Digital Case Study: Living Suites Direct Bookings Push
We have helped with one of our customers, Living Suites, with direct bookings to push. A fantastic apartment hotel based North of Copenhagen in Denmark, we checked in to see how they are doing and what has helped.
BE CLEAR ON WHO YOU are and what’s on offer to direct bookers
One of the first changes made was to make sure that it was clear where the website visitor had landed and what they were looking at. Changing the word ‘suites’ to ‘apartments’ has positioned the rooms as they are, spacious apartments with hotel services. This has the added benefit of helping SEO as well as the wording is literally explaining what is on offer. Adding in a visible Living Suites Nærum, Copenhagen North to the homepage ensures visitors know they have found the right place. With 65% of OTA shoppers searching for the direct website, we wanted to ensure more of them hit search and book direct.
We also added in reasons to book clearly, such as 250 MB Wi-Fi, free parking and balconies and kitchens. This goes into more detail than on their Booking.com listing which can only mention free Wi-Fi, not that it is 250 MB. One key difference is free parking, this offer to direct customers is a benefit.
By making these fairly minor changes to the website, it had led to direct booking revenue jumping up to 24% in September 2017 from 15% of total revenue same month in 2016, whilst total revenue was up 36% year on year. A 60% increase in direct booking revenue is a big leap. The similar gap of direct bookings growth of 52% was seen in August since the work started in June 2017.
Clear Call To Action (CTA) and an easy route to completing the booking
One of the first changes made was to make it easier to see where to search for rate and room options. We choose orange(it was previously blue) and tested it. The contrast to blue and the message of book direct, worked well. This article here gives a good overview of CTA button colours. This simple call to action is present on all pages.
The final booking form page within the booking process was reduced from 23 fields to 12, this was to reduce drop off which was likely caused by asking too much of users. The minimum information to complete the booking and satisfy the serviced apartment provider was used, improving final form completion.
This has led to good conversion on website traffic with 25% to 30% of all unique visitors performing a search. In October 2017 4.9% of all website traffic converted into a direct booking with 28% of users that searched completing their booking. They found what they were looking for and it was easy to complete.
Creating useful content for current guests and future guests alike. Adding a blog has not only given unique local content, but also allowed Living Suites to help share their knowledge.
Adding a reviews plug in that works on all pages on the website and the booking engine, means that at any point in their visit a user can check recent reviews and the overall score.
Sharing why the aparthotel is ideal for longer stays has provided useful info for corporate or business bookers.
Slide videos have provided an excellent way to display the apartments and communicate features and benefits. They can be imbedded into Facebook and onto the website.
More direct bookings. What’s next?
Living Suites, has successfully shifted more transient reservations to be directly booked with them, saving commissions payments ad growing revenue overall. It’s vital to keep building useful content and looking for ways to continue to improve conversion. With a new booking engine on the horizon via elina PMS to push conversion even higher and the opportunity to now press on brand PPC, it looks positive to keep improving direct bookings driven by digital marketing.
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