The digital advance and the growth of online sales generate a lot of important data that, if analysed properly, can give you clues to improve and suggest opportunities that you may not have even considered.
We are not talking about Big Data, so fashionable nowadays; we are talking about the fundamental data that reflects the reality of your sales and allow you to understand it better.
And precisely that is one of the key advantages of direct sales: that you own and have at your disposal all the sales process’ important data; from marketing campaigns to the booking process and even those who finally book to become guests. Moreover, you can have this data almost in real-time too, allowing for an optimal “time to market”.
That is why distributors usually do not share too much data: they are afraid you will learn too much and take away some of their current buyers… who are actually looking for your hotel. Remember that they partly live off finding customers before you and convincing them to book with them instead of you.
What opportunities are we talking about? Some examples
Detecting demand changes
Unforeseen changes in demand, especially in recent times due to covid-related travel restrictions, are pretty standard. New flights, promotional campaigns of the destination, events, etc., are factors that can activate the demand for specific dates of stay or specific markets. Detecting these cases early and understanding them well allows us to adjust rates (revenue management) or our Digital Marketing activity, for example.
Converting requests that now are rejected
Imagine that you write down everything that customers ask about availability and rates (queries or requests to the booking engine) and that you know all details of what you “reject”: destination / hotel, dates, number of people and rooms and the reasons why you reject them (lack of availability, maximum occupancies of your rooms, conditions or restrictions, etc. If you analyse this in-depth, you can find solutions to accept many of these requests, some of which will end up being additional direct bookings. From experience, each type of rejected request has a potential solution.
Finding attractive markets to boost
Suppose you have good data on the evolution and characteristics of the markets you work with. In that case, you can focus on those that are more attractive to you because they book earlier, have a longer stay or a better ADR, and design a good action plan to increase revenue in those that interest you.
Find out what works and what does not
When it comes to online sales, you have to test, measure, analyse, adjust and retest. It is the basis of the experimentation and evolution of science, and it also applies to e-commerce. If you do it right, you will be able to focus on what works and fine-tune what does not to try again (or discard it if you think it is not worth it).
Understanding how the different direct channels complement each other and fit together
Direct selling has several “legs” that complement each other and can achieve great results and good synergies if they work in a coordinated manner. We are mainly talking about the web, the call centre and the hotel, which, if coordinated, can achieve better results together than on their own. A good analysis will allow you to adjust your strategy in order to optimise the overall results.
Comparing yourself to a group of similar hotels and discovering opportunities
In line with the “everything is relative” quote erroneously attributed to Einstein, your overall data may not give you the complete answers you need. Sometimes, to assess your numbers, you need to compare them versus a reference, which could be a group of hotels similar to yours. If this comparison is comprehensive, you can quickly focus on specific aspects that you consider to be priorities. All these opportunities can already be detected in our Mirai BI solution.
Before tackling this search for opportunities, you need to obtain the key data, ordered and well structured, in a tool that allows you to analyse and make the most of them.
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