How to Use Data From Your Hotel Tech Stack to Make Profitable Decisions

Our partners at SiteMinder share how to make the most of your data.

August 4, 2022

We are proud partner of SiteMinder, and today the SiteMinder team is taking over our blog to share how make the most of your data.

We all know how interesting, insightful, and powerful data can be. In today's world of hotel commerce, data can be the lifeline of your property, informing your day to day activities as well as your distribution strategy.

It’s crucial to have quick and accurate data so you can effectively:

  • Connect the right channels
  • Attract the right guests
  • Price your rooms optimally
  • Set up promotions
  • Create enticing packages
  • Sell the right message

However you may not always be confident in knowing how to collect and analyse it. The good news for modern hoteliers is that you don’t need to be an expert - the various solutions within your tech stack will do all the heavy lifting and can often give you the insights you need to make decisions.

If you’re running features such as a channel manager, booking engine, website, and business intelligence tool, you’ll be able to extract reports from each product with minimal effort. If you’re managing your property from a single platform, it’ll be even easier.

That’s great, but you still need to know what specific data to look out for and how to use it to shape your strategies and business decisions. 

So let’s get into the details!

Booking channel data: Optimising your hotel’s channel mix

The reservation data collected from your connected OTAs and housed within your channel manager is a treasure trove of insights you need to be paying close attention to.

In particular, your channel mix report will provide details of key metrics such as booking volume, average daily rate (ADR), length of stay (LOS), booking lead time and more.

Being able to easily study this data will allow you to:

  • Analyse the lead time for each of your channels and work out how you fill more of your rooms further in advance
  • Understand which channels deliver the longest stays so you can run promotions or campaigns to attract more bookings via this channel
  • See which channel converts the most profitable guests so you can focus on tactics to extend the stays of these valuable customers
  • Easily identify if marketing campaigns for particular channels are having the desired effect
  • See where you have chances to increase revenue by applying minimum stay restrictions for example

Not all OTAs are created equal and some attract very different types of guests and behaviours than others, so it’s vital to stay on top of how much value each and every channel you sell through is providing your property.

This will allow you to make fast decisions that benefit your bottom line.

Performance data: The value of a hotel Pace report

If you have integration with a business intelligence tool you can also use your channel manager data to produce a Pace report, which allows you to evaluate performance and make strategic decisions and adjustments to pricing, promotions or restrictions.

It’s a way of benchmarking performance and identifying any potential impacts of external factors such as local events or - shudder - global pandemics.

Analysing Pace reports will allow you to:

  • Check how you are tracking with booking pace compared to the same period last week, month, or year
  • Plan ahead with the knowledge you’re about to enter a high or low booking period
  • See which tactics have worked and which have failed so you can improve on previous results

Overall you’ll have a clearer picture of the current market situation at your property, and if you combine your Pace report with competitor insights you’ll be able to see opportunities where you can play with your rates to increase bookings or profit.

Direct bookings: The data that matters

If you want to improve the amount of direct bookings you’re capturing or improve your conversion rates, there’s plenty of ways to collect and analyse data from both your booking engine and your website.

Within your booking engine you can run reports to look at summaries of your bookings, analyse individual bookings, and look closely at room rate details. 

If you add Google Analytics tracking to your website on top of this you’ll be able to look at a range of data including:

  • Your direct online guest conversion rate
  • Promotion codes which produced the most revenue
  • Your most popular extras and upsells
  • The device guests are booking on and their conversion rates - mobile or desktop for example
  • The traffic you get per channel - e.g from google, from email campaigns, or from social media
  • Traffic and conversion rates by country
  • Bounce rates and exit rates on web pages

Armed with these metrics you can decide how to allocate your resources and evaluate what changes you need to make to your website or marketing strategy in order to increase performance.

No one choosing a particular upgrade or extra? Switch it out for something new. 

Your homepage not converting as it should be? Look at whether you have the right messaging, calls to action, or images for your expected audience.

Seeing a high conversion rates from a specific geo location? Launch a campaign to target this tourist group.

Notice a particular ad campaign or landing page driving sales? See how you can maximise this.

When you combine your insights and can get a clear view of the big picture, data often tells a compelling tale - one that delivers you the powerful knowledge you need to optimise every strategy at your property.

Don’t forget your guests and your competitors

Shaping strategy with guest data

Understanding your guests is arguably the most important thing you can do at your hotel. Without the knowledge of who your guests are you’ll be quite lost in knowing how to attract more of them reliably and consistently.

Guest reservation data should be shared with your PMS via two-way integration with your channel manager or booking engine and you can use this information to build guest profiles. 

If you can detect trends in who your guests are, what their preferences are, how long they typically stay, their purpose of travel etc. you can start to meaningfully shape a successful marketing and distribution strategy. You’ll be able to identify any superfluous strategies and replace them with a more targeted approach. 

You can also use this information to communicate with them pre-stay, during their stay, and post-stay in a much more personalised way, enhancing their experience and increasing the chances of a positive review or repeat stay.

Shaping strategy with competitor data

Similarly, it can be very helpful to know what your competitors are up to - so you can take advantage of any opportunities you may see.

Hours, or sometimes days can be lost trying to work out what your competitors are doing and why. When do they increase rates? How often do they discount? Are your prices on par? Is your hotel offering value-for-money? So many questions. So few answers. And so little time.

The answers to these questions provide powerful pockets of opportunity to boost profit however. For example, if you know a competitor is booked out you’ll be able to raise your rates knowing that travellers have less options on the table.

A business intelligence tool will help you monitor competitors and get your pricing just right and:

  • Act on information instantly - Compare your live minimum/maximum rates against your competitors’
  • Know that data is always current - generate a snapshot report of your rates across multiple channels and against your competitors in real-time

Ultimately, data analysis can be a complicated task without an optimised tech stack. Even then, if you are using separate products on separate interfaces, data can still be very fragmented and it can take time to tie it all together.

If you can, centralise your distribution into a single platform so you can access and action insights much quicker and easier.

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