Hotels

Hotels need to pull up socks with online bookings

Joel Norton

In this guest opinion piece, Joel Norton, CEO of customer experience consulting firm, Kalido, says hotels aren’t doing enough to convert online bookings, and are leaving users seriously peeved.

It’s no secret that the competition in the hotel booking space has intensified over the past five years.

Online bookings have soared, and so too has the popularity of comparison and aggregator sites which have risen to dominate the space, leaving hotels to rethink how they can remain competitive in the online space.

According to IBIS World, the Australian online accommodation and travel industry is set to grow by an annualised 17.7 per cent over the next five years to become a $1 billion-dollar industry. To get a slice of this projected growth and stay relevant, hotel brands need to have a strong digital presence and online booking platform.

The online customer searching for hotel accommodation is savvy and knows how to search in multiple ways to secure the best price, location, and value. Using price comparison sites, customers often bypass hotel websites so they can see a selection of what’s on offer and look for good deals.

But the customer doesn’t just go to these sites to save money. They often use these sites because they’re easy to use and book their accommodation.

There are numerous reasons why hotel brands should be looking at improving their online customer experience. These include:

Improve online user experience with data

Offering a great online user experience is a balance between presenting the right amount of information in the least amount of clicks. Too much content spread over too many pages, or not providing the right information at all and you start to compromise your conversion rate. Analyse user data to understand how prospects navigate your site and where the drop-off points are.

Also consider how you can personalise the content, offers or experience based on what you know. Tailor the destination or package based on the customer profile, or user clicks.

Plan a multi-channel experience

Many brands make the mistake of viewing online sales conversion in isolation to the overall customer journey, and what drove them online. We know from other industries that online sales conversion is directly impacted by relevant and timely communications in other channels. For instance, a well-timed offer via email or in social will increase online sales.

Your customer should feel like the overall brand experience is seamless, regardless of the channel they engage with. This can be achieved by leveraging customer data to deliver a series of personalised customer journeys. For example, have coordinated communications in social, email and online to drive initial website traffic, combined with retargeting messages via social and email with relevant content based on their online visit.

It doesn’t end with the sale

Consider how you can incorporate targeted post-sales communications to improve the overall customer experience and brand advocacy, as well as increase revenue. For example, once a booking has been made, send an email with a link to download the hotel app. You can then deliver timely push notifications before, during and after the stay.

When done correctly, these communications enhance a customer’s overall brand experience, and also provide more opportunities to increase revenue without being seen as too pushy. It’s all about enhancing their experience by being relevant.

Improving the customer experience means your customer is more likely to book directly next time, as well as refer the hotel to friends.

 



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Qantas proposes scrapping bonuses if it is “harmed”

Qantas has copped some bad press lately, but the silver lining is it’s a great excuse for Alan Joyce to get a nice makeover!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing 737 MAX mid-air emergencies revealed in new investigation

Surprisingly the investigation came from the ABC and not from Air Crash Investigation, which kind of puts the show to shame a bit.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Western travel agents banned from booking Hajj pilgrimage

Those looking to complete Hajj will have to enter the Hajj lottery, which you are still astronomically more likely to win than the actual lottery.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Virtuoso uncovers key differences in how each generation travels

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly staff are conducting our own research to tap into the zoomer market by teaching the office dog TikTok dances. It’s not going well.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group completes its comeback with all ships back at sea

To honour the milestone, all 63 ships in the group’s fleet sounded their horns at once, which most likely scared the sh*t out of nearby fishing boats and unsuspecting wales across the world.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Virgin teams up with Flight Centre for money-can’t-buy workshop

It’s the second time a Flight Centre partnership has come up this week and it’s only Tuesday! Skroo must be feeling extra convivial this week.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“It’s more like a bribe”: Unions slam Qantas’ $5,000 ‘thank you’ payment

Speaking of bribes, if anyone would like to bribe us with an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan we promise to give you a good review on TripAdvisor.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Solomon Islands to reduce mandatory quarantine

Good news for those looking to travel across the Pacific Islands! Not so good news for those who enjoy being confined to a hotel room for days on end.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Oakwood solidifies Aussie presence with full opening of Melbourne luxury property

Looking to treat yourself? Don’t get a chocolate at the shops, book yourself a stay at the new Oakwood property in Melbourne (or do both)!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight Centre signs landmark agreement with Rex as pilots prepare for industrial action

While seemingly struggling to win popularity among its pilots, the regional carrier has turned to its agency partners for reassurance.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess reveals The Real Love Boat crew, celebrates ‘Top Gun Agents’

Say a prayer for the poor souls tasked with wrangling a ship full of reality dating contestants hell-bent on getting frisky at sea.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

How your clients can skip the rebound chaos with South America

Got clients keen to travel but hoping to avoid inflated prices and hoards of European Summer revellers? We’ve got the answer for you.

Share

CommentComments