The internet, as we know it today, is a very versatile world. It is constantly changing, shifting, and evolving. For every transformation it goes through, there are ensuing business benefits that you simply cannot turn a blind eye to.
Every day, companies across multiple industries realize the potentials online and how much they can benefit from it. Some others discovered this a while ago and set up incredible legacies for themselves in the virtual world. The biggest names in that regard include Google, Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo, and the likes.
With the internet offering that much, it is only normal for you to jump on the train with your hotel business. However, you should not do it simply because we said the biggest businesses are doing it. Besides the success of other businesses online, here are five strong reasons your hotel business should go digital in 2020:
1. Wider reach
Now, the entirety of a hotel business cannot be transferred online. It does not matter how much marketing and advertising you employ. It is simply impossible to get people to live inside their phones when they need a hotel. This physicality puts you at a disadvantage. However, that disadvantage would only affect you drastically if you don’t take your business to the digital world.
If you choose to stay offline and you do things the old fashioned way, the geographical area of your hotel limits you. Occasionally, word-of-mouth will spread. This person will tell the other person how great your services are. However, it usually ends there. At most, you might reach a million people with word-of-mouth marketing.
To corroborate those efforts, you might advertise using traditional media. Sadly, even they can be relatively limited in their visibility. A billboard, for example, cannot be seen/read more than a few meters away from its location. This is in addition to the fact that you cannot install them all over the world.
However, by going online, you have access to such a jaw-dropping amount of people and potential customers. With more than 4.54 billion people on the internet, you are only limited by your digital marketing strategy. The best part about this is that language is hardly a barrier in this situation.
Google translate, for example, can automatically interpret the contents of a page to a user who speaks a different language. As such, if a German-speaking tourist comes across your American hotel website, he won’t be deterred by his inability to understand your language. Different online tools can help translate it to him.
2. Better advertising opportunities
There are several reasons why taking your hotel business online is a good idea in terms of advertising. Firstly, the internet offers your hotel billions of potential customers. This alone makes it a very fertile ground for you to plant your marketing seeds. Using the right strategies on the right platforms, you can transform your business. In no time, you’ll go from a trickle of customers to several hundred people looking to book your rooms at a time.
In addition to that, you have the opportunity to target a specific audience. Sadly, the inability to do this is one of the major pitfalls of the traditional media. They are unable to segment an audience for you properly. The best they can offer you is location-based advertising.
That is, if you are in California, you can broadcast your hotel business in Californian radio stations to reach Californians. Unfortunately, this is not particularly useful. We say this because most hotel businesses thrive on customers outside their geographical locations.
Taking your business online helps you to determine to whom you are advertising down to the minutest detail. You can select based on specific locations, even down to states in countries several miles away. You can choose the gender as well as age.
The best part is that you can even choose to advertise to people who are interested in certain things. If your target audience is interested in luxurious hotels, for example, they are likely to interact with your advert and even become a customer.
In addition to better audience segmentation, taking your business online helps you to measure the effectiveness of your adverts. Google Ads is a prime example here. Among other things, you can measure how many people have seen your advert in real-time. In addition, you can check how many people interacted with it and have booked a room in your hotel.
With this much data, you will be able to understand how well your business is doing. This will then inform your business decisions that can help you scale up at the appropriate time.
3. Ease of management with channel managers
The importance of a channel manager to a hotel business cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, those who choose to keep their businesses offline cannot enjoy the benefits that come along with this tool.
A channel manager is an online tool in the hospitality industry. It reduces the burden of overseeing every tiny bit of your hotel business. With a channel manager, you can increase the visibility and the reach of your hotel online. In addition to that, you can use it to manage your rates, reservations, and availability. While these are quite relieving, it does not stop there.
You can also use a channel manager to locate as many of the best distribution channels on the internet. After finding them, the channel manager would then help you to list your rooms and their availability on the distribution channels. It also automatically updates the channels as to which rooms are available in real-time.
When you think of the amount of mental effort you have to put into these activities, perhaps, you will begin to understand its importance. By taking your business online, you can have access to channel managers and many other tools.
With them, your business is significantly easier to run. You can make time out for other activities, such as analyzing business performances over certain periods. Also, with a channel manager, you are much less likely to make a mistake while recording your bookings. The last thing you want is to give a customer a key to a room that is already occupied.
4. Reduced operational costs and better efficiency
In this regard, it does not matter if your hotel business is a huge multinational or evena startup. Reducing operational costs is always something you should try to do as a business. The only thing to note is that you should never sacrifice high service quality for cost-effectiveness. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about this when you take your business online. This is, of course, based on the premise that you are not working with the wrong parts of the web.
To begin with, operational costs refer to the amount of money that you require to keep your business running at an optimal level. It includes everything from staffing to utility bills, etc. The less of it you have to spend, the better for you and your business’ pockets. By taking your business online, you expose yourself to myriads of possibilities. These, in turn, can help you reduce the amount of money you spend to run the business.
For example, advertising on online media is significantly cheaper than traditional media. In addition to that, going online exposes you to certain software and online tools that can be useful to your business. These tools have the potential to do the work that would have needed multiple staff members to complete.
By using those tools online, you can afford to cut down the staff members in that area to just one person who will handle the tool. Doing so will help you reduce the operational cost of paying the staff members that would have done it in the absence of online software.
Also, considering that machines rarely make mistakes or get tired, your efficiency will be multiplied several-fold.
5. Better customer communication and satisfaction
You can spend all day and night analyzing trends in your business. You can pay attention to every penny that comes in and goes out of your business. However, if you do not pay attention to your customers, you cannot get very far.
Taking your business online helps you to do this part of the job a little better. One of the major advantages of the internet is instant communication. By pushing a button, a customer can send an email without leaving the comfort of their beds. It could be to make an inquiry or a complaint. Regardless of what it is, the internet enables them to reach you on time.
Communication on the internet is never really a one-way thing. As such, you, too, can reach your customers very quickly after they contact you. When this swift communication occurs, they are better satisfied with your services. Even without us saying it here, we’re sure that you understand that you have a lot to gain from satisfying your customers. However, this is largely only possible if you take your business to the digital world.
It might seem like a tedious process if you’re more of an old-fashioned business owner. However, you truly have a lot to gain if your business goes digital in 2020. Having read our article, we’re sure you must have gained an insight into why you should take your business online. All that’s left now is for you to make the decision yourself.