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Website Activity An Early Indicator Of Potential Recovery

What can your website data tell you? And how can you use this data to help you plan ahead?

Website traffic is one of the key metrics tracked in our bi-weekly Pulse Report and used in our Revenue Strategy applications. Pulled from a hotel’s website booking engine, it includes bookings, regrets, and denials on brand.com.

We caught up with the Pulse Report authors to find out more about how regrets and denials data can be used to help shape your future strategy, and also take a look at the data from our latest Pulse Report.

Regrets and Denials

Website data is only generated if someone goes into the booking engine portal of a hotel’s website. The customer has to show some intention to book rather than just be browsing the site.

“I think web traffic is probably one of my favorite metrics, because it is forward-looking data that really tells a story of interest. It’s the prelude to new bookings,” says Pulse Author and Director of Hospitality Solutions, Americas, Daniel Lofton.

With this data we are able to see the conversion that hotels are getting on their website (the bookings). But we want to also understand those visits that are not converting.

In addition to bookings, the booking engine gives us two key pieces of information that help us to calculate market demand and consumer confidence. These are regrets and denials.

Regrets are when someone visits your website, checks out your rates and decides not to book. This might be because the rates are too high.

Lofton explains what we are seeing with regrets right now: “There has been a decrease in regrets, which means that people who are looking at your brand.com site are ready to book. This isn't really surprising because you would expect anyone who's looking to travel at a time like this is probably very certain that they are going to travel.

“But you want to keep an eye on this, because as the recovery happens, if you start to see a lot of traffic coming to your booking engine and a lot of it is regretting then that could be an indicator that your rates are too high. And if you want to convert these people you need to bring your rates back down.”

Denials are when a customer comes to your website, checks availability and doesn’t find the availability because either the hotel is already fully booked, or because there is a restriction in place that did not allow the customer to book.

At present, your hotel may be generating denials because you have not reopened yet.

“With this information, we're able to keep our finger on the pulse and understand how the volume of willingness to travel is actually stepping up in the market,” explains Pulse Author and Director of Hospitality Solutions, EMEA, Juan Ruano.

Looking Forward

The Pulse Report shows volume of web traffic for future stay dates. Therefore, the data for regrets and denials can be used as a strong indicator of future demand.

The latest edition of the Pulse Report shows positive trends for web traffic in North America, with week over week increases in traffic going to Brand.com. However, while this shows a slow return of consumer confidence, the data still represents a 92% decrease YoY, showing that the market has a long way to go to achieve pre-COVID levels.

In EMEA, despite seeing marginal increases in web traffic for the most recent weeks, overall total searches are down, not only compared to 2019’s pace but also since the beginning of the crisis’ impact on Europe at the start of March 2020. Searches during the week April 27 - May 3 saw 45% concentration for stay dates in May to July 2020.

In APAC, our latest data shows us that customer interest continues to cautiously increase, with an uptick in overall web searches. Similar to the data for EMEA, searches during the week April 27 - May 3, 2020, show a 49% concentration for stay dates in May to July 2020.

“Website activity is going to be incredibly interesting as an early indicator of potential recovery, because we expect once there's more of that intention to book travelers will start to shop on hotel booking engines and that will indicate that change is coming, that demand is starting to bubble and that we need to prepare to act on it as soon as those visits turn into new bookings,” concludes Pulse Author and Director of Hospitality Solutions, Americas, Hannah Weller Barrise.


The Duetto Pulse Report is based on weekly web traffic data from hotels using the Duetto platform. To subscribe for free and receive bi-monthly market demand signals for your part of the world and register here.  


 

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