October 04, 2012

How guest reviews drive hotel website conversion rates

As research points to the fact that good reviews can double conversion rates, hotel marketers are increasingly looking to reviews to drive bookings. The thinking is that by showing reviews on your own site, customers will be more likely to book directly on your own site.

Make small changes and use your data wisely. Test and learn. Move with the [mobile and social] times. But most importantly put your customer at the centre of everything. These were the among the key messages delivered this morning in Amsterdam by four of the world’s biggest travel brands: Disney, KLM, Expedia and the Wyndham hotel group.

Gillian Corley, Head of Marketing Disney Destinations International, UK talked about this global brand’s journey to make its four websites more usable and customer friendly. “Big changes are great,” she says, “but in fact the smaller changes add up far more quickly.”

Among her recommendations: ensure the website is clean, polished and uncomplicated. It should be platform and browser agnostic, the landing page should be simple and have a user-led design that generates an emotional response (think great images, inspiring content). In addition she advises firms to constantly test and maintain trust. In five years, as a result of implementing these changes, Disney conversation rates have gone from 0.3% to 2.5%.

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