Recently, data collection built itself a bad reputation. This is due, in no small part, to a few big companies taking advantage of legal uncertainty surrounding the use of personal data; the most prevalent example of this being the Facebook-Cambridge Analytics scandal. As a way to prevent further abuses, the European authorities established the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which, to put it mildly, impose quite a few constraints on data collection. Does this mean that you, as a hotelier, should give up on using data altogether? The answer might not be as simple.
We should get something out of the way first: Customer data, in itself, is useless and means nothing. Alone, it only consists of hollow letters and empty numbers which take space on your computer. But if so why go through the effort of collecting guests’ information at all?
The key to unlocking data’s potential resides in a careful and well thought out analysis. Keeping in mind your hotel’s strategy, you need to understand how to transform basic information (ranging from demographics to occupancy rate) into valuable knowledge for your business. This is how you can leverage your offer in the market and rise above your competitors.
Once you extracted the analytics, you can reap the benefits on multiple levels.
The first and obvious improvement you can make through data analytics is to the marketing strategy. Thanks to demographics, it’s now made easy to pinpoint exactly what your typical client looks like. By setting it as your target in digital marketing campaigns (on social media, newsletters, …), you will be able to communicate with the people most likely to stay in your hotel. But this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to taking advantage of analytics.
By the same token, data can help you refocus your service on to the right target customer. For example, if you realize through analytics that most of your customer are traveling for business, you could adapt amenities accordingly (i.e. offer a faster internet connection). This is particularly helpful as a way of increasing customer retention.
A third use of data analytics for your hotel is with regards to yield management. This process helps you find the best price for your rooms according to different factors such as peaks in demand and shortage in offer. A flexible pricing, powered by data analytics, allows you to optimize your revenue and ensure the sustainable prosperity of your hotel.
But all of the points made above are easier said than done. Without extensive knowledge of the technicalities, data analytics can be intimidating. And this is not to mention the mandatory compliance to GDPR you have to take into account.
Furthermore, the advent of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) threw a serious wrench in the process of data collection for hoteliers. The likes of Booking.com and Expedia, in addition to imposing large commissions to hotels, retain complete control over customer data. It is as if, somewhere along the way, the hotel’s guests became OTAs’ guests instead. Thus, data is becoming more and more difficult to collect for hoteliers.
Although, it would be foolish not to make use of the opportunity data analytics offers; especially since most of your competitors are likely taking advantage of it already. We created PrivateDeal with the idea of making it simple for hotel managers to collect and analyze data.
PrivateDeal is an online bidding platform available for hotels directly on their website via a simple widget (in white brand). Through the process of bidding, hoteliers can collect their guests’ personal information, in a completely transparent, GDPR compliant way. This data is then stored and made available for you online on the PrivateDeal platform. Thanks to our solution, you can easily access detailed statistics, demographics and more through a personalized dashboard. It’s all the benefits from analytics without the hassle.
Moreover, PrivateDeal takes data analytics a step further. Through the bidding system, we gain access to a crucial information, impossible to get by any other yield engine: the price your guests are actually willing to pay. Using this data, PrivateDeal acts as a reverse yield management engine which boosts your occupancy rate and optimizes your revenue.
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