One of the most highly anticipated dates of 2022 has come to an end. The time of year when brands offer irresistible discounts and customers take advantage of the low prices in their favorite stores – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
No real surprise here, this date represents a golden opportunity for hoteliers to boost revenue.
To understand how Black Friday affected hotel website performance, THN analyzed direct channel performance data from more than 3,000 of their hotel clients worldwide. The analysis compared the hotel websites’ performance during the heart of the Black Friday period (November 17th-29th, 2022) to a similar period the previous month (October 18th-31st, 2022). To isolate the effect of seasonality, the performance of hotels who ran a dedicated Black Friday campaign was compared to a control group of hotels who did not run a campaign.
Impact of Black Friday 2022 on hotel websites
1. More visitors are doing searches in the booking engine of hotels running Black Friday campaigns
Following the same trend as 2021, a peak wasn’t detected in website traffic during the Black Friday period, with in fact a decrease of 4% for hotels running a Black Friday campaign and decrease of 3% for hotels that didn’t.
What’s interesting is that despite having slightly less website traffic, the volume of visitors searching on the booking engine increased by 4% for hotels who ran a dedicated campaign during the Black Friday period. This indicates that these hotels were effectively communicating their Black Friday offers on the homepage and driving more travelers to the booking engine.
2. Hotels running Black Friday campaigns experienced a 61% increase in website conversion
The results of the study showed a significant gap in website conversion, with a 61% increase on average for hotels running Black Friday campaigns compared to only an 18% increase for hotels in the control group without any Black Friday campaigns.
The substantial difference between the two groups highlights that hotels are effectively grabbing the attention of users and encouraging them to book directly by utilizing the right tools, and creating and promoting Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers.
It was also found that hotels conducting a Black Friday campaign improved performance in the final stages of the booking funnel. These hotels experienced an impressive growth of 60% on average for hotel website conversion from booking engine to actual booking, far exceeding the properties without any campaigns, reaching just a 15% uplift on average.
3. Black Friday offers ≠ lower average booking value
A common misconception is assuming that providing a Black Friday offer will result in a lower average booking value. However, the findings suggest that no matter the type of offer, whether it was promoting extended stays, unique perks or upselling, hotels with a campaign effectively built with tactical deals resulted in an increased average booking value. These hotels have been successful in engaging their website visitors and persuading them to spend more in order to access these exclusive offers, leading to an increase of 9% on average in revenue per booking compared to an uplift of only 1% for the control group.
4. There are several top performing messages and strategies
Creating a sense of urgency
The results have shown that messages featuring countdown clocks were amongst the top performing campaigns. Incorporating a clock into the messaging effectively creates a sense of urgency among travelers, creating the need to act fast if they don’t want to miss out on the deals. This tactic significantly helped hotels bring more visitors to their booking engine, only one step away from booking directly on the hotel’s website.
Launching pre-Black Friday campaigns
Another strategy that has worked particularly well is offering early access to discounts to newsletter subscribers. Inviting visitors to sign up for your newsletter in the run-up to Black Friday with the promise of early discounts is a clever way to collect potential visitors’ email addresses and grow your marketing database.
Making Black Friday offers unique to each user
Another powerful strategy executed by our clients was showcasing personalized messages based on the visitor’s membership.
Being able to identify the membership status of users and delivering a perfectly crafted Black Friday offer to reward their loyalty, or encourage new memberships, has been an effective approach to boost Black Friday reservations.
Leveraging Predictive Personalization
By using Predictive Personalization, hotels are able to detect the users’ likelihood of completing a reservation, and display the most relevant message or offer to maximize revenue and protect margins.
Following this approach, THN clients were able to offer discounts only to those guests in need of an extra incentive to book, driving more direct bookings without eating into revenue from users who wouldn’t need a discount to confirm their reservation in the first place. In addition, for visitors detected as having high purchasing intent, a relevant upselling or cross selling message was shown in order to increase ADR.
A mobile approach
During this campaign period, THN clients made sure not to forget about their mobile visitors. As this search device continues to grow in popularity, it is key to create and adapt your offers towards this audience specifically. Adapting Black Friday offers to all devices has been a quick win to boost mobile reservations.
5. Key takeaway: Black Friday is an opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up
The results of the analysis clearly show that Black Friday represents a golden opportunity for hoteliers all over the world to boost their direct sales.
During this period, hoteliers should prioritize their direct channel, offering the best deals on their own website to capitalize on the growing demand and boost direct reservations and revenue. Preparing upstream and leveraging marketing technology on your hotel’s website is key to increasing direct channel conversions during Black Friday, or any key date marked on your hotel’s marketing plan.
The Hotels Network
The Hotels Network is an innovative technology company working with over 16,000 hotels around the globe. Boasting an international team of specialists with deep expertise in hospitality, product design and consumer marketing, the company offers clients a full-stack growth platform to power their direct channel. By leveraging a series of integrated tools and analytics, hotel brands can attract, engage and convert guests throughout the user journey.
In addition to price comparison, reviews summary and a full suite of personalization options, THN’s Predictive Personalization product harnesses machine learning techniques to predict user behavior and then automatically personalizes both the message and the offer for each user. The company’s latest innovation, BenchDirect, is the first benchmarking product for the direct channel, providing hotels with never-before-seen competitive data that completely changes the rules of the game.
THN’s mission is to improve the online booking experience, grow direct bookings and strengthen the relationship between hotel brands and their guests.