7Ps serie – Part 2: Are you reaping the potential benefits of continuous evaluation of your product?
Last week we wrote about how you apply classical marketing mix models like the 7P’s to understand and work on your business’ value proposition (see the article here). Also did we encourage you to have a look at your own value proposition? Did you find anything interesting based on that new understanding of it? We hope so.
In this week’s article in this series will we as promised dive a bit deeper into the P Product. As said, we are not here to guarantee but to inspire you to optimize and grow your business. If you want to take advantage of our lessons learned the hard way and improve your results, keep reading….
During the last years we’ve been helping many businesses to face their bookings and payments problematic. If your business wants to start receiving online payments, first of all, we would like to tell you “This is the right decision” and we are saying that mostly because we know, that having the client paying online, will avoid no-shows and can make your life a lot simpler. In other words, it’s the ultimate step to automate your reservation process.
Since you’re considering receiving online payments, you may be sinking in an ocean of doubts. Don’t panic, it’s normal, you may be discovering terms like payment gateways, merchant accounts, acquirers, API and many other words you never heard about in the past.
If you want to keep things simple, this is our one recommendation: Use Paypal. If you want to know why Paypal is a great solution for you as for your customers, keep reading.
Things are going well for businesses in the tourism industry. Businesses are reporting record revenue numbers as people are traveling more. Why? One big reason is due to many of the travel sites, such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Expedia, are making it easy for people to find and book what they want. You can find a place to stay or various activities and tours in the destination you are traveling to. On one hand, these sites are beneficial for both the customer and the business to ‘find’ each other, but on the other hand, it doesn’t come cheap to the business as it has to pay commission to these big travel sites for any bookings received through their portal. This is why, smart businesses in the lodging or tour industry will always be looking for way to get more traffic and bookings on their own through their website.
It is not an easy thing to compete with those billion dollars companies, and ignoring them may not be the best strategy either. These travel sites can certainly help your sales, but it is also essential for your businesses to maintain a certain independence in order to reduce risks, be in control, and make more money with each reservation. You may have a very professional website, but if it is lying dormant out there on the web you will not make it on your own. Spread your voice, reach out to the world, and take back control with the following tips.
You have a well designed website, but you are not getting the bookings that you expect. You realize that there is something that needs to be done to change that, but aren’t sure what to do. There are many things you can do to increase your conversion rate. We will discuss 13 tips below.
1. Measure your results
How can you make the right decision if you don’t know where you’re failing?
The very first step is to track your conversions. To do so, you can use Google Analytics. It is a free service, and will give you important data about people who view your website. Where are they coming from? When are they leaving the page? How many convert? How many bounce? To get started with it, see the Google Analytics training here.
It seems like there is never enough time in the day to get everything organized. But getting your systems ready for the spring and summer season is one of the most important tasks. Your time is valuable so we’ve picked the top 5 tips that will help you get more customers.
1. Update your rates.
The online booking system will only allow customers to make a reservation if it can find valid rates for the season. To check your rates, log on to your account and go to Setup – Rates. You should have rates at least until the end of 2014 or 2015.
2. Update your business description.
Updating your business description is critical. Customers favor businesses with comprehensive descriptions of the business and each product or service. To update your listing, go to Setup- Business Information – Description.
3. Update your pictures.
It is said that a picture says more than a thousand words and it is especially true for online shoppers. Review your pictures and update new pictures if necessary. The more pictures you have, the better. Ideally, each picture should have a resolution 1024 by 768 or greater. Don’t forget to add a description for each picture so that your customers will know what they are looking at. To update your pictures, go to Setup – Business Information – Pictures.
Most businesses I work with can easily see the benefits of having an online booking system for their customers because they are customers themselves and use online booking for their holidays, plane tickets, or other activities. What may not be as apparent are the benefits that an online booking system will have on your business internally. Here are few important points that will help you understand why a booking system is so helpful to your own organization.
1. Your customers can make a reservation on their own
The online booking system on your webpage, in a few steps, allows the customer to check the availability, select dates and times, add his details, and make the payment. These steps are all done by your customer without your help, essentially putting time back into your busy day. Plus, the icing on the cake is that your customers will be pleased with your business for the providing this capability. Read the rest of this entry »