November 05, 2018

6 principles of personalisation for hotel websites


When you enter a hotel website for a weekend break, a family trip or a business meeting, chances are the contents will be exactly the same.

Hotel websites, still today, are often mere online versions of brochures, to which a booking engine has been attached. Potential guests are shown a lot of static, yet gorgeous content before they eventually click the ‘Reserve’ button, at which point they are taken off to a second system which does the heavy lifting.

There is nothing personal about it. Nothing even vaguely customised to the guest’s needs. And this is still happening now, in a time when people expect the right movie or product to be suggested to them without even searching for it. According to Pepijn Rijvers, Booking.com’s CMO, “50% of Alibaba turnover last year was generated through personalised promotions, while only a small volume came through search”. 1 Not to mention Google search, Facebook, Twitter and thousands of other personal recommendations, triggered automatically and without any active user interaction.

Analysts expect OTAs to reach over 40% market share by 2020 6 so, hoteliers today are left with essentially only two options: continue to use their official websites as static HTML brochures; or start to implement personalised experiences that are helpful to potential guests looking to book a hotel. In short, we need to emulate what great hotels do but move that online long before the guest has even arrived at the property.

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