Online sales are the lifeblood of any hotel business so here are our top tips for beating the competition online:
1) Make it easy for guests to book online in as few clicks as possible
There is a lot of research to show that with each click through, websites lose a huge proportion of potential customers. The key to selling rooms and strong online sales is ease of use and speed.
2) Optimise your website and booking system for mobile devices
Mobile bookings are vital. Online shopping on mobile devices outstripped that of the desktop traffic in the UK in September 2014.
3) Keep an eye on competitors’ rates and set yours accordingly
This is particularly important in locations densely populated with hotels. You can use a “rateshopper” tool to monitor competitors’ rates thereby ensuring you set yours so you stand out as offering the best value.
4) Don’t offer too much choice of room types and packages
Too much choice risks overwhelming people when they are trying to book and scaring them away. Clear, simply choices are best.
5) Keep your website looking slick and up to date
It may sound obvious but companies often neglect their websites, leaving out of date information on past events or offers on display and using poor quality images. This will not fill potential guests with confidence about the business. The website needs to be informative and look professional.
6) Make sure your booking engine displays real time availability
Use a Property Management System (PMS) integrated with a hotel channel manager and your own booking system to display real time availability. If you are updating channels or a channel manager manually, you run the risk of appearing to have no rooms available when you probably do.
7) Use dynamic pricing
Set your prices dynamically so that the website and online travel agencies automatically offer more competitive rates during quieter times.
8) Place a date selector on every page
Consider having the date selector to check availability for a stay available on every page. Again, this ensures speed and ease of use for potential guests.
If you want to find out how our Hotel Executive PMS can help you ensure you follow all these steps, then please get in touch.