Hotel Tech Lab,Pt.5

Speaker Insight: James Osmond, TRIPTEASE

5 ways to boost your DibPAR (direct bookings revenue per available room)

After the success of the first edition in Prague in April, Availpro took the Hotel Tech Lab to the UK in May 

The second edition staged at The Hoxton, Holborn, in London on May 16 explored the theme of “Fresh Trends in Hospitality”. The event attracted another full house of hoteliers, all eager to draw on the insights of six expert speakers – including James Osmond, chief operating officer of Triptease

 

At the Hotel Tech Lab, Osmond said: “Hotels are special, unique and intimate,”, reprising US author’s Chip Conley’s idea that hotels are somewhere “you sleep with the product, eat with the product and even get naked with it.”

“My slight bugbear is that OTAs are marvelous distributors and extraordinary marketing machines, but they begin to risk commoditising what is great and special and unique about hotels,” Osmond said. “You’ve got to bring to light what makes you great and celebrating it.”

To drive more direct bookings, Osmond suggested a change of metric, looking at DibPAR (direct booking revenue per available room) rather than RevPAR. To calculate DibPAR, take the room revenue, remove all the costs combined to give you the net revenue from that room, then you add back in the ancillaries, the upsells, and get a total net revenue from people booking direct and divide that by available rooms. This, he argued, gives you a better indication of the total profitability direct bookings are driving into your hotel.
Osmond shared five quick tips on how to generate more DibPAR:

 

  1. A trusted, fair price

“The sad truth is that two-thirds of potential customers coming to your website already believe that they can get a cheaper price from an OTA elsewhere because that’s what they’ve been conditioned to believe.

A widget like Triptease’s Price Check widget displaying prices from across the web in real time gives consumers confidence that they are getting the best rate (or at least parity) by booking direct. Equally, a tool such as Triptease’s Disparity Dungeon enables you to track OTAs who are undercutting you.

“Find out how often are you being undercut and why is it happening?” said Osmond. “Take control – get in touch with the OTAs that have a cheaper rate than the one you’ve agreed.”

 

  1. Benefits of Direct

A 2016 Triptease survey, found that twice as people agreed with the statement that “booking direct leads to a better experience” than disagreed with it.

“It’s a fundamental human connection thing, and you need to reinforce that feeling to your direct bookers, by offering benefits,” he said.

A room upgrade was top of the respondents’ list of desired benefits, but even a free pineapple (the quirky gift offered to all direct bookers by one of Triptease’s hotel clients) can add a personal touch.

 

  1. Relevant and attentive content

Offer the right message at the right time to encourage booking. Messages such as “You’ve got 15 minutes to complete your booking” cause anxiety and fear. Instead, provide personalised ‘gentle nudge’ communications – for example, if the prospective booker has been searching family rooms, tell them about ancillary services you offer for families.

 

  1. Individual service

How do you bring to life the service and personality of your hotel online? “Conversations increase conversions,” said Osmond. “You need to try to replicate the experience online of a person physically entering the front lobby of your hotel using conversational technology – telling them about what’s special about your hotel and relevant to that customer.”

 

  1. Obsessive learning

Create a culture of constant improvement among your management team, to learn about the individual guest, their needs and intent, testing and improving within your hotel, and also learning about what has and hasn’t worked for other hotels, by teaming up with the likes of Availpro and Avvio who work with thousands of different properties.

Osmond offered pairs of Triptease “power socks” (in coral pink or bright green) to people asking questions in the ensuing Q&A. One delegate from a revenue software consultancy earned a pair when she highlighted their survey of OTA bookers at one hotel over a three-month period which revealed that 92% of respondents thought they’d booked on the hotel’s own website! Osmond admitted it was pointless trying to compete with the big-budget OTAs, but during the booking process people will often visit the hotel website at some stage and that’s when you have to capture their attention, build a relationship and get them to book direct.

 

For the full event recap, read here

Stay tuned for more updates from further speakers!

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