The Rise of Metasearch makes Direct Bookings More Important Than Ever
With Metasearch as “the next big thing” in hotel distribution, according to Kalibri Labs, hotels must be more watchful than ever.While Metasearch has been around and growing for a while, CEO Cindy Green points to factors like Google’s Trips and Destinations app as one indicator that Metasearch is set for a surge.
In a world where third parties dominate the distribution conversation, what can hotels do to promote their more-profitable direct channels? Hotels should be on all the major metasearch channels, and be aware of what’s going on in the industry as a whole. Hotels must do everything they can to encourage guest loyalty, build customer relationships and encourage direct bookings.
To help with that, we’ve found tips on optimizing your online review responses, getting the most from your hotel restaurant, and conquering mobile cart abandonment.
The next big thing in hotel distribution might be Metasearch, says Cindy Estis Green, CEO and co-founder of Kalibri Labs. While Metasearch has been a factor in hotel distribution for a while, it might soon become a dominant player in the market.
“It surprises me that there isn’t more of a focus on the rise of Metasearch,” she says. “It’s not that the online travel agencies aren’t dominant and very strong in the marketplace, but this is what is coming, and it is coming fast and furious.”
How can hotels own the customer relationship in a world dominated by third parties? “It’s the in-hotel experience, but it is also the pre- and post-stay experience. Hotels need to think about the ways they interact with guests to build that kind of relationship.”
There is little doubt that online reviews play a big role in the travel purchase decision for many consumers.
But what of how businesses respond to reviews left by consumers? Is there money to be made from who in the hotel hierarchy responds to a review and how much they write?
The University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business has found that revenue can be improved when businesses respond but, there’s more to it than that.
For example, it seems that upscale hotels do better when it’s frontline staff that respond with longer replies while mid-market and budget properties appear to do better when it’s an executive that responds and replies are tighter.
In a study Leonardo conducted to better understand the images travel shoppers viewed most, they found that Guest Rooms were by far the most viewed. Makes sense, right? But interestingly, the second most viewed was restaurant photos. Travelers have two primary needs when away from home:
- They need a place to sleep
- They need a place to eat
Leverage the restaurant many European independent hotels have on-site. In many cases, a hotel’s restaurant is a good driver of revenue and also plays a central role in the hotel’s story and identity. But it is often underutilized when it comes to marketing the hotel.
Think about your favorite restaurants. It’s safe to assume that most of them have their own website. Just because your restaurant is physically located in your hotel doesn’t mean it doesn’t warrant its own website. Of course, it should be featured on your hotel website, but in order to maximize revenue, a dedicated restaurant website could also be warranted.
Almost two out of five mobile shoppers have abandoned a travel booking on a mobile device due to poor user experience.
Usability is one of the core problems facing hotels and users alike. One third of visitors report that apps or mobile sites are too slow to load. Navigation and payment process were also featured as reasons for abandonment, with screen size issues blamed by 21%.
If mobile weren’t such a strong and growing channel, mobile cart abandonment might be a minor issue. However, with mobile traffic surpassing desktop for many hotels, it’s anything but minor. As of September 2016, our clients saw 51% of their traffic on average coming from mobile. So how do you ensure you’re giving users the best mobile experience to maximise conversion?
Here are our mobile experts’ top 6 tips to reduce mobile cart abandonment!