In the prime of the online era, hospitality industry firms have weathered immense amounts of change and evolution to expand netsales.
This impact has not been limited to the travel industry itself, but has greatly impacted complementary sectors of the economy. Most of the change has derived from shifting power dynamics, many of them in favor of the consumer, who now has nearly unlimited access to data and information. Online travel agencies are the clearest manifestation of these trends. OTAs aggregate gigantic quantities of data and pit hotels against each other for conversions. But they also provide some guidance. Mining through the OTA data, it is clear that hotels that go above and beyond simple accommodations are the most successful.
OTA Best Practices can boost netsales
Hotels that develop a brand and unique identity are best positioned to stand out from the pack. With competition getting fiercer, branding and strategy are keys to mastering the digital marketplace. Below, we discuss five key lessons that hotel owners should note to increase their net sales.
Content is one of the most valuable commodities on the modern internet. Given the prevalence of search engines, keyword based, frequently updated content goes a long way in marketing your brand. Keep your online content channels interesting and useful. This includes blog style content and standard copy. For copy, hotels should keep their introduction and background brief but enticing. Photographs should be authentic and professional, capturing the unique beauty of the property. It’s beyond cliché to point out that a picture is worth a thousand words—but do not underestimate the value of stunning photographs. They are a must for any hotel competing on an OTA.
The reviews that previous guests leave about their experiences is very important. Positive reviews lend credibility and trustworthiness to a property. The better the reviews, the more conversion a hotel will achieve. This is partly due to credibility but also because OTAs will place higher rated properties more favorably on their search results.
The pay-per-click marketing option is an excellent way for hotel owners to affordably target their key segments based on keywords and demographics. PPC campaigns are highly scalable and do not require large upfront cash investments. Because it directly targets customers, it is a major weapon for smaller properties looking to affordably increase visibility.
As a hotel owner, managing your inventory across various channels can be a difficult task. Inventory management across digital platforms is key when collaborating with various major OTAs. To accomplish this, a hotel can pursue a hotel management system that is integrated with third parties to ensure inventory details are constantly updated and accurate.
Working with OTAs
OTAs usually assign market managers for their partners. These professionals help hotels keep their profile optimized. Successful properties should maintain a good rapport with their market managers in order to understand the various market trends in each region. OTA managers can also advise on what types of travel packages a hotel should devise to take advantage of regional and seasonal trends.
Below are few extra pointers on how hotels can maximize net sales:
- - Personalize data for the guest- It’s always smart to use the data available to through OTAs to personalize engagement with potential guests, demonstrating care and individual attention. Example, it’s never good practice to ask a guest if they have visited before; that information should be available from the OTA data pool.
- - Solicit the next stay- A good customer experience opens the chance for a rebooking. Check-out and beyond should be treated as a new conversion period and an effort should be made to produce a repeat or regular customer.
- - Make a personal effort to ask for reviews- Feedback can be solicited in various ways. A structured feedback form allows hotels to answer their own questions about guest satisfaction. This information can be used to improve services.