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Hotel Distribution

Changes in reservation searches: a psychological issue

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22 May 2014 at 10:00, by

Choosing between two offers. Google Plus.

Choosing between two offers. Google Plus.

Gain confidence through empathy and logic. There are many and varied factors leading guests or intermediaries to make a reservation through the hotel’s web, but hoteliers have won if they know what their customers are thinking.

Hotelspeak highlights the relationship between user behavior and their tendency to book through the direct channel.The website provides four techniques to encourage conversions:

1) Relativity. Allow potential customers to compare different offers and prices.

2) Random Coherence. Dan Ariely, economics professor, comments on this point. Ariely says that people sometimes do not know how to value products and services that have a charge. For this reason, the final cost can be assigned randomly. The expert holds that customers pay according to earlier experiences. For example, if having been previously in a London hotel paying 500 pounds then this will be the reference for future searches of same category hotels in the same area, the last stay acts as an ‘anchor’. Hotel pages can set their anchor in different ways:

– Showing offers like: Booking today 300 €. Normal price 400 €.

-Developing a list of average prices. If the establishment is subject to strong competition, this measure can be effective, also, as a matter of transparency, as it ensures potential guest rates are reviewed continuously.

– Each hotel must create their own anchors so as to show the customer what they offer is unique and therefore gives added value. For example: the price includes a welcome tea. These details can make the difference in a very saturated industry, in which the price is not always the most important.

3) The power of the word FREE. It is obvious, but consumers love the term. In fact, according to the article, it usually generates irrational excitement. From the hotel perspective, three tips that will help maximize their special offers:

– Add free dinner service on specific dates. All rates must be adjusted according to this promotion. Tools monitoring stocks will show whether this measure increases conversions.

–      When customers have already spent a certain amount of money in the spa include some extra treatment at no cost . This initiative has to be profitable, so should only be applied provided that profit margins are positive and once put into practice must be controlled to check whether an increase in reservations is noted.

– Free or complementary? If the hotel target has an affluent potential, maybe offering free services is not a good idea. Therefore, two offers could be launched by the establishment; one where the word free appears and another that has been replaced by complementary. As mentioned above, follow reservation evolutions and see if the word creates loss in confidence or not.

4) Simplified and restricted reservation process. The main objective must be to make the purchase easier through the direct channel.  Psychological studies show that stress and anxiety levels are reduced when users navigate a website with fewer options. Hoteliers can take advantage of offers for a limited period, being a bonanza for the most determined buyers. Promotions must be sold as unique opportunities so that customers feel that if they do not buy at that moment, then they will regret it because they will pay more later for the same room.

 

Innwise

Innwise

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