It’s undeniable that the quickest way to win in the revenue management game is through direct bookings; these are the least costly way of getting your rooms sold and therefore the most profitable. But how to increase your direct bookings? Create vibrant new digital marketing campaigns? Optimize your website to make it more streamlined and user friendly than ever before? Both are great options, but you may be completely overlooking the most valuable tool you have. Data.
The key to making the most out of revenue management software in hotels is by analysing the data that’s available to you. You’ll find a mass of data on customers in your booking engine and CRS. The challenge here, however, is breaking down this gargantuan data source into actionable decisions that you can measure the success of.
Data you’ll find on your booking engine tells you which trends are most relevant to your hotel, what has worked well in the past and, if possible, how you can improve on past successes even further. Analysing your booking engine data will also allow you to see what hasn’t worked so well and how you can remedy this going forward. Read on to find out which data groups can help your hotel go from strength to strength and improve your revenue management strategy.
Source data is a hugely useful data source stored by reservation systems for hotels that you can analyse to your benefit. This data group refers to the type of device used to access your website and booking engine, whether it be a mobile device or desktop machine. If your website visitors consist of largely mobile users, why not throw in some mobile-only booking offers to reel in more guests?
Another data category to analyse is your search data. If holidaymakers visit your website more at the weekend, for example, you can promote your last-minute packages over the weekend period to maximize your takings.
Knowing where your guests are visiting you from gives you the superb ability of being able to send bespoke marketing communications based on geographic locations. Does a demographic from a certain area tend to favour certain activities during their stay? You can send them custom special offers they’ll like the most to drive up your direct bookings. Are guests from one area of a country prone to picking certain rate plans such as all-inclusive deals? You can highlight the fantastic additions you’ve made to your all-inclusive package to people from this location in the future with an increased chance of direct bookings.
Lead times are the number of days prior to the start of the reservation that the booking is made. This will differ due to different guests having different reasons for their stay; guests travelling for business reasons may be booking on short notice and have windows of one to two weeks. Conversely, families in colder countries may be looking to escape their own climate and book their summer holidays months in advance. Analysing lead time data from customer groups informs you when your guests are likely to be booking and when’s best to advertise for packages further down the line in advance.