Reinforce Your Distribution by Betting on Metasearch
Trends in travel consumption evolve in terms of both the content and operation of the booking.
Reviews and rankings of comments have assumed greater importance as key influences on the hotel customer’s purchasing process. At the same time, metasearch engines have become an increasingly important tool for the end customer. The comparison to find “the best price for the same room” is one of the great standards of the new tourist environment. Such is the level of influence that these tools have that they are directly influencing travelers’ consumption habits. The reason is simple: on a single page, you can find information and rates from a large number of competing channels on standardized services.
According to a study carried out by the company L2, travelers have adopted this technology and have integrated it into their search processes by markets. China makes the greatest use of metasearch engines with more than half of its customers using the tool (54%), while Germany ranks second with 42%, followed by France (38%), the United States (36%) and the United Kingdom (35%).
The power of these platforms is such that, according to data collected by the travel research company PhocusWright 6% of total traffic in North America comes from different metasearch engines such as TripAdvisor, Google Hotel Finder, Trivago or Kayak itself, among others.
Focusing on the customer, we will work on the basis that certain consumers search a large number of websites before booking their vacation in order to find the best price (38 websites, according to
Expedia ). Another large portion of travelers prefer direct booking to gain flexibility in cancellation policies and the promise of better service and rewards, but only if the price is comparable and the booking process provides a good experience.
What are the main advantages of having a presence in meta-search engines?
Metasearch engines create an even playing field for independent accommodation and large chains, consolidating offers based on differential and standardized factors. The ensuing competitiveness, which is positive for the client, leads to complications for hotel management, but also creates transparency in the market. Therefore, the market situation and growing importance of these types of tools greatly affect the online distribution of accommodation. Acknowledging the market situation and taking advantage of the opportunities that it generates are some of the smartest decisions we can make. We at BEONx propose the following series of considerations that will allow you to look favorably upon metasearch engines and fully harness their power:
They power direct booking. A metasearch engine allows hotels to increase their direct booking as the prices of their website are shown next to those of OTAs, thus generating direct competition. This is the main reason why you need a booking engine on your website: to offer prices and availability in real time to travelers who prefer to book directly with you.
They reduce distribution costs. Metasearch engines work with a system called PPC (pay per click), which, in most cases, is more profitable than the typical OTAs commissions. If you pay per click, the price for selling your rooms decrease as it is more likely that your guests will prefer to book directly with you and not with other intermediaries.
They take advantage of the multi-device trend. The practice of travelers comparing intelligent purchases with the consumption of content in omnichannel environments means that hotels must compete in a market where support loses particular importance. This leads to the increasing ease of product acquisition.
They increase distribution to new markets. Globalization in the sale of tourism products grants metasearchers a presence in the global market. Thus, we can ensure that our accommodation is present in other markets and searches for products about customers from anywhere in the world. Our metasearch profile opens up a wide range of possibilities when it comes to marketing our hotel.
How can a hotel take advantage of the advantages of a meta-search engine?
To take advantage of their presence in a metasearch engine, hotel managers must take the following points into account:
Update your prices and availability in real time.
Establish a daily/weekly/monthly budget for clicks.
Calculate the costs and conversion ratio of your reserves.
Check prices on OTAs to ensure consistency and parity.
Request and follow comments an
d reviews of your hotel on the Internet.
Regularly update prices.
In short, the tourist accommodation market is increasingly dynamic and variable, as are consumer trends and traveler preferences. The hotel industry is undergoing great technological change, being constantly engulfed in new tools, business models, platforms, and a call to change which other sectors can only dream of. For reasons like these, it is advisable for the hotel not to miss any opportunities to boost its distribution and improve its profitability.