Often, we meet hoteliers with the preconceived idea that an increase in their web traffic will generate more direct sales. However, this is only the first step. Complementary actions can be taken to increase conversion of your website’s additional traffic and significantly boost your direct bookings.
To confirm this hypothesis, The Hotels Network (THN), a growth platform for the hotel direct channel, teamed up with Sekuenz Data Driven Seekers, a digital business consulting firm, to test and measure the real impact that optimizing the hotel direct channel has on the conversion of paid traffic.
For the study, an A/B test was conducted on two joint clients of THN and Sekuenz: Silken Hotels and Condes Hotels. Paid traffic landing on the websites of both chains was divided into 2 groups: Group A and Control Group. Group A was shown messages from THN’s Conversion and Personalization product to optimize each stage of the booking process for this traffic, while the Control Group was given the existing online experience.
The A/B test was conducted from 03/22/2022 to 05/15/2022, in 8 hotels of the Silken and Condes Groups. Conclusion: After the experiment, it was observed that THN tools increased web conversion by +31% on average, indicating that it is essential to personalize the navigation of paid traffic throughout the booking process to increase web conversion and gain more return on investment.
The objective of paid campaigns is to achieve, among other things, qualitative traffic to our direct web channel so that these visitors end up booking, gaining share over OTAs and achieving maximum profitability on each of the bookings. This is where personalization and the dialogue we establish with the user through messages designed according to the user’s state of maturity take on special relevance, and enable us to improve the user experience and increase conversion. We will not say the same thing to a user who has just landed on the homepage of our website as we would to one who has checked availability and is just one step away from booking.
What tools were used for the experiment?
Let’s take a look at some of the tools that were shown to Group A and had a positive impact on the paid traffic’s web conversion of the Silken Group and Condes Group hotels.
This message was shown to all paying visitors who landed on the website and remained idle for 20 seconds, regardless of the search device – desktop or mobile. Communicating an exclusive 10% discount, the CTA (call to action) redirected to the booking engine, where the rate reduction was already applied so visitors could complete their booking easily and quickly.
The Smart Notes had a positive impact on the conversion of the hotels’ websites, some of them generating up to 18.42% conversion.
The following message was shown to all visitors coming from paid traffic campaigns who were about to leave the website. By communicating the benefits of direct booking and including a call to action redirecting users to the booking engine, the purpose of the message was to retain users by communicating the advantages of direct booking and inviting them to finish their booking at that moment.
Displayed on several of the chains’ websites, some of the Exits generated a 15.49% web conversion rate.
Different messages were used on the home page and in the booking engine, all programmed to appear and disappear automatically after a few seconds. These Smart Notes, adapted to all search devices, showcased unique features of each hotel: location, services and exclusive direct booking rates, among others. The goal of these communications was to capture the user’s attention. By highlighting what they might be looking for, it helped solidify that the hotel was the right choice for the visitor.