As hotel sites’ influence on travel plans grows, brands are updating their sites to include new features. A third of 100 brands in the Digital IQ Index: Prestige Hotels have relaunched their site since last year’s report, and half of those have increased time spent on the brand site.
A look at the graph above shows most brands prioritized editorial content, promotional videos and photo galleries, and neglected conveniences such as property contact information, storing recently viewed properties, restaurant information, and filtering offers by date. Eighty-percent of brands featured live chat on the site, but only 30% featured property contact information on the main contact page.
A study finds 77% of affluent travelers use hotel sites for travel planning vs. 52% who rely on online travel agencies. And even those who purchase through the metasearch engines and OTAs visit the hotel site throughout the research process. While editorial content and updated search features can boost purchase levels, adding functionalities such as saving room preferences and wishlists can yield repeat customers who purchase directly from the hotel site.