It’s hard to believe, but 2019 is not that far away. It’s time to start thinking about the new year at your B&B and to determine how you will spend your distribution budget.
Here’s how to plan the best channels mix for your B&B:
Know the difference between shopping and purchasing channels
On the surface, a shopping and purchasing channel would appear to be very similar. However, the reality of the matter is, most travellers spend time browsing shopping channels — or websites that they use to get information about a particular travel brand or product. However, they ultimately end up booking on a different website, such as an OTA.
You need to take the time now to evaluate your consumer data and determine which channels lead to a higher volume of bookings. These purchasing channels should be a priority for you in 2019.
Use data to determine the most powerful channels
Now is the ideal time to start running distribution reports that highlight activity during the last year, or even the last several years. Evaluate and analyse the data so that you have an understanding of how your target market segments are changing with the times.
In addition, take the time to read about industry trends and predictions so that you can attempt to determine which channels will be most beneficial to your brand in the coming year.
Refresh your website to drive direct bookings
While your 2019 channel mix is going to include a variety of distribution partners, you also won’t want to forget the power of your own brand. Your website is still one of the greatest channels that you have available to you, because it allows you to acquire bookings that generate a significant amount of revenue for your B&B. Direct bookings do not have any commissions or fees attached. By updating your website, refreshing its content and ensuring that you have a responsive website design in place, you can set yourself up for a nice boost in direct bookings in 2019.
Decrease your dependency on costly acquisitions
Unfortunately, the cost of generating bookings through distribution agents continues to rise each year. In fact, some OTAs require commission fees as high as 20% per booking. While OTAs can certainly help generate more bookings for your brand, you may want to use the next year to reduce your dependency on these costly channels. By creating a well-rounded channels mix for next year, you will be able to increase your bookings without draining your profits at the same time.
In 2019, you will want to strike the right balance between investing in new marketing strategies and managing your existing distribution strategy. You will want to invest your resources wisely so that your distribution strategy yields the results you need.