How Data Science Drives Relevance in Business Travel Bookings
By Andrew Dyer Vice President of Global Supply, Egencia | January 07, 2018
Often in a hurry, and subject to per diem rate caps, it is no surprise that corporate travelers prize convenience and price above all else. According to Egencia's 4th Edition Business Travel and Technology Survey, business travelers rank price and location above access to loyalty points when it comes to choosing a hotel. In fact, the survey indicates that the primary reasons why corporate travelers book out of policy are failure to find an in-policy property within close proximity to their destination, and finding a better-priced hotel within their per diem. Loyalty points and access to upgrades fall lower on the list.
For those with a travel policy in place, more than half are allowed to book their travel using any method they choose, and many of them still go rogue when booking a hotel. With a multitude of hotel choices at their fingertips, it's important for hoteliers to cut through the clutter and capture business travelers by serving them the lodging options that they are truly looking for. Armed with the knowledge that business travelers respond primarily to factors related to convenience and price, hoteliers should build their offer accordingly and use loyalty as an important secondary method of capturing corporate demand.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Business travelers face constant demands on their time, and rely on their travel booking tools to curate and present simple, relevant hotel options. From a hotelier's perspective, it is critical to ensure that your corporate-friendly offering is both relevant and, just as important, visible.
An incredible 75 percent of business travelers only scroll through the first seven hotel listings on Egencia before they book, and 55 percent book from the top three listings. Their booking behavior indicates that they prefer a swift and simplified booking process, and that they rely on technology to give them hotel options personalized to their needs. To optimize any booking tool, a hotelier must understand both what a customer wants and how content is surfaced. With that in mind, a hotelier can craft the most effective offer and drive the highest ROI by capturing the top spots most visible to the traveler and most likely to be booked.
Although convenience is king, many booking tools highlight non-price-related rate attributes such as early check-in, late check-out, free WiFi, breakfast and access to loyalty points. This provides an opportunity for differentiation, particularly amongst the top-listed properties.