Market Challenges Facing New Victorian Hotel Group
The New Victorian Hotel Group was founded in 2002 with two small hotels located in smaller Nebraska communities. Today, the independent hotel chain has grown to 6 hotels and 459 rooms by offering all the amenities of a large-scale hotel at an economical price. The group’s properties are located in cities across Nebraska, including Lincoln, Omaha, Kearney, York and Norfolk, as well as a location in Sioux City, Iowa.
The Challenge: Fierce Competition
Despite the New Victorian Inn and Suites being recognized as a top-rated local Nebraska hotel, the independent chain faced increased competition as larger hotel chains entered the local marketplace. To increase bookings and fill rooms, competitors lowered their average daily rates. Making matters worse, New Victorian Inn’s booking engine was outdated and cumbersome requiring numerous steps to complete a booking. It also was missing many important, modern features, making it difficult for their shoppers to make a decisive decision around booking.
New Victorian Hotel Group was not positioned well to address consumer behaviors when shopping for a hotel online. According to recent studies the average leisure traveler visits over four websites in search of the best hotel, in the best location, with the best room and of course at the best price.
Price is typically the factor that encourages conversion. However, there are other factors that can have a greater impact on conversion and do not have a negative impact on RevPAR. According to recent research from Phocuswright, the most influential factor in driving online bookings is the booking engine’s ease of use (54%), followed by the best prices (43%), providing a good previous experience (37%) and trust in the brand (37%). Improving a website’s ease of use not only has the benefit of improving the guest experience, it can also deliver a real impact on conversion.
While guests’ online travel journey may begin with a blank search box, their final booking depends on many factors. For hoteliers, the ultimate goal is to make sure the search ends on the hotel’s website with a direct booking.
The Solution: Give Hotel Guests an Enhanced Online Booking Experience
To convert more online searches into bookings and to deliver an improved guest experience, New Victorian Inn and Suites sought to upgrade their existing booking engine and implemented the SynXis Booking Engine from Sabre Hospitality Solutions.
The SynXis Booking Engine provided New Victorian Inn and Suites with a flexible, scalable SaaS booking platform with a retailing focus.
There are several features that had a significant impact on their direct channel conversions:
- Modern UI – An intuitive and mobile-first design that reduced the booking steps from six steps down to three on both desktop and mobile, improving the entire booking experience.
- Urgency Triggers – Added information on the number of current shoppers and rooms left created a greater sense of urgency for shoppers in the booking path.
- Personalization – Dynamic shopping experience based on loyalty status and additional personalized guest information optimized the experience to drive conversion, ancillary sales, and upgrades.
- OTA Price Comparison – Ability to provide shoppers with OTA price comparisons for their property directly on their site provided guests greater peace of mind, encouraging them to book direct.
Implementation was fast, providing a speed-to-market advantage in confronting challenging and competitive markets. The SynXis Booking Engine Designer capability provided a self-service customization tool enabling New Victorian Inn and Suites to design a booking experience that met their unique branding needs.
Rapid Successful Results
Through the power of the SynXis Booking Engine, New Victorian Inn and Suites achieved a 37% YOY increase in direct hotel bookings in 2017.
New Victorian Inn and Suites achieved a 37% YOY increase in direct hotel bookings in 2017.
They also experienced lower bounce rates and increased conversions in part to its ease of use. They are now able to prompt guests to book now, provide personalized offers and promote transparency with OTA price comparisons.
Proven Booking Solution with Proven Results
Looking for a Booking Engine to influence more guests to book direct? Sabre SynXis Booking Engine is built to convert – delivering a 10% to 30% average increase in conversion rate, transacting 18 million room nights and $4.6 billion in room sales.
Contact us today to learn how we can increase conversions for you.