The main comparison sites have gone a step ahead in their business model and opted to allow direct bookings, straight from their platforms. This is an opportunity that hotels can’t let pass by, but it is also a challenge, that is where we come in.
After much speculation about the role the main technological players were going to take on in the future of this sector, finally many have uncovered their hand this year, going for options based on direct bookings from their sites.
This direct booking model is already available on the main comparison sites, mainly TripAdvisor and Trivago, the latter has launched Trivago Direct Connect on its beta version.
This new formula means that as well as having to compete for visibility with online agencies, displaying their information, rates and availability, generating traffic, increasing brand awareness, they can now also allow users to book their stay without leaving the meta search engine site.
Of course, it is not an easy task to compete with the experience and potential of online agencies when is comes to positioning. Apart from the hotels own rate strategy, which is just the first essential step, it is important to consider a work model with OTAs where they can really add value and new clients for the hotel, more than competing on the same level that the hotel could actually achieve on its on.
In any case, the challenge for hoteliers doesn’t stop there. The payment model of these services, whether CPC or CPA, implies that the hotel must bid for its position. If it goes too low, it loses visibility, too high, the return on investment can have a detrimental effect on the hotel’s profit.
Apart from the search engines we’ve mentioned, you can’t forget other options like HolidayCheck, a review site with a great presence in German speaking markets such as Germany, Switzerland or Austria, that could also implement a direct booking model in the future.
If that weren’t enough, the diversity of channels and devices allows hotels to implement different strategies, assigning a specific investment depending on the market it’s directed too, adjusting their bids according to the relevance of the user’s device: mobile, tablet, desktop. It is important that the hotel decides how to act in regards each platform’s payment method. Trivago opts for CPC; where position is based on the paid results, like Google Hotel Ads, where factors such as the users IP, the optimization of the Google My Business hotel file, etc. influence the organic results and position.
On the other hand, TripAdvisor’s CPA model allows the hotel to pay commission per completed booking. Our mission in this puzzle is to help hotels define their rate strategy through every platform, optimize their content in each one and keep a constant control on the best type of bid for each moment. Many companies offer simple integration with the meta search engines, but this is not enough. Hotels can go a step further and rely on a partner, as Idiso, who will hold their hand during the whole process, from design, information optimization and direct channel booking management, to dealing with the clients and creating loyalty, of course not forgetting managing all channels that can generate bookings for the hotel.