8 Tips To Help You Optimise Sales For The Summer Ahead
Examine Search Market Data
Traveller Intent is the new buzz word in revenue management terms! (you can read more on this on our previous blog here). In summary what it means is identifying the green shoots early – even before a booking is made – and concentrating your revenue strategy and sales & marketing efforts to convert these lookers to bookers! So, take time to analyse your data, identify these green shoots and early performing market segments and capitalise on opportunities within these segments.
A big positive we have seen from the last 12 months is that brand.com is on the increase; the domestic market sees the value in booking direct.
We all know brand.com booking engines are better at displaying packages to guests, something which is not possible through OTA’s – your own website is also better at showcasing all aspects of your hotel. Your website should always be king so it is important to monitor channel delivery regularly and ensure that no OTA is growing market share at the expense of your property website.
There are lots of actions you can do to ensure brand.com remains king!
- Make sure you don’t sell packages on OTA’s
- Ensure you have a book direct strategy… and shout about it on your social media channels, website landing page and throughout the booking journey on your brand.com site
- As occupancy grows, place MLOS (minimum length of stays) on OTA’s without restricting brand.com
- At higher levels of occupancy, close out Bed & Breakfast packages and just sell Dinner, Bed & Breakfast packages or All Inclusive Packages on your hotel website. This will mean that your OTA’s will be closed out as you only sell DBB on brand.com … that’s ok!
- Once you hit a certain level of occupancy OTA’s should be closed out and only your own website should be left open.
Review and Update your Packages
Bearing in mind you have reviewed your search data and you know the customer type that is looking to book your hotel, adapt your packages to be more attractive for this customer. Take the time to review your package offerings on your brand website, audit their offerings then remove or amend any packages that are not performing – avoid similar package offerings.
Where possible bundle offers into groups to suit the type of customer that visits your website: Family Fun, Spa Escapes, Activity Breaks, etc. Review your Analytics reports and the length of time someone stays on your specials pages. Make sure your offerings are clear and concise.
Revenue per Room Type
For revenue managers benchmarking your BAR room is the norm, but there may be an opportunity to review and increase the supplements on your family rooms, triple rooms, suites, etc. Once again look at your search data and green shoots for bookings and identify what room types customers are looking to book, then ensure you are pricing these to maximise opportunities.
For the higher demand months, make sure you sell to room type meaning that when your standard rooms are sold you are selling your Suites/Executives/Family rooms at their price and not the standard room price. Take the time to review your bedroom descriptions and images for these higher value room types so you are not underselling their benefits.
It’s time to review your enhancements via your brand.com booking engine or if you are using upsell software. Make sure they are relevant for the domestic/staycation market. Test your booking journey and ensure guests that purchased dinner, bed and breakfast packages are not being resold dinner!
Create a Revenue Management Culture throughout all Departments
Traditionally within the Hotel Industry revenue management was synonymous with bedroom sales and maximizing the revenue made on each bedroom sold. It’s now much more than that, it’s all about the total spend. All Departments should be responsible for driving sales within their own department but also with the bigger picture in mind, everyone is responsible for upselling!
Itinerary packages and ancillary spend go hand in hand; a multiple night package with meals and outings included in the price as well as other suggestions of what do in the area will go a long way to attracting your staycationers and increasing spend in all departments.
“Staycation” Market will be your main market segment for the Foreseeable Future
As international travel restrictions are kept in place, we are all aware that our domestic market will be our target market for the months ahead. For staycationers (many of whom will be reluctant staycationers!) it is important to ensure your Operations Team is on point and is offering operational excellence! Remember, your revenue management pricing is affected by your reputation management, the 3 are closely linked together.
Everyone is your Competitor
Typically, hotels will look at their local market and benchmark their hotel against hotels in the local market. As air travel continues to be restricted guests will be travelling by road, so hotels within your 1-2 hour radius are now your competitors too. Be aware of their offerings and how inventive hoteliers have become at being seen as different from the norm.
We have seen over the last 12 months how teams still working within hotels have been required to do more than ever with less. Some revenue managers have taken on a role similar to that of a commercial manager as they juggle the responsibilities of multiple departments, while others are also spread across multiple properties. Systems and software have always been an invaluable resource however this is clearer now more than ever – systems such as the Rate Wise RMS can help automate and streamline your pricing and inventory, which helps alleviate the pressure on all team members, especially those who are already spread thin. In the past auditing and updating your rates for the next 12 months could take you hours, however using an RMS can have your rates reviewed and updated through to your PMS and Channel Manager within minutes. To find out more, please contact us.