The hospitality industry uses a variety of portals and channels in order to market and advertise its products and services. Some of the portals that are so central to the mix are online travel agencies or OTAs such as Expedia and Priceline, along with various meta-search tools used to search for flights, spa and hotel accommodation online. OTAs are particularly important during those low booking seasons where you need to leverage new marketing channels in order to reach wider audiences and fill in your rooms during the last minute. But investing in a good spa booking software is also a prudent option to undertake if you plan to keep most of your spa booking revenues.
It is generally advisable to incorporate a multiplicity of channels and strategies so that you do not rely too much on OTAs which are likely to cut deeply into your revenues. When you are running your own spa booking software on your branded website, you are obviously not going to beat the OTAs merely based on pricing due to the rate parity agreements that exist in these business relationships. As a result, you will be forced to use other techniques which are not price-based in order to gain an edge in the marketplace while avoiding those costly OTA commissions.
There are certain best practices that spas can use in order to ensure that they diversify their revenue sources. These include the following:
Blogging Your Deals
Blogging is one of the most powerful ways that you can use to generate leads online. If you are running a spa or salon business, you can create a little blog where you can post interesting articles on your services while also offering tips and tidbits for your prospective buyers. You can then post links back to your main website. This is likely to generate more conversions for your business and will drive up your bookings.
Persuade Visitors through Design Strategies
When potential customers are shopping through coupon websites, OTAs or meta-search engines, they are likely to visit the business website in order to sample out the real thing before they make a purchase commitment. This is where your marketing should go into overdrive so that you can maximize on the conversions. You can easily accomplish this through the web interface design that you have adopted. For example, make it very easy for customers to book for travel via your website. Provide bold calls to action such as the “Book Now” buttons. It is also important to showcase the best rooms on your website so that customers can be persuaded to book on your website.
Generate Conversations on the Review Websites
Whenever buyers are shopping for your products on the OTAs, they will get several options that they can compare and choose from which are in the same price range. The customers will also be reading the online reviews and this presents a unique opportunity for you to draw the customers away from the OTAs or reviews websites to your own website. One of the best ways to do this is conducting reputation management on reviews websites and also being very genuine and professional about it. Take time to respond to all reviews, whether they are negative or positive, and show that you care.
Create Deals for Select Groups of Your Customers
The rate parity agreements usually apply to those prices that you display on your website. But you could offer great deals and advantageous pricing for select groups or your “gated” customers such as those who have subscribed to your mailing list, blogs or follow you on your social media accounts.
Have Money Saving Packages
With the best spa booking software, you can easily create packages for your customers without necessarily infringing on the rate parity agreements that you have with the OTAs. While the package price might be higher than the OTA price, you can bundle it with numerous other products in order to offer your buyers an absolute value for money.