Although using an OTA may be a great way to attract bookings to your establishment it can also take a large chunk out of your costs. OTA’s are very useful, especially when you have a competitive price, but commission fees may out weigh the benefits in some instances even with a good influx of customers coming through your door. The best way to beat this is to gain more direct bookings through your own website but how do you do that? It is simple, understand your customers’ wants and needs and apply them to your website.
Customers want to know that they are getting good value for money and a hotel booking engine site allows the consumer to see where their money is going and whether they have made a saving. A hotel revenue management system allows you to maximise on that booking by looking into the analytics of your customer’s booking and to use the information given to tailor your customer service to them; this will have a great impact on your revenue growth.
Type of People who Book through OTA
A typical OTA customer is someone, as mentioned above, who is looking for a bargain and who wants the very best value for their money. They don’t tend to have any loyalty to any particular hotel or brand, they are simply on the lookout for a nice hotel room at the right price especially with the cost of living constantly on the rise. They know how to use technology because the main bulk of OTA users are between 18-39 and so are the main technological generation; this is why many of the rooms booked through an OTA are done so through a mobile. OTA’s are quick and easy to use and allow customers to research hotels and rooms all at the flick of a finger as well as comparing prices. For those who are constantly on the go as many people are in today’s society, you can see why using OTA’s would be appealing.
Bringing the Bookings Back to You
Even though booking with OTA’s seem to be the more popular choice today, there are ways that hotels can combat the sheer volume of bookings through sites such as Expedia and hotels.com. Adapting and changing your websites to give customers a more user friendly experience is easy and it can be very affordable with many choosing to use website builders rather than web designers. If your website isn’t mobile optimised it needs to be to keep up with the technological trends and it is essential that it is also SEO optimised to ensure that your booking page is one of the first to be displayed in Google. It has become increasingly popular within the hotel trade to create an app that handles bookings; this will allow customers to keep the app on their phones to use whenever they need it which can cement their loyalty to your brand. Changes such as this will instantly boost traffic through your own site rather than through OTA’s.