1. Social is increasingly part of the decision process for travelers.
Many and leisure travelers now leverage e-commerce tools, such as social Q&A and ratings & review tools, when booking rooms online. In fact, 53% of travelers won’t commit to booking a room until they've read reviews of the property* and 21% needed to check with other travelers before booking**.
2. Guest feedback broadens SEO reach and reduces call center inquiries.
Fresh and engaging content is essential for any successful SEO strategy. And user-generated content (UGC), such as feedback that is developed by your site visitors, provides unique content for your website -- which ultimately feeds Google and other search engines.
As pointed out in a recent Harvard Business Review case study, "most customers these days demonstrate a huge — and increasing — appetite for self-service". E-commerce tools that front-end your hotel inquiries help increase customer satisfaction (by answering many questions instantly) and decrease support costs.
3. Mobile booking will continue to grow in 2015.
According to the Skift "Megatrends Defining Travel in 2015" Special Report, mobile booking is poised to grow exponentially over the next five years, with 60 percent estimated growth from 2014 and 40 percent in 2015. Having enhanced e-commerce tools, such as a community Q&A tool and ratings & reviews platforms, for mobile browsers have been known to effectively increase conversion rates.
*Custom Survey Research Engagement. Independent PhoCusWright Dec 2013 study of 12,225 respondents**2014 SalesCycle Travel Survey of 1,000 travel consumers
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