Are you giving online travel shoppers what they want?

  Visual merchandising is transforming online commerce. The world of travel shopping is changing in ways that reflect overall trends in Internet commerce. According to market research, online hotel shoppers value rich visual content that informs and supports their buying decisions. As their expectations grow, they are gravitating to hotels that most effectively present themselves […]

Dare to Be Different

“You can differentiate on anything… but you must differentiate on something!” states Bonnie J. Knutson, Professor at Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality Business with work featured in industry publications as well as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN and NPR. Online, most hotels appear undifferentiated to travel shoppers who want to know: what […]

Online Travel Content is in Need of a Makeover

According to a September 2009 Forrester Research report, Poor Content Could Cost Travel eBusiness Money, hotels are particularly vulnerable to losing money due to inadequate online content. Travelers have had enough of the generic, poorly organized, and confusing written and visual content on travel sites. “Just half of US online leisure hotel guests are satisfied […]

Merchandising University – Evaluating Your Online Presence

According to Forrester Research, 38% of US online hotel guests — 47.5 million people — avoid staying at hotels that they can afford because they don’t see photos, video, or written content that would make them feel comfortable. These guests are considered ‘content-sensitive’ travelers. They are “young, quality-focused travelers who take more trips and spend […]

Better merchandised hotels get more bookings…

A successful online strategy should be focused on both driving traffic to websites, but also converting it when they arrive. SEO, PPC and many Social Media activities are primarily focused on driving traffic and creating awareness online, while visual merchandising is what helps convert traffic and close the sale.

Thinking Beyond Distribution to Merchandising

An interesting point is made in the TravelCom 2009 Keynote – “There’s No Room for Maybe”: “cross-selling isn’t merchandising” and for too long, the travel industry has been thinking of distribution as putting inventory into channels and NOT about merchandising. Stating that the travel industry could benefit from observing what is going on in other industries, citing examples of successful online retailers, particularly J.Crew.

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