With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the January sales season just around the corner, we've been taking a look back at last year's Black Friday trends and successes from across the Triptease global hotel database. If you haven't yet got your sales season strategy in place, this blog - along with our latest downloadable messaging guide - will help set you up for success.

Black Friday as a percentage of November revenue continues to increase year on year, from 4.2% in 2018 to 4.9% in 2019, then jumping to 7.3% in 2020. But increased activity on Black Friday is only useful if you're ready to capitalize on it.

If you're not appearing with the best price in metasearch you'll lose traffic to OTAs

This is true at any time of year, but sales season is a really key time to make sure you're appearing on metasearch and showing the right price.

Looking at Triptease data, metasearch bookings were higher in the Cyber Monday week than on Black Friday itself. This is probably the result of several hotels running extended offers over that period. Booking values also spiked over the Black Friday weekend, with Black Friday itself being the peak. So if you're not appearing in metasearch with the best price over this time period, you could be losing out on a lot of high value bookings.

If you're not currently investing in your traffic acquisition strategy, that's definitely something to prioritize ahead of seasonal sales time. Triptease Metasearch uses automatically-calculated bids (based on your parity status and the customer’s likelihood to book) to ensure that the right guests see your prices when you have the best rate online. Triptease can hide your hotel from the metasearch results when your price is being undercut, or bid higher to secure a top spot when you have the best rate. This is more valuable than ever during sales season when price undercutting by third parties has a tendency to spike.

Watch out for Google's 'Deal' tag this Black Friday

A new issue to watch out for on Black Friday is Google's 'Deal' tag, which appears when Google has spotted that one channel has a lower price than the other prices in the search results. This is an experiment run by Google, and the hotel has no control over whether or not it appears. Google have added the 'Deal' tag, the strikethrough and the percentage discount tagline themselves. Triptease Metasearch analysts have reported seeing usage of this tag spike around Black Friday, so it's definitely something you should be keeping an eye out for.

Because there is no deal on the booking engine when the customer clicks through, this has the potential to be quite a confusing journey for your potential guest. So what can hotels do about it?

It's not currently possible to stop this tag from appearing on your price in metasearch results. That means it's never been more important to pay attention to your parity status and ensure you have the best rate online.

If you then also have a price comparison message - like Triptease's Price Check - set up to appear on your booking engine when the customer arrives there, this reinforces the fact that the direct price they saw in metasearch was correct and reassures them that your hotel website is the right place to book.

You could go a step further and add a 'Direct Booking Deal' Nudge Message to your booking engine too, which you could switch on or off depending on whether Google is currently adding the 'Deal' tag to your price. Customers on your website will be scanning the page quickly, and likely looking to see the word 'Deal' reflected again on your website - so even a message that said something as simple as 'Get the best deal direct' would help to make that journey feel more consistent.

Bring customers back to your website with personalized retargeting ads

During sales season customers are much more likely to bounce from website to website, searching for the best deals online. It's your job to ensure not just that you have the most appealing prices and offers direct - but also to remind customers who leave your website that they need to come back and secure that great price.

Retargeting is the final piece of the puzzle in any personalized customer purchase journey. If they've left your website and been distracted elsewhere online you can use relevant, personalized ads to bring them back. Triptease Retargeting uses search, user and market data to target customers with fully-dynamic display ads that pull in relevant information about each guest to create uniquely personalized adverts in real time. That means you can show them their most recent search itinerary and your most compelling price for their dates.

Keep an eye on the Triptease Content Hub in the coming weeks to learn more about why now is the right time to get your retargeting strategy in place.

The best of Black Friday messaging - top tips and examples

With your parity, metasearch and retargeting strategies in place and functioning correctly, it's time to think about the offers and messaging on your website. Onsite personalization can increase conversion rates by up to 16%, while booking engine personalization can increase your metasearch performance by 118%, so it's crucial that you're investing in your onsite personalization strategy if you want to maximize your performance this sales season.

This year we want to make it easier than ever for you to take advantage of the increased traffic to your website during the sales period. We've analyzed the highest performing Targeted Messages that hoteliers set live on their websites last year to create a downloadable guide full of real life examples and tips to make sure you set up successful sales messages this year.

Download your sales season messaging guide