During January of 2015, TrustYou conducted a research with the focus on behavior of people who are about to book a hotel room. They surveyed 568 participants who traveled within the last 12 months for business or leisure purpose (or both) in order to find out what attributes are most important during reservation process. This post will guide you through the most important findings (with the focus on hotel marketing) and we will also provide several insights to help you adapt these trends.
A profile of today’s traveler
40% of leisure travelers and 31% of business travelers book their rooms via the website of the hotel. What does it mean to you? That your website should be well-optimized with the focus on positive user experience. Ask some random people to browse your page. What are their thoughts? Do they have any concerns about your website? Is it difficult for them to make a reservation? You can find a lot of important insights you have never considered that can help you fine-tune your website.
We would like you to pay attention to your checkout/reservation process, too. In your analytics software, set up a funnel in order to check low-performing parts of this process. You can do so by using free tools such as Google Analytics or Hotjar. If you see a huge decrease of users in any of the steps, think about what might confuse or discourage your visitors from making the reservation (and don’t forget to use visitor recordings and heatmaps, too). Once shaky elements identified, you should create a potential replacement and run A/B/n or Multivariate test in order to find the best-performing version of the particular page.
After booking via website, travelers reported that booking sites like Expedia or Hotels.com are used for hotel rooms booking. Make sure your hotel will be listed there in order to gain additional guests.
And what are the most important attributes to your guests?
As this blog dedicated to hotel marketing, we are not going to talk about attributes like cleanliness (which is extremely important to 61% of leisure travelers). About 25% of leisure travelers consider WiFi to be extremely important, while WiFi is extremely important for 39% of business travelers. It is important to say that for business travelers, WiFi is more important than comfort!
You cannot reject the idea, that WiFi can be used to leverage your guests once they are in your hotel. You should definitely take advantage of splash screen, which is like homepage to your WiFi connection. We talked about promotion of your mobile app via splash screen in the previous post but you can use it to promote another important stuff of your hotel e.g. events, special offers and more, too (only sky is the limit).
The abovementioned fact probably made you think that your guests might definitely use social media. Don’t underestimate the value of your web presence and create adequate social media strategy. You should certainly not forget about hotel mobile app. It may increase the visibility of your services and might ensure additional sales.
Word of caution: make sure your WiFi connection itself is fast and reliable enough. If you fail in this one, it will be very difficult for you to persuade guest to take an additional action through your other online campaigns.
The survey also confirmed the importance of social proof. Reviews play significant role during reservation process. You should ensure that you provide enough relevant reviews about WiFi, food, rooms and comfort to your potential guests. We talked about how to use TripAdvisor widgets to add reviews to your site in our previous post. You can also create review feed created from your mobile app reviews or you can simply copy and paste your reviews from other sources. Make sure your reviews don’t sound fake because people do a pretty good job in detecting it.
Exhausting, huh? I hope you are not tired but encouraged to provide the best experience to your potential guests. Do you have any extra tips? If so, don’t hesitate to leave your comments to let us know…