As hoteliers, your commitment to guest experience, personalized service, and strategic pricing strategies have never been more critical. In this digital age, a robust online presence stands as the linchpin for driving bookings and attracting guests.
This blog discusses the importance of online distribution in the hospitality industry and essential components that cannot be compromised.
Importance of Online Distribution:
Online distribution is crucial for hoteliers in the digital age and cannot be ignored. It’s important because it can reach many people, attract different customers, and make a hotel more visible online.
With the majority of travelers turning to online platforms to research, compare, and book accommodations, a robust online distribution strategy becomes indispensable.
It helps hotels reach more people, gather useful data, create personalized experiences for guests, and increase bookings.
Not using online distribution means missing out on a great opportunity to reach potential guests. This, in turn, affects income and competitiveness in a digital market.
Key components of an effective online distribution strategy:
Hotel Technology | Channel Manager
One of the most important tools for hoteliers to succeed in a hyper-competitive-looking environment is a Hotel Channel Manager.
It not only connects with multiple online channels but also gives key insights and other advanced features for hoteliers to know which channel drives most of their bookings.
Many channel managers, like STAAH MAX, are cloud-based and integrate with a property management system for easy booking.
The channel manager updates real-time bookings and rates made in the PMS and immediately distributes them to the connected channel.
Find out more on STAAH Channel Manager here
Online Travel Agents (OTAs):
Your online distribution strategy cannot ignore this channel.
Working with multiple online travel agents (OTAs) is crucial for increasing digital distribution and overall occupancy. Choosing OTA partners based on high reach, booking volume, and low commissions is key to a successful OTA strategy and also helps in increasing visibility.
OTAs also provide valuable reports and insights such as Booking.com offers Market Insights on booking trends and guest behavior, etc. allowing hotels to make informed decisions on pricing and promotions.
To avoid high commissions from online channels it is important to focus on ways to attract guests to book with you directly.
Having a hotel booking engine like STAAH SwiftBook can help you drive more direct bookings, save OTA commissions, and transform your website visitors into guests.
Your hotel’s website serves as the virtual storefront, the first impression for potential guests.
Offering a seamless booking experience is key to driving bookings on your site. STAAH Instant Website offers an enticing solution with its beautifully responsive design, attracting and engaging visitors.
Find out more about the importance of a Mobile-friendly website
Defining your Target Audience
To make online distribution more efficient, it is important to clearly define the target audience and your market segment. Understanding guest demographics and preferences enables hotels to provide relevant offers and experiences and identify the right channels to reach potential guests.
Offering Personalized Guest Experience
Just like AI is trending the demand for a good personalized guest experience is also rising.
Tailoring your services, recommendations, and interactions based on individual preferences and behaviors significantly enhances guest satisfaction and repeat visits. This approach not only fosters a deeper connection with guests but also amplifies positive word-of-mouth referrals, ultimately driving more bookings through direct channels. Personalized experiences serve as a compelling differentiator that sets hotels apart and ensures sustained success in the competitive market.
Global Distribution System (GDS) and Meta Search Engines
One of the oldest distribution platforms, a GDS is a middleman that connects your hotel to travel agents looking for the right accommodation for their clients. Feeding in real-time rates and availability is important in this highly competitive platform that attracts high-value guests.
A Global Distribution System is a platform that connects you to high-value business guests and must form part of your channel mix. Metasearch engines like Google Hotel Ads, Trivago, and TripAdvisor offer users the convenience of comparing prices from various OTAs and booking sites within a single platform. Listing your property on these platforms can maximize your visibility as well.
As the hotel technology space is rapidly developing, hotel distribution can become complex to understand. If you are new to hotel distribution and how it works? Download the free E-Book