The modern hotel business has always been based on serving customers in the best possible way. But let’s face it - you must also make profit. It can’t be any other way since you need money to meet your costs and grow. There are many ways to make more cash, but one strategy helps you eliminate costs while increasing income. More precisely you can try to increase your direct sales and eliminate the fees you pay to OTAs. Here are 7 ways you can do this:
Create a great website
True, this might be costly but the investment is worth the effort and the money, too. In an era where the Internet is king, it’s not enough to be visible online, but you also need to have a great looking and user-friendly website. This is the place where visitors will be able to get their first impressions about your property and its location with ease. It’s a good idea to add a few videos, too. They will engage your visitors and urge them to visit your hotel. After seeing some of it, your guests will want to see the entire picture. To ease them further, adding a “Book Now” button will do just great.
The Internet is no longer limited to computers. Now it can also be used on mobile devices such as tablets, netbooks and smartphones - the most important device that is in every guest’s pocket. To keep up with technology a mobile version of your website is a must. This way your potential guests can access your website content and more importantly - click the “Book Now” button even on the go.
Add an easy-to-use booking engine
It is not enough to have a nice website only. Your website needs to have a booking engine. An integral part of every hotel website, its main role is to get you more bookings. It goes without saying that a simple and easy-to-use design is essential here. Guests expect an effortless booking process. And that’s what you should give them.
Offer tempting discounts or bonuses
Offering bonuses or discounts to website bookers is another way to increase your revenue. For instance, you may give your customers a 10 per cent discount on all hotel services or present them with a free room upgrade if they book through your website. You can do this even on the websites of the OTAs by mentioning your bonus program. This will surely stimulate your customers to get a room via your website. Reward your returning guests with additional discounts. People following you on Twitter, Facebook, etc. or taking part in a free newsletter subscription program will also like to have price cuts or various additional bonuses.
Visibility is all
There are billions of websites on the Internet and sometimes you may be hard to find. This means a visible website is a necessity. This can be achieved through the services of billboards placed in strategic locations, social media, paid ads, SEO practices and digital marketing to reach more customers. These are extremely powerful tools. For example, billions of people use social networks on a daily basis, looking for something new and exciting. Having a Facebook page to add pictures and videos of your property is also a nice idea.
Add positive reviews
Once people have discovered your website, it should encourage them to make a booking in every possible way. There are some people who always hesitate. So finish the deal by providing positive reviews of people who have already stayed at your property. This can be the turning point you need. By this time people will have researched your property and one more positive impression will only make them more inclined to book.
Unfortunately no matter what you do, there will always be people abandoning a booking just before the “Book Now!” button. There is a solution to this problem, too. Remarketing is the strategy that will help you here. It uses targeted ads, making your website visitors come back and use your services. And adding special code to your website can help you track such customers.
We have just described 7 ways that you can use to get more direct bookings. There are many others as well so always be on the lookout for new ways that will help you get more sales. Also, you can follow us on our social media profiles to always be ahead of your competitors and check our website on a regular basis for more information.
About Clock Software
Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.