MUNICH, October 2019 – the fight for more direct bookings remains an ongoing battle for hotels. In fact, many hotels have invested heavily (both in terms of budget and resources) to encourage more direct bookings. The benefits of a direct booking are many – a reduction on commission fees that the hotel must pay to OTAs, better ownership of guest data, and, more often than not, a better ability to convert the guest into a loyal customer.
After The Platzl Hotels, a privately-owned business operating two hotels (201 rooms) in the heart of Munich, noticed a decline in its direct bookings (with guests opting to book through OTAs), it decided to fight back against the OTAs. The hotels tested many tactics – first redesigning its website and developing an SEO strategy, then using search engine marketing and retargeting campaigns. Then implementing a “best rate guarantee” on its own website. Yet, none of these things moved the needle. Guests were still opting to book through the OTAs, rather than direct.
The hotel already used dailypoint as its central data management platform and decided to test a new solution from the platform: the Website Connect module. This feature allows hotels to track and identify visitors on the hotel’s website. It allows hotels to run their website with the same type of data granularity that the OTAs use to entice users.
The Platzl Hotels implemented a pre-configured strategy from dailypoint’s Website Connect module that offers special rates to loyalty Club Members via an overlay to people that were unidentifiable from the website. Along with these special rates, the overlay promotes the benefits of the loyalty program and explains the benefits of booking directly. It encourages the website visitor to enroll by entering his or her contact details to receive a code for the discounted rate. After the user has enrolled, the hotel has his or her data and can continue tracking behavior on the website to create a profile of that user’s interests.
The Platzl Hotels implemented the Website Connect overlay with very little effort and began to see its effects immediately, with 10-25 new loyalty members signing up everyday. Only six months after the implementation almost 10% of the online revenue was generated through the tool. And this number grew in the first half of 2019 to 32% of the online revenue!
“With dailypoint and the Direct Booker Club, we were not only able to stop the trend to the OTAs, we fight back and generate more and more direct bookings on our website,” said Heiko Buchta, GM of Hotel Platzl.
To learn more about dailypoint’s Website Connect feature, click here.