So, hoteliers, what’s better? OTAs or direct bookings? OTAs are nothing new. It’s a standard booking option today. And, they are good, since they are simply convenient. But, on the other end of the ring, we have direct bookings which usually come from the hotels’ official website. These types of bookings maximize profits.
Hoteliers worldwide explore different tactics to improve their booking practices. After all, more than 60% of customers book rooms directly from the hotels’ official websites. It especially goes for new hotels which are not that attractive to online travel agent booking platforms and hoteliers who don’t want to be part of the OTAs networks.
The only thing that can help these hotels stay ahead of the competition is technology. More specifically, the technology that enables them to benefit from direct bookings. Below you can find why direct bookings are important and how to boost it through cutting-edge tools.
Why is Direct Booking Important?
Online hotel bookings are a vast market, which earned roughly $250B in 2019. However, there are a lot of hoteliers who are still trying to find a balance between their standard online booking channels and those that will improve their profit numbers.
In a nutshell, the current situation is a real fight between OTAs and direct booking channels. But, it doesn’t have to be a battle, but, as mentioned, a certain balance needs to be established.
Tech companies have recognized the potential hidden behind direct booking. It’s why they offer solutions to encourage it. However, before you decide to step up your direct booking game, you should discover what benefits it offers. Let’s quickly go through the most noteworthy ones.
Build Relationships From the Start
The customer-centric approach is slowly but steadily winning over industries as one of the best practices. The hotel industry is all about building and maintaining good relationships with customers. If your client is booking directly from your website, you will be in complete control of customer relationship-building from the very beginning. There will be no third-party booking services interacting with your customers.
Attract More Guests With Competitive Prices
OTAs offer many benefits, but many hoteliers forget to consider the commissions that can range between 15 and 25%. A direct booking gets all commission fees out of the equation, and you can capture more revenue by yourself while still being able to beat the competition at pricing.
Access to More Data
When guests book the accommodations and services directly through you, you will be able to collect more data on them. It will enable you to make data-driven decisions and custom-tailor your offer to reflect your guests’ personal needs and expectations.
Boost Up Pre-Stay Sales
Direct Booking enables you to have direct access to your customers. You can easily maintain communication with them during the pre-stay phase when they are hyped about their trip. You can offer them additional perks (Did you hear about cross selling and upselling, didnt you?) and successfully generate additional revenue streams.
How to boost direct booking with Technology – RateParity Example
RateParity is a platform that is currently helping hoteliers with direct bookings. It sets a great example of how hoteliers can boost direct booking. It seamlessly integrates with any hotel website. The platform is built on emerging technologies to help hoteliers use a variety of perks. Its core feature, price comparison, puts you in a unique position to automatically and super-fast compare rates across OTAs to offer the most attractive prices.
Hoteliers also have access to an AI-powered chatbot built to assist in driving more bookings, boost conversion rates, and provide a delightful customer experience 24/7/365. RateParity also enables hoteliers to send personalized and targeted calls to action and offers to website visitors. You can use it to display special offers, what people often search for, and the last booking information on your website.
Collaboration between RateParity and UpStay
UpStay is a leading upselling platform for hotels built to help them convert their guests to make additional purchases during the pre-arrival stage. In UpStay, we believe that every hotel should have access to technologies to increase CR, Revpar and revenue. That is the reason why we often partner up with other companies that share the same vision.
We recently announced our collaboration with RateParity to help hoteliers unlock the full potential of direct bookings and maximize the value of every guest through room upgrades and additional ancillary sales.
The hospitality industry is looking for new solutions that can attract more customers with a higher margin. During the past year, we learned that only through the smart use of technologies hoteliers can overcome difficult times and focus on guest expansion to start increasing short and long term hotel profits.