Recently, the e-commerce expert Victoria Green helped lift the veil on the growing challenges of the hotel industry in what concerns e-Commerce innovation. In a concise and clear way, she identifies some points where the hotelier will have to be more sensitive and focused to improve and evolve e-commerce, in order to leverage and stand out from the competition, in an online plateau.
The market has undergone profound changes and the arrival of e-commerce has transformed the way of being of all industry, in a transversal way. A whole new know-how in digital environment is mandatory. Improving customer experience, targeted advertising, and complex strategies that increase conversion effectively is imperative.
The hotel industry needs to chase after the waste of time, take advantage of a whole new set of tools and also redesign strategic e-commerce plans.
With the increasing development of Digital Marketing tools, we are now overwhelmed with products all the time. It is urgent to show something genuine, that connects with the buyer. We need to capture attention by offering something of genuine value. Storytelling is no more than creating a personal approach behind a prescriptive message that makes the product unique. It can be used on the website, on social networks or where you have contact with your target audience.
Video content is much more profitable than a still image, it is more personal. Take advantage! This type of content is the most easily consumed, regardless of the time or place where they do it.
Customizing the shopping experience
Demand knows what it wants and how it wants. Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to personalized services on an online shopping experience. As they navigate the web, information roads are left behind as demographics, such as preferences and views. Armed with all this information from our target audience, we are able to put together an incisive strategy and get to it in an effective way, through a tailor-made approach.
Managing a vast list of analytical tools about our visitor behavior on our website, we will be able to monitor the individual customer and thus offer products tailored to them, such as recommendations based on their behavior.
The possibility of acting in the market with a mesh adjusted to our client, promotes the sale of our product to those who are really interested in it. Our knowledge about the client is crucial. After identifying our "Traveler Personas", creations of the ideal client type for your business, we can move forward with the strategy to get them. In this way we not only increase our potential sales, as these personas will only receive messages that are relevant to them, avoiding the "noise" of to much information and non-relevant at all.
Mapping Buying Process
Contrary to popular belief, the buying process does not translate into a simple ABC path. Buying behavior differs from person to person and this can complicate the way each company reaches its customer, in a stage increasingly competitive for attention.
One of several ways we get to our customer is through Retargeting. This tool displays ads based on what people have previously visited or searched for, to put more emphasis on customer preferences. Imagine if a customer who visits a particular website with a specific offer, when leaving this website, the offer they were considering buying will be presented as an advertisement while visiting other websites, as well as advertising the website that we previously visited. With this information you can maximize the conversion of our website.
Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality
Enjoy the technological advancement and convert with the help of Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality. Both can help simplify the shopping experience as well as immerse the buyer into the experience. There are many ways to use these technologies in the hotel's e-commerce strategy, from chatbot on the website to provide 24-hour support for any queries, to AR hotel maps filled with offers, general information and reviews. All this makes the experience deeper. It increases the conversion in the first case, as it makes the guest a repeater, in the second case.
Increase Website Conversion Triggers
The evolution of e-commerce, its popularity and importance among all online businesses has meant that there are more and more options to capitalize on so-called Psychological Triggers in order to convert potential clients into effective sales. From Storytelling, Sense of Community, there are several ways to reach the client from a more emotional point of view. Clients are human beings with fears, needs and desires, and the online market is the ideal place to use these triggers.
No doubt that these Triggers can also be used in the hotel industry, we sell experiences and nothing is more emotional than the experiences. One of the most common ways is, highlight at the time of purchase, how many rooms there are available for a certain date. This urgency is one of the most powerful and action-motivating tools, and a countdown is perfect to convey that feeling.
Social proofing is also widely used in e-commerce. Reviews and testimonies left by clients after their purchase are disseminated in order to convince potential clients to buy. This way they are clarifying any fears that potential customers may have regarding the product.
Hotel Virtual Reality Tours
Virtual Reality is a great way to get the prospective client to reach the long-awaited experience, even before the purchase. By making virtual visits available to our hotel, we safeguard ourselves from potential customer failures with it in our home, since the offer will be visible in a more honest, real and clear way. Not only the rooms are presented this way, but also the outdoor space, public areas and even the breakfast offer.
e-commerce has opened new business opportunities across all types of industries and hotel industry can not ignore its importance, the viability of the their business may depend on it. The use of new technologies, with a focus on the customer, their experiences, investment in information and tailor-made services, is imperative today in order to win the fight with better conversion rates.
Many users start the buying process on one platform and change the middle to another. If this change is not possible, we may lose the conversion here. Therefore, being present on more than one platform, becoming Omni-channel, is essential.
"85% of online shoppers start buying in one device and end up in another."
A consistent image, with identical accessibility across all channels - social networking, desktop / mobile website, physical space - can significantly increase the possibility of sale, through a sense of identification and even familiarity.
Accessibility and Mobile
The ease with which we navigate the website and the simplicity with which a purchase is processed is essential for sales growth. The whole course has to be intuitive and short. Most users use their mobile phone to browse and make purchases if the website is responsive and easy to use on this platform. Optimize website pages for these devices, either through responsive design or through AMPs . Ensure that pages are loaded immediately, correctly, and easily for all users. Do not neglect the weight of photos, these should be lightweight for instant loading.
Optimize your entire website with relevant content. There are several techniques for this purpose. Analyze and choose which keywords are right for your content as it identifies you and positions you favorably on an organic search on any search engine. The titles are of extreme importance, they are determining for a good ranking. Be careful not to duplicate information, all content must be unique on each page, as well as free of spelling errors, otherwise it will be penalized.
While SEO seeks to target a better search result in an organic search, SEM uses multiple paid methods to promote your website and direct traffic through various tools like Search Engines and social media advertising, taking advantage of the efficiency of the segmentation of your business .
The use of SEO and SEM leads to a valuable visibility for the hotelier and this should assign these skills to accredited managers to accomplish it.
Always have a scheduled refresh to the content, as well as a regular interaction with your target audience. Stay current with the trends all the time, you can always analyze what the competition is practicing. Do not be afraid to dive into new strategies, because nowadays, getting static is giving up.