10 Parity-Unrelated Reasons That Make the OTAs the Giants They Are (Part #3)

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10 Parity-Unrelated Reasons That Make the OTAs the Giants They Are (Part #3)

Part #3, meaning reasons 5 and 6 to be explained.

If you didn’t read the previous reasons I mentioned, you can check them here:

You can actually read them later on, they don’t follow a specific order.

This time though, I am particularly to happy to talk about what I want to talk about, because reason number 5 is one of the main principles I based my method upon, to help hotels drive more direct bookings.

5) It’s NEVER about the Price, it’s ALWAYS about the Value.

Price is just a number. Value is a feeling.

OTAs apply this same principle for their own Branding, by using you and your hotel information to their advantage.

Look at this.

10 digits, 2 words:

Booking Price vs Value

Great Value. This tiny, little, cute, apparently insignificant label, is THE Bomb!

“How exaggerated!”.

I’m not, I’m deadly serious.

And it’s quite connected to what I referred to in the previous post (part #2) when talking about the positive wording, re the breakfast and and the policy statements.

This is everything but logic, it’s all emotions! The magic here happens in the unconscious of your visitors, you cannot explain and justify with logic how a 2-word label can have such a big impact.

Well, yes, you can, and that’s actually what I am trying to do, but I was extremely sceptical too, when I was first told how a single word can change everything. But then I got passionate about it and I started reading, learning, studying and finally absorbing what is an objective reality.

Imagine that “Great Value” was not there.

You would see a number (the price) to which everyone who is considering booking a room relates to.

Point being, that price is just a number. It doesn’t mean anything itself. Digits, nothing more.

And before reading something, you must see it.

In a matter of fragments of seconds, the prospects first sees that number, then reads it, then perceives it. What does he or she perceive? The VALUE behind that number!

Value is what everyone is ultimately interested in, consciously or unconsciously and, guess what, it’s what makes the difference between a prospect who then leaves the process, and one who turns into a customer.

“Ok, then what is that “Great Value” label for?

That label functions almost like an icon. Even if it’s plain text, it’s position and colour get easily seen, read and perceived. For 2 main reasons:

Visitors don’t have to “compute” their own subjective perception behind the price. By simply seeing and reading that the price they are looking at is a “Great Value”, no matter whether it is true or not, it gets absorbed and it becomes conscious. By becoming conscious, the visitor believes in it.

Sounds crazy, uh? Or maybe you think I am crazy. Fair enough. But I went through all this in other areas of my life, it’s actually a never-ending learning process on how people can deal with and heal their limiting beliefs and eventually strengthen the good ones.

Believe it or not, Marketing, and especially (successful) Copywriting and UX Writing are all based on this stuff.

Secondly, a visitor who is booking a room in a hotel he or she has never been to, has many doubts, most of which, again, unconsciously.

Essentially he keeps asking himself whether this hotel and this room is worth his money (the value).

The logic, meaning the mind, answers a tiny part of his questions and doubts. But most questions and their respective answers happen in the unconscious level. And what is the human inner tool that answers those unconscious questions? EMOTIONS!

Because of the simple fact that the visitor sees that Great Value label, the unconscious gets less doubtful and more believer.

Plus, let’s face it: We humans are lazy creatures. Most of us prefer to take the quickest route to arriving at decisions, because doing so eliminates the hard work, meaning the pain of thinking, and the need to consider all the complex or overwhelming details.

If we can make a decision quickly, then we can get back to doing more fun stuff, such as watching ridiculous videos on Youtube.

And when it comes to using our brains, for many of us, most anything is more pleasurable than engaging in deep thought.

Thomas Edison said it best: “There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labor of thinking.”

Can you relate now to the meaning of that Great Value label? And how powerful and effective it is?


“So, shall I do the same in my booking engine?” Yes, but…

… the result is not going to be as efficient as it is on the OTAs.

The reason, this time, is also logical: a third-party (BO) promoting someone else’s value (Your Hotel) is more effective than you promoting your own value.

Because it’s simply more credible.

Nevertheless, in your booking engine such a label serves to highlight one product (combination of room and rate) as opposed to others.

So you have to use this label for one product only among all others, otherwise it looses its power.

And it doesn’t have to be for the cheapest product. If, for example, you want to focus on up-selling certain rooms or certain rates, here’s the perfect tool you can make use of.

Alright, enough with this now and time to talk about reason number 6.

Though, if you think what I just guided you through is BS, please stop here cause I have some more to come 😀

6) Social Approval

I’m not a big fan of those sense-of-urgency or sense-of-scarcity messages.

Sparingly used, they are helpful, but especially the OTAs widespread make use of them, resulting in becoming an almost unethical tactic.

What, instead, I am big fan of, are messages based on social proof:

Social Approval Message

In this post on LinkedIn some time ago I quickly mention the 8 desires all human beings are being biologically programmed with.

One of them, is Social Approval.

Think again about the doubts and the questions visitors have, both on a conscious and unconscious level, when they are considering booking a room.

Knowing that someone else recently did what they are considering to do (making a reservation) automatically relieves them from most of those doubts.

It may sound stupid (but it really isn’t), but without such a social-approval message, visitors are likely going to feel scared, anxious, even terrified.

All terrible emotions we want our prospects to deal with when they are just a click away from making a reservation for our hotel, right?

Again, emotions.

I’ll never stress that out enough. People buy on emotion and justify with logic.

Ok, here we are at the end of today’s post.

We’ve covered 6 reasons so far. Here again the previous posts:

Wanna guess what the next reasons will be?

I told you already (I guess), everything is in the same screenshot, no need to look around then 🙂

See you super soon.

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About Me

Alessandro Crotti

Alessandro Crotti

I am Alessandro Crotti and I am a Digital Strategist and E-Commerce Coach for Independent Hotels. This is the only thing I have been doing for about 17 years now. I help Hotel Professionals to generate more leads, more prospects and more bookings.

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