(Good) Hotel Digital Strategy: More profitable bookings and unique guest experiences
- Strengthening direct sales (own websites) increases margins and let hotels maintain control on their T&Cs
- A good hotel digital strategy is a perfect complement to a memorable guest experience
- Guest apps: the secret hotel digital strategy that leads to operational efficiency and in-hotel revenue increase
- Need to know where to start?
Digital strategy is becoming essential for every industry. But, what does it really mean for Hotels and Resorts?
In this article we will outline how Hotels and Resorts can leverage on a good hotel digital strategy to increase their revenues, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Strengthening direct sales (own websites) increases margins and let hotels maintain control on their T&Cs
In recent times, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have been dominating the travel scene, grabbing people’s attention with their helpful comparison tools and all-in-one offers. It’s no wonder they’ve become so popular, as they represent the digital version of traditional travel agencies and make it easy to book trips from anywhere in the world at lower costs.
However, something interesting happened after the pandemic. Hotels & Resorts saw some good news when they noticed more people booking directly with them, rising by 2%, while OTAs stayed at the same level. But why is it so important for hotels to have more direct bookings?
Well, when you book through OTAs, they usually take a fee of the booking price, around 15-25%. But with direct selling, Hotels & Resorts can decide on their own prices and keep more of the money, which helps them financially. Right now, about 10% of hotel bookings are made directly through the hotel’s own website.
Besides saving money, having more direct bookings gives hotels more control over their business. As 55% of hotel leaders declare, when partnering with OTAs, they sometimes accept T&Cs they wouldn’t have otherwise. So a strong direct channel means not only a healthier P&L but also more control over the business.
Also, when hotels use OTAs, their unique brand can get lost in the crowd. By encouraging more direct bookings on their own websites, hotels can protect their brand and make sure their guests have a special and memorable experience.
A good hotel digital marketing strategy is key. Hotels need to pay attention to their own websites and make them awesome. By giving customers a great preview of what the resort has to offer and making it super easy to book a stay, hotels can make their guests happy and keep them coming back for more.
There are some hotels that have already done this and had fantastic results. For example, Great Wolf Lodge redesigned their website to focus on customer experience and saw a 20% increase in revenue per visitor. And Center Parcs used data to improve their website, which led to a massive $22.5 million increase in yearly revenue.
In this ever-changing travel world, hotels have the power to take control, increase profits, and create amazing experiences for their guests by embracing direct bookings and optimizing their websites.
A good hotel digital strategy is a perfect complement to a memorable guest experience
The journey of a hotel guest doesn’t start and end with online booking. Once they arrive at the hotel, they expect a delightful experience. The quality of their stay is just as important as the price they pay. In fact, 72% of travelers prioritize hotels with higher guest review scores over big brand names or lower prices.
Creating a memorable guest experience involves providing valuable activities and ensuring their comfort throughout their stay. This is particularly vital because up to 85% of leisure travelers decide on activities only after they reach their destination.
Digital technology plays a crucial role in reducing operational hassles for guests, such as smooth check-in/out processes and easy access to information about hotel services and activities. By offering guest apps and user-friendly mobile sites, hotels empower visitors to find what they need without relying on hotel staff, unless they prefer to seek assistance. In fact, data shows that 80% of hotel guests would download a hotel app that would enable them to check in, check out and get all information about the hotel.
A customer-centric digital strategy not only leads to satisfied guests but also unlocks opportunities for operational efficiency and increased revenue. By analyzing customer behavior data, hotels can optimize their digital experience and elevate their level of service.
In today’s competitive hospitality landscape, hotels that prioritize their guests’ needs and embrace digital solutions are well-positioned to stand out and succeed. A seamless and personalized digital experience leaves a lasting impression, fostering loyalty and encouraging guests to return for more exceptional stays.
Guest apps: the secret hotel digital strategy that leads to operational efficiency and in-hotel revenue increase
Guest apps are the perfect way to enhance the guest experience, and hotels shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity. Most of the decisions regarding activities and services are made by guests after they arrive, which means there’s a lot of potential revenue at stake during their stay.
Guests love apps because they reduce annoying tasks like check-in/out and provide easy access to basic information. By offering guest apps, hotels can go beyond these essentials and deliver delightful experiences. For example, room service can be greatly improved as 47% of hotel guests prefer ordering through an app and orders increase by 18-20% when an app is available.
From the customer’s point of view, guest apps should be a central part of any hotel’s digital strategy. But there’s more to it than just satisfying guests. Investing in guest apps can significantly improve operational efficiency.
In fact, 93% of hoteliers have experienced the greatest efficiency gains through guest apps. When guests choose digital services, operating costs decrease because human resources are used more effectively, errors are minimized, and low-value activities can be replaced with self-service options.
By creating memorable guest apps, hotels can win over their customers with a smoother, more enjoyable experience while also reaping the benefits of improved efficiency and reduced costs. It’s a win-win situation for both the guests and the hotels.
Need to know where to start?
As per our Travel&Hospitality Digital Experience Benchmark, hotel and resort brands can increase their results by understanding their users’ behavior in digital experience:
- Deliver a frictionless booking experience. 44% of hotel users are frustrated. Improve that. Half of the cause is due to huge loading times (25%) while the additional half is due to bad digital experience (rage clicks, multiple button interactions, etc)
- Focus on mobile experience and apps. 64.4% of the traffic in the Travel industry is mobile and remember that guest apps are a unique opportunity to increase in-hotel revenue.
- Understand the omnichannel strategy. While users spend most of their time on mobile, they end up converting on desktop (2.4% mobile vs 4.1% desktop)
Would you like to know more? Check out our demo or ask for more information.