It is now well known to you, hoteliers, that there is a strong need to raise the direct conversion rate, to lower the high cost of customer acquisition due to OTA’s commissions. Based on recent studies the average conversion rate is around 2% on hotel websites. It means that out of 100 clients visiting your website only two book at your hotel. Why?
Well there are many reasons to it, and you will find tons of articles explaining to you how to have a better, responsive, well-designed website, but today we are exploring how you can integrate a “direct bidding engine” which will strongly help you rise this conversion rate and make sure visitors turn into guest!
# What is a Direct bidding engine?
A direct bidding engine is a reservation system which allows hotel website visitors to give their own price for their room and get an instant response. The hotelier sets the rules and price limits.
A simple widget on your website, allows visitors to enjoy a new booking experience.
# The benefits of using a Direct Bidding Engine
Benefit 1: You are giving the best reason for your website visitors to book at your hotel
Make sure that your guests slowly stop booking via OTA’s, and start booking direct.
Based on recent studies, here are the facts of the booking journey of a hotel customer: 1 out of 2 clients come on your website after seeing the hotel on an OTA, and less than 10% book direct.
That means that at one point they have come onto your website and ended up booking on an OTA. Here is a list of possible reasons why they didn’t book direct :
- Booking on an OTA is faster and easier
- They still think an OTA is cheaper
- Your website is not up to date ( Bad responsiveness, bad usability)
- They didn’t find any offer or didn’t see them
When having a Direct Bidding Engine, one thing is sure: You are telling the website visitor that he can give his own price and get super deals! There are no more reasons to book on an OTA.
The Direct Bidding Engine has also a unique functionality where guests can log in to make their booking process faster.
Benefit 2: Bidding allows you to know the price that guest are ready to pay
After clicking on the offer button the visitor is invited to give his price.
All this information is then registered onto the system directly on the hotel extranet.
This means as a hotelier you have access to all accepted and rejected offers
(rejected offers means the bidding price is too low).
The extranet has powerful statistic tools which calculate in real time a psychological rate: You are getting a clear picture of which price visitors are ready to pay and at which period of the year. This strongly contributes to yield management strategies.
Benefit 3: You can quickly develop your Guest DATABASE.
As said in advantage 1, you are catching information about potential guests. Even though their price may be rejected you are keeping the data about their willingness to pay and can send them personalized offers for the next time your hotel needs to be filled!
In fact, the Direct Bidding Engine, unlike the OTA’s is making sure that the client data is 100% yours.
Benefit 4: You can increase your sources of revenue with the Day-use function
The Direct Bidding engine has a combined Night & Day-use reservation system.
The day-use function allows you to sell your room during the day on your website.
Any visitor can now bid his own price to stay at your hotel for a few hours!
All the revenue you get from this activity is a bonus, as you sell your room twice a day.
Just make sure that your housekeeping team can manage to redo the room twice.