Benchmarking your property against your competitors is one of the most important tools in developing a robust direct channel strategy. When we launched BenchDirect at The Hotels Network, it revolutionized the way that hotels benchmark themselves against the competition. With real-time analytics and never-before-seen insights, the tool transformed the direct booking landscape and allowed hotel brands to not only compare their end results but also gain a clear understanding of how they came to be.
As a hotelier on the platform, the amount of data and insights that BenchDirect presents you is impressive. But even the most experienced hotelier can be unsure about how to analyze these results and identify where to make improvements to their direct channel strategy. That’s precisely why THN developed the Ultimate Hotel Benchmarking Checklist. A handy guide explaining how to evaluate your hotel’s direct channel performance step by step so you know exactly where to focus and what you need to do.
At its core, benchmarking is a two step process of learning and then acting upon what you’ve learned. Let’s dive into some of the guide’s best practices and see how you can take your direct channel to new heights by taking action based on BenchDirect insights.
1. Search distribution by stay date below average? Encourage more bookings on specific dates
By using BenchDirect to analyze your hotel’s upcoming calendar and then identifying specific dates when your hotel has a clear dip in demand compared to the market, you can easily build exclusive offers around these dates to give occupancy rates that extra boost. Imagine you spot you are running low on reservations during the month of May. What action can you take here? Displaying a Layer on the homepage allows you to specifically highlight offers that entice lookers to book on the specific dates you are trying to sell. If the package makes as big of a splash as the example below, those direct bookings will come sailing right in!
Homepage offer encouraging reservations for the month of May
2. Mobile Conversion Below Average? Tailor your user experience for mobile devices and get creative!
Mobile dominates online traffic to hotel websites, with recent data trends indicating that an incredible 75% of traffic volume comes from a handheld device. But has your hotel taken the necessary steps to optimize the mobile experience? Your site may look amazing on a laptop, but are you seeing lower than average conversion rates on mobile?
It’s crucial to tailor the user experience and messaging for mobile traffic and look for creative ways to increase sales on this device. Using THN’s targeting options, you can display carefully curated and unique offers that are only visible to your mobile audience. Inliner messages appear as native content and don’t overload the UX, something vital for a good mobile experience that is engaging and drives conversions.
Example of a 10% mobile-only offer displayed via an Inliner
3. Noticing disparity frequency above average? Combat price disparities on the spot
So you’ve got all the elements for a great website, and things should be going smoothly. But looking at benchmarking data, you notice that your hotel rates are getting undercut by OTAs and metasearch engines more often than those of your competitors. What can you do to prevent this from negatively impacting your direct conversions? Activate an ingenious solution known as Price Match.
With this feature, your hotel can fight against price disparities in real time by implementing it directly in the booking engine. Whenever a price disparity is detected, the user is presented with a discounted rate to match it. One click on the special offer link and the discount is automatically applied to combat the lower rate. By effectively stopping other offers in their tracks, you will easily discourage users from third-party sites and boost your direct bookings instead.
Price Match inliner showing rates at competing sites vs. your best offer
So here you go! The above are just some of the great ways you can take action with your benchmarking insights and bring your direct channel strategy to a whole new level.
The Ultimate Hotel Benchmarking Checklist was carefully curated to go hand-in-hand with your direct channel analytics so you can make the most out of your data. The easy-to-follow outline will have your direct channel performance a step above the rest in no time! Ready to get started? Download the full guide today.