Some things go best in pairs… like Romeo and Juliet, Tom and Jerry, Bread and Butter, Hotel Metasearch and Cloud PMS! The rise of metasearch platforms as a marketing and distribution channel has empowered most independent hoteliers across the globe to take control over their brand – mainly to protect their brands from being hijacked by OTAs and to drive more direct bookings that are cost-effective. Hotel metasearch engine provides a common and transparent platform to independent property owners like you and OTAs to connect with millions of travelers looking for hotel accommodation online.
Now, if you are an independent hotelier with no or limited idea about the benefits of metasearch for your business, consider the below statistics –
1. Be present where today’s guests are searching for hotels – 72.5% of consumers surveyed by EyeForTravel said that they used metasearch sites regularly in their pre-booking journeys.
2. Increase your hotel’s online visibility – More than 60% of independent hoteliers in the US and Europe rate metasearch as a beneficial marketing channel. 50% of them look at it as one of the most effective distribution channels.
3. Get more direct booking – As a distribution channel, metasearch is driving around 13% of the total online room revenue for independent properties in the US. In independent hotel segment, around 63% of hotels the US have received direct bookings through one or more of the metasearch systems.
4. Reduce OTA dependency –Around 25% of independent hotels in the US and Europe perceive metasearch as a tool to reduce dependency on OTAs.
The above stats might tempt you to dive straight into the world of metasearch. But, the whole process of working on a metasearch engine is not that easy. You need to have enough clarity on the bidding strategy for the right position while maintaining rate parity across all the channels. You also need to keep an eye on metasearch sites’ changing bidding algorithm.
Apart from having clarity on the fundamentals of your metasearch campaign, you also need to have the right set of hospitality technology solutions to set the process in motion. In this scenario, a smart and robust cloud-based hotel property management system at the core of your hotel operations can help you achieve your desired results.
Why a cloud PMS?
You need to update your rates and rooms on your website and on all the connected OTAs to make the most out of your metasearch investment. Because, as a distribution platform, metasearch shows your hotel’s website price and the OTA price at the same time. Moreover, you can get a booking either through your website or through any of the OTAs. So, a real-time distribution of rates and inventory is of essence here.
This is where a cloud-based PMS that comes integrated with a website booking engine and channel manager software plays a major role. It updates your website and OTAs with the same rate and information at the same time. This helps you maintain rate parity across all the channels, which is one of the most important factors while working with metasearch channels. Because, 65% of metasearch users will book directly with a hotel if the price is same on both the hotel website and OTA.
Here’s how it works –
You can update rates and availabilities on your website through the PMS. At the same time, you also get to disseminate the same on OTAs in real-time via the 2-way connectivity between the PMS and the channel manager. Whenever a booking happens on your website or on an OTA, the PMS ensures the real-time update of the same information across all the channels. Now, someone searching for your hotel on metasearch will get to see the live feed of your rates and room availability on your website and OTAs. This way, the PMS helps you deal with overbooking or double-booking issues that could lead to guest dissatisfaction.
With a certified website booking engine, you can work towards boosting your website traffic and direct sales via metasearch sites.
We’ve put together an interesting e-book to help simplify metasearch for independent hoteliers. Book your copy of The #1 Guide on Hotel Metasearch.