10th November 2017

Can independent brand websites learn from hotels?

Independent brand websites can struggle to generate their own sales in a world of department stores and comparison sites.

To fight back against the success of online travel agencies (OTAs), some hotels have been making major efforts to get customers to book directly through their own websites. These hotels have often found that ‘book direct’ campaigns have produced the greatest number of online bookings. Therefore, revenue increases both from increased occupancy and better returns from not having to pay the referral fee of the travel agency.

This sort of campaign is easier for the better known brands – see The Ritz and Bellagio. But newer hotels are also making this work for them.

Rosewood

Rosewood London hotel

via Rosewood London

Rosewood in London is a newer outfit but doesn’t just highlight the usual benefits like ‘lowest rates’, ‘no hidden costs’ and ‘flexible terms’. They offer exclusive extras such as late check out and free room upgrades.

rosewood london executive king room

via Rosewood London

The Bellagio

The Bellagio (Vegas, of course) has a very easy UX. They have easy booking drop downs, and before you see any of the rates they remind you to

“BOOK DIRECTLY THROUGH OUR WEBSITE

Get the lowest rate without booking fees, free cancellation until 72 hours prior to arrival”

bellagio vegas fountains website

via Bellagio

They’re also very hot on the ‘M Life’ benefits scheme, creating those extra special moments during your stay or building up points for money-saving or special experiences.

bellagio hotel vegas booking website

via Bellagio

Now, we know a lot of this seems obvious but if you’re looking to get more sales through your own channel then it’s worth spending the time to see what they’re doing. It’s about talking directly to your customers and making better profits from each order. Whatever your service or product, you can offer special treatment with best prices and little extras thrown in.

Or you can start a members’ club with all sorts of things from a members’ discount (that can only be redeemed through your website), sale previews, competitions, exclusive products or personalisation.

The bottom line is…

If you make people feel special they’ll want to deal directly with you and you might even gain that elusive customer loyalty you’ve been dreaming of.