Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Black Friday and Cyber Monday can reap big rewards for your direct booking strategy if you choose to get involved. Last year’s numbers speak for themselves with Cyber Monday online sales increasing by 19.3% YoY to $7.9 billion, and Black Friday sales up 28% to $6.22 billion.
The really good news is that, while many e-commerce websites have few other options than to slash prices to engage customers online, hotels are in a fairly unique position to offer a range of added value offers as an alternative to huge reductions. But what else can you do to get the most out of one of the biggest online sales events of the year? We asked our Direct Booking Coaches to share their top tips for Black Friday/Cyber Monday success…
Ditch discounts and add value instead
One of the upsides of selling an experience rather than a physical product during Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the fact that you can offer all kinds of ‘added value’ offers rather than having to take a hit on revenue by reducing your prices.
So what does that mean in practice? How about free spa credit, restaurant vouchers, complimentary breakfast or drinks, airport transfers or upgrades? These may be special offers that you already give to high value customers - why not open them up to all potential guests for a limited time only?
Push your holiday offers
There’s a reason why Black Friday and Cyber Monday happen when they do. The term was originally coined in relation to post-Thanksgiving sales in the USA, so this is the perfect time to push your festive offers and increase seasonal bookings. Have a Christmas or New Year special? Let anyone who hits your website know all about it.
Build your subscriber database
Black Friday can do more than just increase your direct revenue. With Email Capture Messages you can also build up your subscriber database at the same time. Offer your website visitors a discount or special offer if they sign up to your newsletter. This is standard practice for e-commerce businesses and can really pay off during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period, when customers are actively looking for the best deals online and more prepared to share their details in order to get them. They get a great offer, you get the chance to turn a one-off visitor into a loyal customer. It’s win-win.
Bring back customers who leave
Black Friday/Cyber Monday is a great time to invest in your retargeting strategy. If you’re advertising your seasonal special offers via paid search campaigns, you’ll probably be getting higher than usual levels of traffic to your website. That should be a good thing, but more than any other time of year this is when your potential customers are going to be shopping around and looking for the best offers. Don’t let them move on and forget the great deal they could be getting with you.
Interested in giving retargeting a try? Triptease Retargeting allows you to convince undecided guests with targeted, price-led ads powered by data from your website and algorithms trained on thousands of hotels around the world. With our precision retargeting, you can show live prices to guests based on their unique search - even when they're not on your website.
Let literally everyone know
It kind of hurts us to say this, but this is one time of year when you should ignore the extensive range of audience targeting options available in the Triptease Message Builder, and let everyone know about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers. It’s a small window of time (this year Black Friday officially takes place on Friday 29th November and Cyber Monday on Monday 2nd December) so why not make the most out of this short period when so many potential customers are looking for deals?
Make the most out of your increased website traffic
With so much increased website traffic potentially coming your way, this could be a great time to try a variant test and run two offers at the same time to see which converts more customers. We’ve written before about the difficulty of reaching statistical significance when running an A/B test, but with variant testing you make the call on which message is performing better for your business. That means the more traffic you are able to display your messages to, the more likely you are to be able to make a properly educated decision that ultimately brings in more revenue for your business.
Switch on Notifications to increase urgency
OTAs frequently use urgency messaging to speed up the process of a customer making their booking. During Black Friday/Cyber Monday season, you could also use Searcher and Booker Notifications to let your website visitors know how popular your hotel currently is. It may help them make the decision to stay on your website and book right away, rather than risk your rooms selling out and missing the chance to enjoy your great Black Friday deal.
Schedule your message to close at the right time
Want to know why it’s ok to offer some really big booking incentives during Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Because it’s a super-short booking window. Make sure your offers are exclusive to the dates and times you’ve confirmed internally by using message scheduling functionality. This allows you to pick an exact start and end date, right down to the hour, so that you can be safe in the knowledge that your limited-time deals are taken offline exactly when you want them to be. Then it’s time to take a look at your message data and work out exactly how successful your Black Friday and Cyber Monday messages were!
Need a little more help getting set up for Black Friday this year? Our Direct Booking Coaches are always here to lend a hand so get in touch and let us know what your plans are!