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Top 5 secrets to improve ‘look to book’ ratio of online travel sites

What is the meaning of ‘look2book’ ratio and why is it important

Clearly it is the number of requests to your online travel site per reservation made. Look-to-Book ratios can be used for more than simply justifying Return on Investment. These ratios can be used as an effective monitoring and positioning tool in order to accurately determine market activity. According to a research done by Triometric, the way that people are choosing the shop these days is causing this look to book ratio to go up significantly. Reasons why this ratio is going up are:

  • The visitors are doing a whole lot more looking than booking than what they did in the past. People now want to talk about how much less they spent for how great a holiday. So, they still want to enjoy the the luxury, but are looking more to find the right deals.
  • Travelers today have more choices and they don’t just look at one website or mobile app. They look at several of these. Travelers these days are also doing exhaustive research on online travel sites. What they are looking for is content and not necessarily rich images or multimedia images or well written content about the hotel but more personalization of this content.

With such a huge proliferation of websites and mobile apps in this space this ratio is just going to increase and the question I pose to my readers is ‘Can this ratio go to a Milion:1?
So, the million dollar question is how can we improve this ratio for our sites

Secret No.1 Build your Niche

There are more than 3.5 million locations around the world and only a few thousand ‘Online Travel Sites’ and most of them sell everything to everybody. It is common sense that when you sell to everybody you sell to nobody. So pick up a niche. This niche can be a type of travel or a location, but it has to be something that you know everything about. So, if you have picked up Las Vegas as your niche and I have to ask you where can I eat the best crabs, you should be able to answer that question with confidence and authority.

Secret No.2 Give the lookers what they are looking for

Most websites that implement hotel API’s give standard content that is sourced from Expedia or like. To help your visitor, you need to understand the needs of the visitor. So, most users today want to search for something like this. An ocean front or beach front hotel in Miami that is close to a good night clug and has child care services. Would your site popup for a search similar to this? Best travel websites are now implementing semantic search. Just don’t give them a standard hotel or a list of hotels when they are searching for a neighbourhood or a locality. Give them more information about things to do in that area, events in that area during the time of the stay, information about what other visitors have told about this place and more importantly, what is your recommendation. Sounds like good amount of work. Yes, but if you partner with a good API provider, most of this can be done automatically except your recommendations. We are living in a age where the millenials have started to spend money. Does your online travel agency site fit the norms of today’s traveler?

Secret No.3 Give more for less

Being cheap is the new cool today. People earlier bragged about how they stayed in an expensive resort and how much money they spent. Well, post 2007, people now brag about how they stayed in a 5 star property and only paid a 3 star price. Yes, give them deals. Our lives have too much planning and organization. Travelers of today want a little bit of chaos to get a balance and thus you will find travelers pick up their bags on a friday night and head out for a vacation. What these travelers are looking for is last minute deals, or deals tonight or deals over the weekend. Hotels that cannot get their AOR (Average Occupancy Rate) post last minute deals. All you need is to have your travel website pick up the deal and show it when it is searched for.

Secret No.4 Own your customer

It is very important to leverage on your existing assets. Go into your archive and pull out a list of all those who have ever travelled with you, or signed up on your mailing list and add them to your social media, and update your mailing list. Now, get their preferences and send them deals and opportunities in reference of what they are looking for. As described in Secret No.1, build your expertize and flaunt the expertize to your visitors. They will not want to look for any other website, but book with you.

Secret No.5 Get a Mobile App

It is simple, a mobile app ensure loyalty of the user. With all the noise out there — roadside banners, billboards, flashing signs, newspaper ads, flyers, coupons, websites, website banners, Facebook ads, and email marketing — we slowly lose our impact on customers because of the immense amount of advertising surrounding us all. It’s time to go back to making a true and sincere connection with your customers, and making them a loyal lover of your product and/or service.
“80% of iOS and Android usage is spent on apps, leaving only 20% on browser activities.” (Flurry Analytics Comscore)
Once the user has downloaded your app on the mobile device, there is an 80% chance that your customer will use your app to search for the next booking. A mobile application is a way for clients to connect with you quickly and easily through their mobile device. Unlike a game app, which is purely for pleasure, a business app provides value to your existing clients, and is an easy way for you to gain new clients, loyalty and sales.

Posted under category:
Online Travel Sites - Oct 24, 2015 14:27

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