Why is personalisation even more important in travel & hospitality?
In travel and hospitality, building channel loyalty is challenging compared to retail e-commerce. One of the reasons why customer stickiness is high for the latter is due to the aspect of ‘fulfilment’. When a consumer purchases a product on say Amazon, they expect their delivery to be made on time, at the right place and in the right condition. Therefore, customers usually stick to one or two websites to shop from.
However, on travel websites, this behaviour is entirely different. Travellers shop extensively on multiple platforms before they make a booking. This is because regardless of which channel the travel is booked on, the travel experience is identical and the ‘fulfilment’ aspect is an email away. If a consumer is comfortable with booking hotels online, they will get the same room and a confirmation, irrespective of which online platform they use to make a booking. Therefore, it is important to understand that the same customer will shop on multiple travel websites. Hotels need to keep reminding their customers to book directly with the hotel’s brand website — a task accomplished by personalisation and remarketing.
The above fact is also corroborated by industry data available online. Out of 100 orders that e-commerce companies receive daily, 25% are made during the consumer’s first visit itself. For a travel website, this figure is about 12.5%. This statistic was also confirmed in an Expedia report presented at the annual Phocuswright conference — on an average, a potential guest will visit 38 websites before booking a hotel. Therefore, in travel, leading e-commerce providers tend to use remarketing to continuously re-engage customers and get them to make a booking. For instance, have you noticed that if you shop for travel on online travel agencies (OTAs) like Booking.com or MakeMyTrip without actually making a booking, you are pursued with various personalised offers that entice you to make a reservation?
How can hotels effectively conduct remarketing?
Imagine if your hotel website remembered your guests, their preferences, and their search history. For instance, when guests visit your hotel website, you nudge them for their contact information. This information helps us to bring them back via remarketing, in case they abandon their booking. Once they return (probably after shopping on other websites), the guest does not have to re-select the location, property, and travel dates. Instead, we greet them and let them continue where they left off. This simple yet powerful personalisation could lead to a substantial improvement in your direct booking conversion rates.
Simplotel Hotel E-commerce mimics the marketing capabilities of OTAs, which has powered its customers to grow direct bookings in the range of 2-10x! We also help you do remarketing at no additional cost.