The biggest misconception about hotel websites is that they don’t have enough data for a reliable indication of demand. This article is about how to easily use your own hotel website data as a reliable demand thermometer. Especially during COVID-19, this more relevant than ever, when it is hard to see where the demand currently is.
Hotel websites give up to 300x more demand data points than room pickup data
As a Revenue Manager, you can keep track of demand by looking at room pickup and STR reports. The problem with that approach is, you could be acting late in cases of demand peaks, but also in the current period of low number of bookings, it is also good to look at other data sources. A booking always starts with a date search. And to generate 1 booking, you might need 25–300 date searches depending on your website conversion rate. So in case of a demand increase for a stay date where your rate is not very competitive (or any other reason why guests don’t book your hotel), it could be you are looking at 0 (or low) pickup while there is still a demand peak. And you miss out on days of increasing demand without being notified.
Date searches on OTA’s are relatively the same
To verify if hotel website date searches are a good indicator for demand in general, Hotelchamp’s team of Data Scientists carried out in-depth research. We compared ‘brand.com’ date searches with PMS data. The conclusion of the research is that the trend of date searches on the ‘brand.com’ site was identical to the trend of bookings coming in through OTA’s like Booking and Expedia. That means that the search trendline of the big OTA’s (which we don’t have access to) show the exact same search pattern (but in bigger numbers). Demand peaks on your own website are also visible (times x) on OTA websites in the same trend line. This is the way you can read and use your own website to indicate demand for future stay dates.
Hotelchamp Demand Tracker enables you as a hotel to have these insights. It gives answers to these questions:
- How many people are searching (and booking) for future stay dates?
- What is the conversion rate per future stay date? (to identify unusual high/low performance)
- What guest types are searching for future stay dates? Families, couples, solo guests or groups? (to focus on specific room types)
- Is there still date search demand in the past days or is the peak over?
- How far in advance are people searching for this future stay date?
- Which room types are selected most? What is the conversion rate per room type? (to see which room information/rate needs to be optimized)
- Switch to demand graph view to get an overview for the whole upcoming year (to identify increasing demand for a specific stay date)
- Setup email alerts for whatever increase you want to be notified about
- Switch between property demand trackers which are centralized on chain websites
How can you use Demand Tracker?
In the Demand Tracker table view below, you see per future stay date (starting from tomorrows stay date) how many date searches and transactions have been tracked. Also, search increase in the past days are highlighted. The rest of the columns show who is searching and how far in advance.
Room type demand
The searches per room type are shown in the same dashboard. So you can also filter those on specific periods (for example in the past 7 or 14 days). Great for identifying low performing room types. Demand issue or different target audience?
Switch to graph view to see the whole coming year in one overview. Easy to identify demand peaks.
Set up your own email alerts for whatever change in data you want to be notified about. For example, receive an email when the demand increases with 30% in 1 day or 200 date searches on 1 day.
If you have any questions about how Hotelchamp’s Demand Tracker could work for your hotel, please contact us at email@example.com, or sign up for your 30-day free trial here.