TripAdvisor continues to grow and, whether we like it or not, is going to become an important figure in the hotel industry. It was created as a hotel review site and it has become the number one site in that field. It grew by adding price comparison, competing with Trivago and Kayak. Now, it has launched an instant-booking feature in order to keep the final client, so that he does not leave TripAdvisor and carries out the whole booking on the site. This turn of events has forced OTAs to decide on their participation and it has become an ally so that the hotel can reduce its distribution costs (connecting its direct sale).
In order to fully understand instant booking, first we must look at the other two products that TripAdvisor has:
Business Listings. TripAdvisor’s first great piece of business. It allows you to introduce your hotel’s contact details (phone, e-mail address and website in particular) in its TripAdvisor listing. It comes at a fixed annual cost that originally depended on the number of rooms, although now it varies subject to the number of views that the listing has. Find out more at
After a first attempt at price comparison many years ago, TripAdvisor came back with another in 2013, a more advanced version that it named TripConnect PPC. Its functionality is quite simple. Given a date search, it shows the real-time rates of the different OTAs. The client is then re-directed to the OTA website so he can complete his booking there.
The direct sale has its place available in TripConnect. From Mirai, we always saw this as an opportunity and we developed integration straight away after the product’s launch (in Spanish).
It is a PPC model whose cost per click can vary a lot between markets (for hotels in Barcelona, for example, the click in Spain can cost approximately 1€, while it could cost 4€ in the United States).
To make your investment in TripConnect a profitable one is the main objective. If you do not make it cost effective, Booking.com will do it for you (with your commission money, of course).
The four key points, sometimes not even in your hands, to make TripConnect cost effective are:
- Average booking value. The higher, the better.
- Average stay. The longer, the better.
- Inventory. Always have the inventory on the website. This does not always happen, since the hotel has sold all of its rooms through other channels and when it has to sell on the website there is no inventory left.
- Have the best rate on the website rather than on the OTAs. It is a delicate subject for many hotels but one that OTAs will take advantage of as long as hotels carry on having this fear. The most advanced hotels have assimilated the fact that the direct channel must have the best rate.
Find out more at https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripConnect
Instant booking has arrived
In order to improve the user experience -in particular those on mobile devices-, TripAdvisor wants the client to never leave their website and carry out the booking on it. This way, it would increase conversion since it would not be re-directing them to another site, that of the OTA or the hotel website, something which would happen with TripConnect.
The way of presenting results changes considerably, giving special relevance to the new “Book on TripAdvisor” button.
If we click on the “Book now” button of instant Booking, we will be re-directed to a screen to choose the room and rate that we want:
If we proceed with the booking, it will take us to the classic booking form:
And, after filling it in correctly, we get to the screen confirmation:
With Instant Booking, TripAdvisor once again shows that online distribution changes every year. The key for the hotel will be to always stay up to date and alert to emerging opportunities.
Instant Booking brings more questions, which we will try and answer in the following posts:
- TripAdvisor instant booking in detail
- What should my instant booking strategy be?
- Has TripAdvisor become an OTA?