Enhancing digital bookings are not as easy as one would think. Hoteliers are continually challenged with increasing their online bookings because of competition from other hotel brands, online booking sites, and the ongoing issue of capturing eyeballs in an increasingly noisy online world.
One of the keys to driving up bookings is to develop systems that treat potential guests as savvy consumers. While this is a simple mind shift, only the most progressive brands are truly embracing, and acting upon, this strategy.
As highlighted in the Hospitality Technology 2014 Hotel Visionary Awards, Red Lion Hotels Corporation received top honors for creating a new face for RedLion.com, which helped drive more bookings with a retail/consumer-inspired search engine, and new hyper-local content.
The brand developed an e-commerce element that hotels typically don’t leverage: the shopping cart. This move reflects how retail-savvy consumers whose online buying experiences have been shaped by Amazon prefer a seamless e-commerce interaction – especially when booking hotel rooms.
In addition, although localism is already a hot trend in the lodging industry, Red Lion leads the pack here. Each of the 53 properties’ sites now brings in local content curated by the individual hotel: favorite places to eat and shop, area attractions, recreation, etc.
Red Lion also recognized that its loyalty program could be a valuable asset in driving direct bookings. RedLion.com offers a guaranteed lowest rate — lower than any other unfenced rate available in any other channel — to frequency program members.
Today’s travelers prefer to interact with hotels on their own terms in a ubiquitous environment. This requires not only a change of mind-set for hoteliers, but also a significant shift in their technology landscape.
Clearly Red Lion gets this and will surely see enhanced revenue.