Mobile devices are rapidly outplacing desktops and becoming the most important area to focus marketing efforts on. According to Google senior account executive Shaun Aukland, 58% of all Internet searches are done using mobile devices. Because mobile is such a dominant force, how can hotels ensure that their sites are effective at creating conversions when guests are on mobile devices?
When a potential guest abandons a booking on your website for any reason, they are still likely to book a hotel room, either at your property or at another. Perhaps they want to compare your resort with others, check travel review sites, or hunt for cheaper options, and will return to your site later on. However, hoteliers can’t sit around waiting for guests to return and complete their bookings on their own. Using reservation recovery strategies, hoteliers have the ability to retarget guests who have abandoned the booking process, bringing them back to the hotel’s site.
Since 94% of bookings are abandoned at some point during the booking process, reservation recovery is an important tool for hoteliers to create conversions and direct bookings. Luckily, according to Econsultancy, 87% of people who have abandoned bookings would consider returning to complete the booking process.
Two of the most important segments to hospitality marketers are the Baby Boomers and the Millennials. Baby boomers are 65 years of age and older and travel frequently. According to AARP, Baby Boomers planned to take between 4 and 5 trips in 2015, but only half of employed respondents used all or most of their paid vacation time. Of these travelers, 55% will travel domestically, 42% will travel both domestically and internationally and only 3% plan to travel only internationally.
Guests looking to book a hotel room online are also looking for a good user experience on the hotel’s website. If the site is slow or confusing, they are less likely to book than if it loads quickly, is easy to navigate, and provides the information they are searching for. Google’s elusive algorithm acts similarly, ranking faster sites above slower sites in an attempt to please Google users. Since Google leads countless guests to hotels’ and inns’ websites, it is critical for hoteliers to be sure their website is performing well and loading quickly.
There is no doubt about it; technology is essential to our daily lives. We work, communicate, play, and shop online. Our smartphones travel everywhere with us, connecting us to the global network at all times. For hotels, the widespread adoption of technology, especially mobile technology, provides many marketing opportunities and an enhanced experience on property. But do these technological advances improve the relationship between guests and employees? Yes! In many ways, the addition of technology enhances and strengthens this relationship.
Pay-per-click advertising has become an essential part of hotels’ marketing strategies. Since users look at the top results first, and generally don’t even scroll to the bottom of the first page, ads in the first few slots generate the most clicks. Of course, since advertisers pay more for the top spots, these clicks are more costly. Hoteliers looking to improve their pay-per-click advertising strategy can get started with these basics.
At the Gulf and Indian Ocean Hotel Investors’ Summit in Abu Dhabi at the beginning of last month, four panelists discussed the importance of legacy brands. Panelist Raj Chandnani, the VP of strategy and hotel design consultant at WATG suggested that legacy brands can’t make changes quickly enough to satisfy demanding hotel guests. The VP of global development and construction at Club Med, Gregory Lanter, thinks that small tweaks to legacy brands can be enough of a change to satisfy guests. Peter Norman, SVP of acquisitions and development at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, disagreed saying, “The fact is, it is more likely that you’ll succeed in a larger group.”
Although OTAs fill otherwise vacant hotel rooms, generating necessary revenues for independent properties, their steep commissions cut into hotels’ profits. Since OTA’s provide smaller properties with a large percentage of room nights sold, many independent hotels and B&Bs believe that they cannot compete with the giant OTAs.
Twitter has found itself in some hot water with users lately. In January, four company executives left and when Twitter announced it would being showing tweets using an algorithm based timeline, similar to the method Facebook uses to show posts, users had mixed reactions.