Direct hotel bookings are highly valuable to boutique hoteliers, but getting them can be a real challenge. Our Path to Purchase report offers insights into how a boutique hotel guest searches and books their room and how you can intercept that journey.
Direct hotel bookings drive nearly twice the value for hoteliers as those from third-party players. Third parties provide great reach for a boutique hotel, but because they don’t share crucial customer information with the property. And direct relationship with your guests truly adds to your bottom line.
Sojern’s latest report uncovering the modern traveler’s paths to purchase illuminates when and where to reach your ideal audience so you stay one step ahead of the competition. In this post, we explore a budget traveler’s path to purchase, pseudonym “Leslie.”
A Boutique Hotel Shopper’s Path to Purchase
A typical budget-conscious shopper, “Leslie” plans a trip from Glasgow to New York City. While “Leslie” searches for the cheapest flight option, he looks to spend on amenities, activities, and upsells from his hotel.
Prospecting for Gold[en Audiences]
As a hotelier, targeting direct bookers like “Leslie” is vital for your bottom line. To capture in-market travel planners to book directly to your site, implement prospecting. Prospecting allows you to reach upper-funnel searchers during their travel planning stage. With prospecting, you can stay top of mind with “Leslie,” creating brand awareness as he continues his search.
Reel Your Guests in with Retargeting
Once travelers like “Leslie” visit your site, retarget them with display ads that highlight your unique offerings or prices. Because 98% of visitors don’t convert on their first visit, retargeting is essential to re-engage the “Leslie’s” of the world as they continue their travel search.
Retargeting can continue to be useful even after a hotel booking. “Leslie” continues to look for upsells, amenities, and activities for his trip long after he’s booked a room. For people like “Leslie,” the hotel’s website is a travel planning anchor, making him a perfect candidate for retargeting to bring him back to your website for more.
Build Relationships with Search and Upselling
With 2 trillion searches a year on Google, you need to make sure that your hotel shows up at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). You need to be bidding your hotel’s brand terms, because if not, third parties likely will, and lure guests to their site for a booking. Paid search, or Search Engine Marketing (SEM), is a powerful tool to capture your ideal audience for a direct booking, obtain their information, and create a relationship with them.
For “Leslie,” an amenity-rich boutique hotel is important for his Big Apple trip. It’s become so much more than a place to sleep.
Want to learn more about “Leslie” and our other paths to purchase? Download the report.