Benchmarking

Growing up, I revered Pete Sampras as the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) in men’s tennis as he dominated 14 grand slams. That changed when Roger Federer shattered every record in the book, dominating the game for 16 years, and is still going strong. This is a perfect example of how performance is only worth judging when you have a point of comparison. And, what was once a stellar performance may not be so anymore.

Similarly, in the past, you may have surpassed your digital marketing goals for your website. But those same winning practices may be sub-optimal today. The only way to find out is an assessment of your marketing efforts on your website, which is difficult without first establishing a competitive baseline. Sure, bookings in the current pandemic are not even close to the historical peak levels. But, this pandemic has shifted consumer shopping acutely to online/digital channels. We are already seeing a significant uptick in traffic to our booking engine used by thousands of properties globally. Hence, even in recovery planning, hoteliers should consider a competitive assessment of their website performance.

For the past few years, our Digital Experience team has been publishing the results of our annual benchmark study. The latest 2020 Benchmarking Study will help you understand where the industry is today on the digital marketing curve while also giving you insights into consumer behavior to better align with the expectations of your potential guests online.

The key findings from this study are presented as an infographic, which details the most compelling changes across digital experience trends in hospitality. This study was based on analysis of data gathered across a few hundred hotels and thousands of website sessions throughout the past calendar year.

A couple of key takeaways from the 2020 Study:
1. Revenue generated from mobile devices increased by 26% YOY, underlining the rise of mobile for booking on the go in this age of hyper-connectivity
2. Organic search accounted for 44% of the traffic, with Google overwhelmingly dominating all other search engines.

These statistics should prompt some questions among your digital marketing team:

  • Does our website design make it easy for guests to find the information they need on any device?
  • Does our web design strategy support our organic search optimization strategy (and vice versa)?
  • Are we properly supplementing with a targeted CPC campaign?

Our analysis of year-over-year shopping and booking data paints a picture of guests who do their research and visit hotel websites frequently before booking. In fact, 80% of visits don’t proceed down the booking path from the availability results page. This behavior is discussed further in our playbook for distribution, where we also discuss the importance of targeted marketing to help increase conversions.

View the 2020 Benchmark Infographic for a detailed breakdown of the digital experience trends in hospitality and learn how they are impacting the online shopping and buying experiences you create. As economies start to open post-pandemic, it’s time for hoteliers to resume focus on their websites for direct bookings. We hope this study gives you a helpful baseline to evaluate your performance accordingly and adjust your strategies to capture more traffic and more revenue in 2020.

At the end of the infographic, you’ll find a link to a free assessment designed to help you identify gaps in your strategy and ways to strengthen those areas.