TripAdvisor’s “Show Prices” displays a property’s booking engine as a pop-up with pre-selected dates filled in. It often appears alongside several other pop-ups from Online Travel Agents (OTAs) selling the same property (e.g. Expedia and Booking.com). It’s a cost-per-click model for the hotel or OTA that chooses to be present amongst the pop-ups. From a potential guest’s point of view, it’s most useful in that it allows him/her to compare the property’s own rates against those of OTAs.
Is it useful if you’re a property owner? Most feel that it’s most beneficial (unsurprisingly) to TripAdvisor. But what are the real stats? Paris-based hotel marketing company WIHP has shared its experience based on hundreds of campaigns run for hotels around the world. Here are the main points:
- ROI (return on investment) in terms of the booking profit vs the cost of advertising has varied from 0 all the way to 54X the amount paid. Yet the average hovers between 13 and 16X the amount paid.
- Potential guests tend to look at properties near the top of TripAdvisor’s listing for a particular destination when they’re still in a relatively early stage of browsing destinations in general. They look at properties listed further down when they’re more committed to visiting a particular place. Thus, the average yearly ROI for a “Top 10” property is 12X, but for a property listed nearer the middle it’s 16X.
- More than 80% of the bookings that are generated via the TripAdvisor “Show Prices” button don’t happen immediately. Guests click and check rates, then return the hotel’s website and get more information (mostly they go to the Rooms page) before completing their booking. Thus the booking engine pop up must have a clear link to the hotel’s home page in order to convert.