News for the Hospitality Executive
How to Convert Business
on Your WEBsite
|This article is from the Summer 2011 issue of Hospitality
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For many European and Middle Eastern hoteliers dealing with the big online travel agencies is a bit like adopting a lion cub–small, cuddly and harmless in the beginning but an uncontrollable monster after a couple of years.
In the modern world, shifting stock via the OTAs is a necessary evil. They are great for bringing in the bookings, though the high commission rates, tough rate parity rules and downward pressure on prices often make the relationship painfully one-sided.
Taking time to fully understand your investment in the OTA channels is an interesting process, which helps you to ask the question, what is the proportional investment into your direct booking site? Also, how much of your overall business you want the OTAs to represent and how are you tracking to this?
Of course, the obvious way to avoid a mauling from these giants is to get more direct bookings. And that means ensuring your own website will convert the lookers into actual paying customers.
Let’s assume that you’ve cracked the problem of search engine optimization, have a great pay-per-click campaign and are doing fantastic marketing that really hits the spot. As a result you’ve got a website that potential guests are finding with regularity.
Despite what you might have read, that’s no guarantee of online success, in any market. International hoteliers especially find that there is something that is deterring would-be clients from booking often. In the vast majority of cases the answer is all down to a cumbersome user experience.
The OTAs are the masters when it comes to constructing websites that work for the consumer, so it makes sense to use the same tricks. Simplicity is the key to everything, and by following some obvious steps you’ll soon see a notable increase in your conversion rate.
Sally Richards is a managing director with RaspberrySky Services.
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|Also See:||Sales & Marketing - Social Selling: B2B Sales 2.0 Has Morphed! - Carol Verret / Spring 2011|
|Permission Marketing: Transitioning from E-Commerce to We-Commerce - Michael Kasavana / Spring 2011|