Rich Media: What is it and How Can You Use it to Your Advantage?
By Paolo Boni President & Chief Executive Officer, VFM Leonardo, Inc. | January 27, 2012
Intensifying competition, the proliferation of video and changing travel shopper behavior are a few key drivers encouraging hotel owners and marketers to rethink their existing approaches to online revenue generating activities.
Put yourself in the shoes of an active online travel shopper looking to book a hotel in downtown New York for a weekend getaway with friends. As you search the Internet for hotels that meet your buying criteria - price point, room size, amenities, proximity to attractions, shopping and nightlife, you find several comparable hotels and struggle to choose the "right one."
What is it that motivates you to choose one hotel over the others? I would argue (and merchandising strategy supports), that how well a hotel best conveys the expected experience you're looking for during your stay is what ultimately motivates you to book.
The retail industry has long understood that product presentation impacts sales. The hotel industry, however, isn't using merchandising strategies to their full advantage online. There are valuable opportunities for hoteliers to enhance their online presence, making their hotels more visually compelling and more engaging than the competition.
By understanding and implementing the fundamentals of online hotel merchandising, hoteliers can leverage the Internet as a cost effective sales and marketing channel by capturing shoppers' attention and motivating them to book. Here are six simple ways hotels can use online merchandising to their advantage.
1. Shift from offline to online