The juggernaut distribution channels such as Kayak, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Hotel.com, Expedia have been brilliant in their business strategy. And they charge exorbitant commissions. They are here to stay, and we need them. But we don't have to get so much business from them.
However, we do not need to be subservient to their strategies, and we are in a position to reclaim a lot of the lost pricing power given over to them by changing the way we see our businesses.
Consumers are changing the way they buy products and services, at an alarming rate. There are so many ways of doing business. The hotel, car hire and experiences businesses are already losing sales as a result of lagging in their digital capability.
We need to adapt and evolve, and present our brands, what, where and when their offer, in a relevant way. This is not only about a hotel bed, food, pool, gym, WiFi: it's about the traveller. And the role that brands should play in their travels.
The discussion about the big airlines and the fact that they've been offering hotels, car hire, travel insurance and experiences for over 15 years is a case in point. Why did they move to do so? Firstly, they expanded the role their brands played in the customers' journey. Their brand not only transported the customer, but facilitated their customer closing related parts of their itinerary. And they knew that they would earn big commissions doing so.
So why, we asked, has it taken so long for hotels and other travel services providers to realise that they too are in a position to offer their customers the same? We all know that it's because we didn't define the business that we are in; we didn't see that whilst we offer great accommodation (and that's why the customer has come to our website) our customer was in fact needing related services that WE could offer them. For little effort at all. And too many people still believe that the first purchase by a traveller is the air-ticket. Not always.
As a result of it being so easy to move between websites, there is a real need to do what is necessary to keep the customer on one's own website.
We need to understand that we're not competing head on with the juggernauts; we're taking advantage of the website traffic we already have - a lot of which comes from those juggernauts - they send consumers to your website when the consumer needs to have at look at your property.
We do this by: a) having a website that is not merely an online brochure b) that it it's design and the customer experience on the site is relevant with all the right clues and signals without which the consumer doesn't feel comfortable doing business on the site and c) we give the consumer what they need when they need it. Just as the airlines do.
Now things have changed. There is a global movement amongst particularly the big hotel groups: they're looking to move their brand experience into an area that better services the customer. This includes what their websites do. What their websites offer, and how they offer it.
EasyOTA is positioned to guide businesses through this surprisingly easy process. Of being able to offer more on the web. Of using what one already has - visitors - and servicing them better. (By service here we refer to the WHAT and the HOW).
Re-frame how you see your customers and watch revenues grow