Five Tactics to Establish a Brand Affinity on the Web
By Cid Jenkins Vice President, ATG's eStara | January 27, 2012
In a 2008 study from Forrester Research, over 80 percent of survey respondents said that improving the usability, usefulness, and enjoyment of the online experience is more important now than ever before - further demonstrating the importance of a hotel's Web presence. Although we've seen a steady increase in the number of hotels striving to create easy-to-navigate Web sites over the past decade, consumers are still looking for a better experience. From questions about booking, to impromptu issues that may arise during an online session, consumers will stick around a particular hotel's Web site only if they have an established affinity for the given hotel.
With the Web serving as an extension of the hotel brand, delivering a positive experience online can make the difference between a browser and a booker. How can hotels maximize this opportunity to establish a brand affinity through their Web presence? Here, I've listed five best tactics:
Improve customer loyalty on the Web
More and more hotels are gaining a reputation for catering to the needs of travelers by providing excellent services and comfortable accommodations. But in order for hotels to establish a brand affinity on the Web, its amenities can't start at the hotel lobby. The hotel's brand promise must extend to its Web site, arguably a consumer's first experience of the brand.
The Web site must be compelling enough to capture a browser's attention within seconds, or he'll be gone. When a customer first approaches a hotel's Web site, he's looking for intuitive navigation, attractive design, accurate up-to-date rates and availability status, and most importantly, an easy way to find the answers to his specific questions without a lot of searching.
By catering to their guests on the Web, hotels will help travelers build a sense of loyalty that permeates every interaction and influences future travel decisions.