Have you already decided to increase your online sales via the direct online channel? You are strongly convinced that the best booking conditions are on your own brand website and give no reason for your clients to book your hotel through OTA channels.
And your customers, are they aware of it? One should remember that in marketing the ability to deliver the message may be more important than the idea itself.
We’ll give you 5 reasons why to state it on your website:
- 1. OTAs are already in: Expedia, Booking.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, and even small-scale online travel agencies proclaim the lowest rate guarantee of your hotel on their websites.
- 2. Take the advantage of the billboard efect that follows. As confirmed by many studies 85% of your site’s visitors previously checked the booking terms and conditions of different travel websites. When landing on your brand website it is time to convince them to book via the direct channel being guaranteed that they will not pay more for something they could have found cheaper.
- 3. Don’t get lef behind: this strategy has already been adopted by your competition. Not just big hotel chains like Marriott, Melia, NH, Barceló, Iberostar, Playasenator but family businesses as Joaquín Costa and Persal Hostels make their users perceive a real value offered via the official channel.
- 4. It is a powerful statement wih minimum cost that not only proves to be an impetus for reservations but also transforms your brand website into a loyalty platform: while being assured that the official site guarantees the best rate customers won’t doubt to book via this channel the next time.
- 5. There is no risk. Are you afraid of daily claims management?
- From our own experience, unlike what one may think, very few dissatisfied customers invoke the guarantee.
- If you promise to match the price or even offer a discount it will benefit your business anyway, as the offered difference will always be less than merchant OTA comission.
What about the ways to promote it?
- “Best online price guaranteed!” may just be displayed close to the check availability box in the booking engine. “There’s not a lower price for a Sercotel hotel on the Internet”, points up Sercotel on its website.
- You may insure to match the price in case customers find lower rate online or refund the difference if payment has already been made. It is up to you to extend the guarantee over 24 hours or no cancellation fee period.
- Another optional practice may be to commit to a future price, especially relevant for resort hotels where early booking deals are so significant. Playasenator promises to drop the booked price in case of reducing future rates. That is also how Tingo works.
- To provide an extra % discount is a common practice. Hostel Persal goes above and beyond for its guests rewarding customers with an extra 10% off in case they find publicly available rate on another website for its rooms.
- To suggest benefits-in-kind may be one more successful method that can avoid additional monetary expenses: promotion coupons for extras or future bookings, free nights, loyalty points . It is carried out by Intercontinental, Starwood or ChoiceHotels.
- Declare it in your AdWords ads to give your statement more visibility online.
Definitely it is an effective initiative with minimum cost and no risk. In Mirai we are taking action on this issue pointing out the official site best rate guarantee that our clients offer to their customers.
Have you found other reasons or effective methods of displaying your guarantee? Try some of the above and leave a comment below!