For hotels, staying alive — and staying competitive — is no longer a question of whether to adopt technology or not.
It’s a question of what technology to adopt, and of how to access and implement it as quickly and affordably as possible.
Because travelers have moved online to find hotels, bringing the entire hotel distribution landscape with them. Without the right digital solutions, hotels won’t even be able to reach these digital travelers, let alone compete in the industry as it races into 2018 and into an irrevocably digital future.
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Here are the ten hotel distribution solutions that are now vital to hotels in their fight to stay competitive, as published in a viewpoint on Tnooz:
#1 Official website
“Getting a proper hotel website is, still, the best thing you can do to improve your marketing strategy.”
To get excited about website creation, and to find out what exactly constitutes a “proper” hotel website, check out our article “5 Hotel Websites Inspiring Guests to Book“; it contains some captivating examples and insightful suggestions.
#2 Booking engine
“UX is the most important factor.”
UX, or user experience, can determine whether potential guests bounce or book after arriving at a hotel booking engine. Yes, it’s that important. Our article “10 Ways Hotel Managers Can Get Serious about UX” contains crucial information specifically for hoteliers on how to improve their UX and turn more interested potential guests into confirmed paying guests.
#3 Channel manager
“They’re indispensable to distribute room inventory and rates amongst OTAs and direct channels.”
Cloud-based technology is a hotel’s best bet when it comes to many of these solutions, including channel managers. It means the hotelier can control their room inventory and rates from wherever they are, on any device. Find out more about cloud-based tech for hotels by reading “Why Are Hoteliers Taking Their Properties to the Cloud?“
#4 SEO & SEA
“It is still crucial to the success of any strategy.”
SEO is the process of influencing, by several different means, how visible a website is among all the unpaid results generated by a search engine. “SEO 101: A Guide to Best Practices for Hotel Websites” takes hoteliers through the steps to improving SEO for their hotel websites.
#5 Metasearch ads
“Metasearch engines play a crucial role in the guest booking journey today, just think about the fact that, according to SimilarWeb, up to 30 percent of Booking.com traffic comes from them.”
Hoteliers can easily manage their profiles on trivago for free, and then run cost-per-click campaigns to display their direct website rates right on their profiles. “Publish Your Website Rates and Drive Direct Bookings” is an article that explains it all.
Promote your official direct rates to boost bookings.
#6 Revenue management software
“Even small properties that cannot afford to hire a revenue manager can now get automatic rate suggestions with a simple click.”
Establishing a smart pricing strategy that is competitive, profitable, and flexible becomes much easier when hotels use a rate shopper as well.
“A proper reputation management tool comes in handy to easily manage all the hotel mentions around the web.”
A hotel’s reputation now lives online, and it’s a determining factor in whether that hotel will be able to drive bookings online. “The Daily Checklist for Managing Your Hotel Reputation” presents hoteliers with actionable insights that make online reputation management more manageable.
#8 CRM & email marketing
“Email marketing is an easy and inexpensive way to get more brand visibility.”
It’s also among the most effective and profitable marketing channels available to hotels. Our own email marketing team recently published a series of articles on the topic, all of which can be found in “The Complete Guide to Email Marketing for Hotels.”
#9 Social media
“It goes without saying that all hotels should be active on social media.”
We’ll say it anyway: Only the hotels that stay current with the latest trends will be able to survive in an industry that’s increasingly adopting the language of younger generations. And the younger generations all speak social media. You can read “Social Media Marketing for Hotels: 5 Must-Try Tips” and “How to Use Instagram Stories to Market Your Hotel“.
#10 Marketing widgets
“Hotels can connect price checkers, chats and chatbots to guide the potential guests through the whole booking journey and increase conversion.”
“5 Ways Live Chat Can Boost Your Hotel Business” makes a compelling case for how adding live chat functionality to a hotel’s website can improve its guest experience and increase its bookings.
There you have it: the 10 hotel distribution solutions that will prove indispensable to every hotel business in 2019.
Is there another piece of technology crucial in the online distribution landscape that you believe hotels can no longer afford to do without? A connectivity provider perhaps? Or a central reservation system (CRS)? Don’t hesitate to let us know by commenting below.
Read the original article on PhocusWire.
A version of this article was first published in December 2017.