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NEW DATA: Having the best rate on metasearch can triple bookings

As hotels navigate local lockdowns and travel restrictions, we hear about an unexpected opportunity to drive direct bookings in the domestic market.

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Having the right price on metasearch is critical. If you’re a regular reader of the Triptease blog, you already know that. But do you know just how big of an impact maintaining good price parity could have for your hotel?

The latest analysis from Triptease’s global hotel database has shown that - from the tens of thousands of searches run in the past 30 days on metasearch - having the best available rate on your direct channel could triple your booking engine conversion rate. In other words, it can triple your chance of converting lookers into bookers.

Even if you are unable to offer the cheapest rate online, the data shows that when a hotel’s prices are in parity on metasearch (rather than being undercut) conversion rate doubles. That means that if your price is worse than every other advertiser in the auction, you're automatically halving your potential bookers from metasearch.

Hotel parity status

Note that this is booking engine conversion rate (meta bookings/ meta impressions) - so it represents people who went on to book after having specifically searched for your hotel on metasearch. It is the combined effect of both getting that click on metasearch, compounded by the higher propensity of that guest to convert, exactly because they saw a better price. This is not to be confused with website conversion rate, which denotes the rate at which any visitor to your website goes on to book.

The message here is clear: participating in metasearch won't drive you much volume if you're not also carefully monitoring your rate parity. A high-performing, data-led metasearch strategy requires active parity management and a real commitment to maintaining the best price for your customers.

Do you know how many direct bookings you're currently missing out on by letting OTAs beat your price on metasearch? With the rapid growth of metasearch driven by Google Travel in recent years, this is now the key price parity battleground where hotels need to win. You only have a few seconds to grab your potential guest's attention - and there's nowhere to hide if you don't have the best price. Here is a breakdown of how to win that booking.

1. Use up-to-date parity data to bid algorithmically

It's almost impossible to manually check your rate parity for every single search a potential customer makes - but it's definitely impossible to update every single bid on every single metasearch channel based on your parity status. By automating this process, OTAs have pulled out in front of hotels, becoming better, faster and smarter at putting the right price in front of the right guest. But what if you could fight back with the same tools?

At Triptease, we've taken the manual effort out of metasearch. Our market-leading algorithms are constantly checking your parity status and using that data to inform the bidding strategy for your hotel. Moving from manual to intelligent, data-driven, automatically-calculated bids for metasearch saves you money in two ways:

  • You participate in the auction only if you are in parity or cheapest direct.
  • You have the option to bid more for high-intent/more relevant guests.

2. Continuously monitor and improve your parity

Metasearch makes it easy to view and compare the most important booking consideration for most customers: price. Guests want to see a price comparison on their booking journey. In fact, the data shows that hotels convert better when there is at least one competing advertiser in the auction (compared to having the only rate available).

But in order to give customers confidence that your price is best you need to regularly monitor your hotel’s price parity and actively address price disparities that will hurt both your click-through-rate (CTR) and booking engine conversion rates. In short, price disparities decrease your ability to successfully convert those lookers into bookers.

A tool like Triptease's Parity Monitor can alert you to high-impact disparities that are likely to be harming your performance on metasearch. If you’re not monitoring and fixing parity issues alongside your metasearch strategy, you will be losing out.

Let’s look at exactly how much you stand to gain from a proper focus on maintaining rate parity alongside your metasearch investment. Here is a case in which a hotel moves from ‘undercut’ to ‘cheaper direct’. When a hotel has the very best price in the metasearch auction, their click-through rate is 265% higher than those hotels being undercut by OTAs. Additionally, when a guest then arrives on your booking engine they are 123% more likely to convert if you had the best rate in the auction.

It’s simple: When potential customers see a good direct price in metasearch, they are much more likely to click through, then much more likely to convert.

Continuously monitor and improve your parity

Want to know how often your direct rate is undercut on metasearch right now? Email info@triptease.com to request a bespoke Parity Report for your hotel.

For Triptease Meta clients, investing time into the Triptease Parity Monitor can give you the market intelligence you need to be proactive. For all hoteliers participating in meta, make sure you gather and thoroughly analyze these live rate diagnostics. They are the first step towards optimizing your direct digital presence for higher visibility, higher booking volumes and ultimately higher conversions.

3. Reinforce the message that your direct rate is best with onsite conversion tools

Repetition is key when it comes to moving customers down the purchase funnel. Repeat what you offer, repeat why you are the right choice, repeat that you have the best rate! You already did the work to bring a potential guest to your website from metasearch. Now that they’re on your hotel website, make sure that they don’t walk away.

A strong traffic acquisition strategy won’t provide maximum ROI unless it’s paired with an equally solid retargeting and conversion strategy that repeats the ‘promise’ you gave on metasearch. This is proven in the data. When a hotel has the best price on metasearch and uses Triptease’s Convert tools too to reinforce their marketing messages on the website, conversion is 40% higher than the average meta conversion rate. In fact, booking engine personalization can increase your metasearch performance by 118%.

Whether you’re reinforcing that the direct rate is best with a Price Check Message or creating personalized content and offers for different types of guests with Targeted Messages, Triptease Convert provides all the tools you need to convince your guest that your website is the best place to book.

Tripteaae Attract

Whatever tactics you use, remember that a strong Metasearch presence and a thorough, data-led approach to price parity is crucial. But it’s only half the story. A good guest acquisition strategy works better together with a good onsite conversion strategy that reinforces your ‘best price’ promise. Having the two working hand in hand is your best bet to convert metasearch traffic into direct bookers!

Would you like to hear more about how the combination of Triptease Meta, Parity Monitoring, Retargeting and other Convert tools could increase your hotel’s direct conversion rates? Fill in the form below and one of our direct booking experts will get back to you!

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