B&B operators need to create an efficient and effective distribution strategy to thrive in a competitive global industry. Distributing inventory and managing a network of distribution agents is the only way to drive revenue and ultimately increase profits over time. These agents have access to niche market segments that B&B operators may not otherwise reach on their own.
Here’s how to optimise your B&B’s distribution strategy:
Collect data and utilise it effectively
No matter how good your distribution strategy is, you need to recognise that there’s always room for improvement. The best way to enhance and improve your distribution strategy is to collect data and initiate a better understanding of your guests and distribution partners.
Through data collection, you will be able to understand which channels drive the most revenue, and when. Be sure to run regular reports so that you can make frequent adjustments based on the most relevant, accurate and recent data available.
Consider your target market segment when adding agents to your distribution network
Certain distribution agents will appeal more to different market segments, so it’s important to form partnerships with the right agents for your B&B. For example, if your B&B appeals to international travellers from China and India who are searching for luxury experiences, you will want to find OTAs that attract those specific individuals.
Forming the right distribution partnerships will increase the amount of traffic your website receives and will help generate more bookings for your brand.
Increase opportunities for direct bookings
Many travellers use large distribution agents, such as OTAs, as a starting point for their travel-related research. They’re likely to discover your B&B on OTA search results pages, but they may also head to your website or begin following your social pages in order to learn more about your brand. At these key moments, make sure your potential guests know they can book directly with you.
Use OTA marketing strategies to your advantage
The fact of the matter is, OTAs have more money to spend on marketing than you do. Use this to your advantage, and let them promote your property for you. Leverage their marketing spending in order to increase bookings at your brand, without increasing your own B&B marketing budget.
Of course, creating an efficient distribution strategy is only the first step. The next vital step is to implement it, which requires you to have the right technology in place at your B&B.