“I always think there will be direct bookings. If a customer, twice per month, books the Marriott downtown Chicago then it makes sense to book that property direct"

“[But] most of the customers on Booking.com are booking a property for the first time and that’s a different type of customer.” (reference to full article on Skift).

Interesting synopsis, the CEO of booking.com said it herself, direct bookings play an important role for repeat stays.

This is how I feel the OTA's should be used... As a supplement to generate new leads & first-time bookings. From this point onwards, it's hosts & managers jobs to turn them into repeat customers.

This takes a few steps in my opinion:

  1. Capture guest details
  2. Make the guest experience unforgettable
  3. Teach the guest they can book direct & save money next time
  4. Use promotional materials (in property or send a postcard after their stay)
  5. Provide reminder sequences (emails & texts)
  6. Use re-marketing PPC campaigns


2 years ago

This is the common thread, but there is much more to this of course. In rentals how often do they return to the same place? Much less than they used to.

OTA's do make sweeping and confusing statements about cancellations, bets prices, discounts, security etc and they have enormous experience in site process and management of the booking journey. Billions of page analysis and A/B testing works in their favour and then they buy the brand on PPC!

Guests are seeking frictionless, trust embedded transactions. The end product is not their brand however and this is where risk occurs for a guest. Owners and managers all need to address this very important part of their online business. Copy the impact statements and messages and make the booking frictionless.

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