Occupancy details: is your target audience actually using your booking engine?

Hotel Revenue Analytics

When it comes to booking tentatives, there is a very simple way to differentiate Business from Leisure audience: just look at the occupancy details.

Think about it:

  • 1 Adult, no children => BUSINESS
  • Everything else => LEISURE

Although it’s not extremely specific and yes, a lonesome traveler, travelling the world for pleasure, would wrongly be identified as a business man, in general and considering big numbers, the truth is not that far away.

By tracking and filtering booking searches by occupancy, including both adults and children, we can assess what kind of audience is mostly making use of our booking engine.

occupancy-details-2

First, we need to create a new Custom Dimension to which the booking engine should pass the information about Adults and Children for each booking session.

Then ask your booking engine provider to implement the command in your Google Analytics snippet or Google Tag Manager to properly pass this information.

Let’s consider a couple of scenarios with two different hotels:

occupancy-details-1
  • Hotel 1: Art heritage city hotel
  • Hotel 2: Resort

While for Hotel 1 we do see a good balance of Business (1+0) and Leisure (all other occupancy combinations), which is what I would expect to see for a hotel in such a location, Hotel 2 shows something that, to me, looks totally unexpected.

Why should a resort have more business than leisure booking searches? How is it possible that more than 80% of all booking tentatives have been made for 1 adult only? For a resort?

In both cases we anyway see that families, that include one child at lest, are not really part of the main audience.

Suggestions #1

  • Consider setting the Quick Reserve up on your website with default Adults=2 rather than 1
    • Eventually consider an A/B test period
  • Do you have dedicated special offers for families and children on your website (call-to-actions, persuasive messages, dedicated website pages or areas, banners)?
  • Consider launching dedicated e-marketing campaigns like SEA and Social Media

Do you see how useful such an information can be? And here we are only considering sessions as a metric, but of course we can associate as many metrics as we want. Let’s see another example.

Different Occupancy combinations, different prices

Unless your hotel offers flat rates (price per room, regardless of the occupancy), adding Conversion Rate to the report is also a nice way to assess whether your by-occupancy-prices are appealing or not and, therefore, take proper actions.

occupancy-details-prices

Always considering that the Ecommerce Conversion Rate is the most important booking engine metric, if you want to improve it you might want to know where exactly to intervene, hence drilling into such details could represent a good hint.

While single-use rates seem to be quite appealing, 2+0 prices don’t look that good and all other occupancy combinations, especially when including children, in addition to the low number of sessions, are not converting at all.

Suggestions #2

  • Review your double occupancy and family rates, without affecting single-use prices
  • Check child rates on OTAs: OTAs usually do not have detailed children policies in their allowed settings and, when they do (like Booking.com and Expedia) check children-age-levels to be at least the same as per your booking engine rates
  • Benefits and/or discounts for children, publish messages and call-to-actions on your website and highlight how convenient your hotel is for families.