Direct Booking vs OTA: three steps to rise hotel direct booking and bypass rate parity

 width=As PhocusWire explains inÊtheir article:ÊÒThe average hotel website conversion rate (bookings divided by unique monthly visitors)Êis typically below 2%.ÊFor example, imagine 100 people visit your hotel website. Out of those people, less than two will complete a booking, and more than 98 will look around beforeÊleaving to make a booking elsewhereÊÐ either with your competitors or with the OTAs.ÊHoteliers are spending precious advertising dollars on SEO, paid search, online media, PR, and social media in order to bring users to the hotel website. However, 98% of them are not converting.Ó

Based on our research we find out that the average conversion rate varies between 2% and 3.5%, some hotels reaching up to 9% in Europe.

Still, those numbers are very low and there is a great gap to be filled!

This gap can be filled ifÊyou are quick enough to convince themÊthat booking on your website is the best option they have!

Having the best price on your website, or a free breakfast is not enough,Êguests are looking for a new booking experience.

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So how do you make sure that when people come onto your websiteÊthey book at your hotel?

3 steps to make sure people book on your website:

Step 1: Quality of your website and user experience

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PhocusWire says:ÊÒIt is staggering how hoteliers often fail to understand the crucial role the hotel website and its UX plays in the overall health of the property and its bottom line. With over 50% of website visitors now viewing on mobile devices, a fully responsive mobile-first website design is a must. How old is the hotel website? If it is older than two years, it’s due for a re-design.Ó

Making sure that your website is up to date is sure a must,Êyou can use brands likeÊHapiÊorÊWIHPÊto help you build a modern hotel website, fully responsive and beautifully designed.

But you need as well to focus onÊhaving and differentiated quality content.

You need to work on your Unique Value Proposition. What is making you different from the next hotel? Do you have room type we cannot find on Booking.com? Are there amenities that we can only find in your hotel?

All this info must be there, guests are looking for something unique!

Step 2: Stay competitive on OTAs so people land on your website

1 out of 2 clients visits your website after seeing you on an OTA.

Make sure to stay competitive or at least in line with your competitive set so when guest compares you on the OTAs, your hotel appears in their selection. By doing so, you increase the opportunities that they end up on your website.

Step 3: Differentiate yourself from your website and bypass rate parity

Rate Parity with the OTAs is still in place in many countries, preventing hotels to propose better prices on their website. Most Hoteliers tend to offer breakfast or some other amenities if people book directly on their website.

However, solutions exist today to legally bypass rate parity, offer lower price right on your website andÊenable a revolutionary guest experience!

PrivateDealÊprovides a bidding-booking engine which allows the guest to give his price via a widget on the hotel website.

When using PrivateDeal on hotel websites, travellersÊhave an incredible booking experience.ÊThe system allows them to bid their own price and get an instant response. As a consequence,Êthe conversion rate will riseÊand hoteliers get more direct customers.

Regarding price parity, each dealÊbeing 1to1 and 100% private, parity rules do not apply.ÊAllowing guests to book at their own price doesn’t mean that hoteliers lose control, on the contrary. Hoteliers areÊin total controlÊof the prices they agree to accept at any time.

Moreover, all guest offers are tracked in the system, even the rejected ones – when offered price is too low. Hoteliers haveÊaccess to key dataÊregarding who is interested in their hotel and how much they value their rooms.

About the author

 width=Isabelle Jan is co-founder and manager of PrivateDeal SA, a Swiss company specialized in Night & Day-Use bidding solutions for Hospitality business. After several years of experience in Hotel management and an entrepreneurship background, she is now focused on helping hotels to find new ways of attracting their Millennial guests while improving their direct bookings and simplify the yield management.

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