BlogIndustry

Four ways to supercharge your hotel supply

Aug 24, 2017

Conversions are coming in, customers are coming back. Your hotel supply is working, right? Maybe you're taking your first steps in marketing hotels. Well, not all hotel supplies are created equally, and there are always things you can – and should – do to get more from yours. Your hotel supply is like a particularly delicate plant: it needs constant nurturing, attention and pruning to thrive. Here are four tips to help you get the most from your hotel supply, whether you've been using the same supplier for years or you're just starting to source hotels.

 

Measure – everything, all the time

We mean it. There are so many moving parts to hotel supply; if one isn't up to scratch then it can have big knock-on effects. You can set end-goal metrics like conversion and revenue, but to really understand how your hotel supply is performing you need to track everything: click-through looking poor? Maybe your search functionality needs improving. Talk to your supplier's digital optimization team. Low engagement on-page? Maybe you need more or higher-quality content. This kind of measurement leads to important insights – we've already learned that hotels with over 100 images are 238% likelier to convert.[1]

 

Look for different payment options

When and how you let your customers pay for their hotel booking can have a big impact on your conversion rates[2]. Firstly, an optimized checkout experience should be the bare minimum –easy, speedy transactions are a must[3]. But it's also important to consider the pay-now/pay-later debate. If you don't offer both options, you're limiting your customers' choices and your own chances of conversion. Simply put, some customers do want to pay upfront and have one less thing to worry about; others prefer to wait for a host of reasons[4] – choice is essential.

 

Follow both micro- and macro-trends

Picture this: headlines proclaim that travelers are avoiding one of your key territories. You're rightly concerned, and dig a little further. So you read a report showing that international visitor numbers are, indeed, down in that country. Time to think about the geographical spread of your hotel supply, right? Not necessarily. On close inspection, that same report shows that domestic traveler numbers in the territory are actually increasing – particularly in the business sector. Your supply already includes business-oriented hotels in key cities, so you decide to monitor the situation and actually see an uptick. Case in point: the U.S. Travel Association's recent Travel Trends Index, which showed falling growth in external visitor numbers but projected 1.6% year-on-year growth for the domestic market[5].

The lesson? If one market segment seems to be underperforming, there's often more than one solution.  But look closely and you might find you don't even need one. It's vital to be as detailed as possible when tailoring your hotel supply.

If business travel is a key market for you in a particular city, then make sure your supply includes airport hotels and business-oriented accommodation near that city’s key commercial and financial districts.

From our guide, What to look for in a great hotel supplier

Look for growth

Ask your supplier for historic figures on the number of hotels they offer. If they're working as hard as they should be, you should see steady growth in the number of hotels your supplier provides rates and availability for. If their hotel base is stagnant or even declining, it's unlikely they'll be able to help you pivot and fill gaps when you need to. Use a supplier with a steadily increasing number of hotels to help your own growth.

For the comprehensive how, what and why on hotel supply download our guide, What to look for in a great hotel supplier.


[1] tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights/n2507/bookings-and-traveler-engagementdriven- management-actions

[2] The Seamless Travel Experience, Worldpay, May 2017, worldpay.com/global/insight/articles/2017-05/seamless-travel-experience

[3] Travel distribution: The end of the world as we know it?, LSE Consulting, October 2016

[4] Europe’s Complex Travel Payments Landscape, Phocuswright, 2017

[5] 3rxg9qea18zhtl6s2u8jammft-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Travel_Trends_Jul_2017.pdf