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