests before and after their arrival.
Research shows that 3 out of 4 people will visits the hotel’s website after they have visited the popular OTA’s such as booking.com and agoda. Capitalize on the existing of these agents to capture direct bookings by increasing your conversion rate with the following tips and tricks
1. Create and highlight advantages of booking directly
You want people to book on your website directly, then give them a reason! Create special deals for your direct-bookings and highlight them. Whether this is a free pick-up, welcome drink, complementary tour or room-with-a-view.
2. Add a live-chat for direct contact
Potential guests on your website offer a great opportunity to get in touch directly. Start building a relationship and offer direct contact possibilities via a live-chat. This is an enormous advantage you have over one of the major OTA’s to capitalize on.
3. Create a sense of urgency
Fear Of Missing Out is a serious thing! We are all afraid of missing out on something good. Use FOMO to create a sense of urgency for visitors. A countdown clock or nearing expiration date will awaken the FOMO within and is a best-practise that increases conversion rate.
4. Give a lowest-price guarantee
Nobody likes to pay more than necessary! We spent a lot of time on the internet comparing different websites and are always looking for the best price. As a hotel you should always offer guarantee the best price for your guests. Instead of paying 20% commission to OTA’S, use this buffer to offer a lower-price guarantee.
5. Show reviews from a variety of sources
I don’t think we need to elaborate on the importance of reviews as ‘Social Proof’ is as old as marketing itself. There are many sources on the internet that are trying to collect reviews, making your hotel reviews scattered around the internet. Showcase all the reviews that you have received with the use of TrustYou. Gone are the advantages of all the OTA’s.
6. Use remarketing campaigns and email marketing for abandoned bookings
There is a big percentage of visitors that initiate a booking but never finished it. Use remarketing campaigns via Google or Social Media together with email marketing to remind these people about their abandoned booking. These are the people that need little more convincing to get them to book directly on your website, they just need to be reminded.
7. Remove form field and include examples
When talking about abandoned bookings, have a look at your booking form. Nobody likes to spend a lot of time to fill in a booking form. Leave out as many as possible unnecessary fields and give people examples of what to fill in (placeholders) to avoid confusion and improve the booking-experience. Tools such as Hotjar can analyse your form to find potential issues and opportunities.
Are you looking to increase the conversion rate and direct bookings of your hotel or resort? HotelChamp offes affordable software that includes many of these features to increase direct bookings. Customise it to the look and feel of your hotel and get access to insights and performance marketing. Move your marketing budget to direct bookings rather than OTA's.