February 27, 2018, by Gilad Berenstein, CEO of Utrip
The travel industry as a whole, and especially hotels face massive challenges in this digital age. Hotels are struggling with the ever-increasing pressure to improve conversion rates, improve the overall guest experience and drive revenue, but struggle with how to accomplish this.
A recent article in Tnooz examined hotel conversion rates in an effort to understand how to improve these rates overall. Some of the recommendations in the article included hotels reexamining their design to emphasize a modern look, as well as working to increase the overall load time of web pages.
The other recommendation was based on creating a website that delivered an emotional impact and really conveyed to users the full experience of being a guest at the hotel.
This is dependent on integrating several different kinds of widgets, all of which can have an impact on conversion rates. In fact, the article found that third-party widgets tend to be the differing factor for conversion rates. These widgets include price comparison tools, review widgets and live chats.
The article ultimately ended up recommending that hotels focus on improving the digital and website experience as the main way to increase conversion rates, and while that is true, it doesn’t paint a complete picture.
Conversion rates are more nuanced than simply introducing various widgets, and while there definitely should be a focus on improving digital, that cannot be the only strategy. The real way to increase conversion rates lies in providing guests with a personalized experience in order to create long-term, loyal customers.
Personalization, combined with a digital focus and the introduction of third-party widgets is the real recipe for success, but many hotels tend to ignore the personalization aspect, and that is to their detriment.
The main recommendation within the broader idea of personalization lies in micro-targeting customers with an "experience exclusively tailored to their need." That extra personal touch is what separates a great hotel from the rest, and what keeps customers coming back for more.
The data backs this idea up, through and through. A recent study found that:
- "86% of customers say that personalization affects their purchase decision."
- "96% consumers expect the retailers to personalize their feed and inform them about new products of their liking."
- "94% of senior-level executives believe delivering a personalized experience is crucial to amassing and maintaining customers."
Throughout the buyer journey, personalization is what makes or breaks the decision, and that is what hotels must focus on when trying to increase their conversion rates. Whether it is a new customer, or a returning customer, creating an experience that is tailored to their unique needs is what they expect, and that is what keeps them returning as well.
The statistics demonstrate that customers are far savvier than before, and they understand the role technology can play in a business, and how it improves the overall guest experience. Hotels that incorporate a high level of personalization and provide a vast array of digital tools for new and returning guests are the ones that will see high conversion rates.
As the year goes on, think about ways to improve your digital footprint and provide customers with a personalized experience. Widgets and design are only one aspect of the strategy, but they cannot be the only facets. Incorporating multiple touchpoints for guests to engage with your brand and experience something that is tailored just for them should be the main focus of any digital strategy going forward.
Interested in learning more about the massive impact personalization can have on travel and how to really capitalize on it? Utrip provides artificial intelligence based planning technology that can help accomplish this and more, so contact us today.