New trends are always emerging in the world of hotel distribution.
Here are the top 2017 trends that B&Bs should acknowledge when building their distribution strategies.
OTAs Are Here To Stay
Online travel agencies continue to be high in popularity because they bring information to a single site and allow customers to easily compare and book accommodation.
Hoteliers need to be savvy when it comes to leveraging their inventory on these sites, to ensure they benefit from the extended reach of OTAs.
B&Bs should clearly represent their value on OTAs as well as on their own website.
Customers Are Now Expecting An Incentive To Book Direct
Your direct booking channel is your most profitable option because it’s commision free and builds the best relationship with your guest.
However, customers will want a clear reason why they should continue to book direct.
Maximize on direct booking opportunities by creating an offer that adds value rather than just a discount. But don’t go overboard and confuse the booking process.
Hotel Speak cleverly suggest combining the reason to book with an incentive for guests to opt into your loyalty scheme.
Travel Agents Have Not Disappeared
Although no longer the first point of inspiration on the guest booking journey, travel agents still feature in many travelers’ nonlinear journey to your B&B.
In particular, younger millennial travelers hold a preference for having their trip booked by a real person capable of making professional recommendations and itineraries.
Using A Central Database To Capture Guest Information
Rather than multiple systems, the trend now sits with capturing all guest information in one central database. These data management systems capture all guest information automatically and allow personalized notes and comments to be recorded.
Collecting this data facilitates a clearer idea of why guests are choosing your hotel, information which will then steer your marketing strategy.
You can gain the most from this technology by asking simple questions like “What brings you to our B&B” to find out what your major selling points are.
Increase In Predictive Analytical Tools
According to Hotel Speak, predictive analysis is the future of revenue management.
Revenue strategy should now be based on data, rather than guesswork according to previous performance.
Having a system which can generate basic reports on transactions, statistics and booking channels, can make a huge improvement on revenue management.
Mobile Friendly Experience and Payments
Mobile traffic currently resides at 50% of all hotel website traffic and innovative payment methods, like Paypal and Apple Pay, are making mobile payments easier and safer.
All-in-one website and booking solutions mean that hotels can abandon the idea that website and booking engine are two separate features.
Here’s a simple test to check if your website is mobile friendly:
Open your own B&B website and, acting like a customer, attempt to book. Do you need to zoom in to read text? Are the buttons easy to press? Is it clear where you can book through your mobile handset and submit your payment in only a few clicks?
If your experience researching and booking through your website was not seamless and stress free for you, that means it it will not be for potential customers, and improving mobile capability should be made a priority.
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