If You’ve Got a Rate Guarantee, Use It

We work so hard, and spend so much money, to get travel shoppers onto our websites and into our booking funnels.

Sadly, more than 80% of the people who begin the online booking process will abandon before completing the purchase. Of those, roughly a third abandon because they want to compare prices elsewhere.

A few months ago, Hilton Worldwide launched its largest advertising campaign ever around the theme, “Stop Clicking Around.” The campaign highlighted a low-price guarantee and free amenities unavailable to guests who booked through OTAs like Expedia and Priceline.

We want our customers to stop “sorting through a dizzying array of websites, enduring hundreds of clicks and wasting hours of time…to find the best prices,” said the company’s CMO. What she was really saying is that Hilton wanted to improve its “look” to “book” ratio and the low-price guarantee and free amenities were tools to do just that.

Radisson Hotels, responding to their own booking abandon frustration, took the bold step of interrupting the booking flow with a pop-up ensuring customers saw their best rate guarantee.

Actual results of the Radisson tactic are not available outside the company, but research shows that price guarantees can convert up to 9% more “lookers” into “bookers,”. (For more about Radisson’s approach, click on http://www.salecycle.com/hotels/#nch/2142532184.)

I applaud Radisson’s approach, or something similarly strong and difficult for customers to ignore. Many travel companies have price guarantees on their websites. But the guarantees are often too small and off to the side, more of a whisper than a big bold claim.

We should change that, don’t you think?

The Art of Selling Travel blog is published by Peak Revenue Performance, Inc., 560 West 51 Terrace, Miami Beach, Florida, USA, 33140.
Copyright 2017, Peak Revenue Performance, Inc.

Adam Snitzer, Principal

Adam is an international pricing and revenue optimization consultant. His strategies have helped travel companies grow, open new markets, launch new products and counter competitive threats. Adam has generated more than $500 million of incremental value for his employers and consulting clients.

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Other Voices

From Google: Even though it’s a couple years old, this report is the best I’ve seen about how people use online tools to make travel decisions.

From Eye-For-Travel: This fascinating video explains how Hilton is organizing business processes around creating more personalized guest experiences.

From SaleCycle: This survey explains where and why people abandon their online booking.