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Is there a winning formula for selling hotel inventory?

Oct 10, 2019

“I already have 50K properties, so I’m good?”, not necessarily.

With many modern airline websites now offering accommodation, simply having a broad property portfolio is not the only key to optimal revenue. Why? Because, if we take a customer centric viewpoint, not all properties are of equal value.

Why is relevancy important?

As Matija Marijan, Director Strategic Initiatives, EPS explains, “for our partners, typically only 5-10% of properties will deliver the bulk of revenue, whilst the remaining 90% make up the long tail. This brings two challenges: 

1. How to identify most relevant properties? 

2. How to optimally sell the long tail of properties?”

This doesn’t mean that properties that fall into the long tail category are completely irrelevant. During peak demand, the long tail can be a substantial source of revenue. However, the goal is to differentiate these properties so that its more consistently relevant. This means paying attention to the demands of your travelers in the context of broader consumer travel trends.

Aside from broader trends, relevancy will vary on a company level, depending on your goals, preferences, group size/type and the budget of your customers. Without stating the obvious, the key to staying relevant is to prioritize the right properties. However, the real challenge is finding out which properties they are.

So, how do you find the most relevant properties?

1) Scoring and Sorting

    The best way to determine relevancy is to implement a scoring system. Properties could be simply scored based on:

    • Star ratings
    • Property type
    • Gross bookings
    • Location in top destinations
    • And more…

    These are just some of the criteria that are considered by our state-of-the-art scoring algorithm. Scoring will help you prioritize mapping the properties that are the most valuable to your business. It can also enable you to identify which properties to display in the top 10 positions to your customers, which on average receive 70% of clicks. Ultimately, sorting and prioritizing your most relevant properties allows you to maximize revenue. As a result of a recent sort test, one EPS travel partner experienced a 20% incremental gross booking uplift and on average a 10-20% revenue boost.

    2) Recommendations

      To remain customer centric and meet the needs of your travelers, recommendations are another way to increase relevancy. You don’t have to look far to see the proven effectiveness of recommendations; 30% of Amazon’s page traffic can be attributed to recommendations[1], whilst 80% of the videos on Netflix are from recommendations[2].

      Returning to the travel scene, recommendations can be based on two different use cases: properties or flights. In terms of property, during the search stage you should recommend suitable hotels nearby or specific properties of interest for your travelers, and integrate these recommendations into the user experience. Flight-based recommendations will depend on the airport of departure and arrival, and can be used to recommend properties to customers booking flights. An opportune moment to make this recommendation would be on the email confirmation for a flight booking. This technique alone resulted in a 20% increase in conversions for one EPS holiday travel partner based in APAC.

      In short, simply having a broad range of properties is not the route to success. You must actively seek and prioritize the right inventory, after all staying still = falling behind.


      Find out how the EPS team could help you with sort, recommendations and relevancy of supply to drive more bookings, better targeted for your unique goals, on your site.

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