5 Best Ecommerce Techniques for Hotels
From the early days of the web, the internet and the hospitality industry have been a natural duo. Since the early 2000s the use of eCommerce for hotel bookings has skyrocketed.
Having a solid eCommerce strategy can mean increased sales and customer satisfaction for hoteliers. In addition, it can mean less dependence on OTAs and more direct bookings for hotel owners.
But incorporating good eCommerce practices doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and strategy. Here are some of the best practices for ensuring your hotel is best utilizing eCommerce:
Go Beyond the Brochure
Often hotel websites rely too heavily on photography and graphics that don’t translate that well when busy customers are trying to book rooms. To maximize eCommerce, focus more on the user experience than the visual experience. Photos have a place on the website, but they are more of an aid than decoration. They should show details of the room customers are looking for. And navigation should be direct with clear calls to action.
While some customers only take minutes to make a decision on which hotel to book, others take considerable more time – days or even weeks. By incorporating retargeting into your eCommerce strategy you can gently remind potential guests that your hotel is their best option. Retargeting is a method of advertising where customers who have visited your website in the past will see ads for your property while they browse other sites, including social media. Gentle reminders like this can be the factor in their ultimate decision to book.
Mobile First Design
Since 2015, mobile web traffic has surpassed desktop use of the internet. Unfortunately, many hotel websites haven’t kept pace. Websites should be designed with mobile devices in mind first. More than one-third of people now use a mobile device to book a hotel room, according to a 2018 study done by Criteo. A simple, intuitive design that works across any size screen is the key to making sure hotel owners don’t miss out on this business.
Use Social Media
Your hotel may already have a presence on social media, it’s always a good idea to audit how effective those channels are. Try incorporating new content like videos or infographics to encourage bookings. It could also be time to branch out into other social channels. If used correctly, image heavy social media like Pinterest and Instagram can mean more web traffic for your property.
Use Conversion Triggers
There’s no opportunity like the now when it comes to good eCommerce practices for hotels. That means while a potential guest is on your website be sure to provide enough information that helps them make their final choice. Triggers include special offers and promotions for booking before a certain date, or an add-on offer for booking now including an upgraded room, or parking voucher.