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The underappreciated city of Minneapolis served as host for the 2019 edition of HITEC (produced by HFTP) which wrapped up its most recent four-day run on June 20, 2019. In the days and weeks leading up to the event, meeting solicitations and party invites filled my inbox at a growth rate any VC or entrepreneur would envy. As a first-timer to this international hospitality technology behemoth, it became apparent that HITEC actually begins a few weeks prior to when that first request or invitation lands in your over-stuffed inbox.

Time is limited. Once it’s gone, you can’t gain it back. Similarly, once a room goes unsold for a night, it will go unsold forever. There’s no way to recover that loss, because there’s no way to go back in time.
 
Many hotels fight this limitation by trying to sell as many rooms as possible. If all the rooms are completely booked, time no longer becomes a factor. But most don’t have the luxury of being at-capacity every single night. That’s why last-minute booking apps are growing in popularity in the industry, where hotels can make the most of each day. These apps specifically target guests who don’t plan far in advance, seeking accommodations from one week to one minute later.
 
There are several different ways your hotel can benefit from using last-minute booking apps in your business strategy.

IoT is Coming, Jon Snow…
Posted: 05/21/2019

Hospitality is prime for the coming advent of the various devices that make up the Internet of Things. Estimates show the industry now represents 17.5 million rooms worldwide and savvy guests are demanding more personalization and an overall improved guest experience along their connected travel journey and belief is that IoT can bring this to reality. 

The forces driving local search rankings are constantly changing. But recent studies suggest that in 2019, four key factors make up the local search algorithm. 
 
The most significant factor is Google My Business (GMB). If you’re not on it, get on it now.

The robotic revolution in the hospitality industry might seem to have taken a step back. This January, the famously quirky Henn-Na Hotel in Japan fired half of its 243 robot staff. The robotic workforce reportedly irritated guests and frequently broke down.



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5 Characteristics of Websites That Convert Visitors into Customers for 2016

12/07/2015

Your conversation rate is simply the percentage of visitors that make a reservation through your website. You need to understand that having a large number of visitors is one thing and convincing them to make a reservation is an entirely different thing. It is not enough to focus on how to increase the number of visitors to your website, but you also need to pay serious attention to things that help convert visitors into customers.

A Conversion Rate Optimization Report by Econsultancy shows that companies that take steps to optimize their website for better conversion are twice as likely to see a substantial increase in sales.

Every online business needs to understand that they have zero to eight seconds to convince visitors to stay on their sites. The majority of visitors leave after eight seconds. Hubspot conducted a research and found that about 96 percent of people who visit your website are not ready to buy. It means you have to do something to win their trust and make them buy. Here are some of the most common signs you will find in websites that effectively convert visitors into buyers.

1. They Have Clear Navigation in Place

The design and content in your homepage navigation matters a lot and is sometimes the difference between a bounce and a website conversion. Be sure to give your visitors a clear path into your site. Make it easier for them to access other pages on your website from the homepage. You will get better results by making your navigation menu visible right at the top of the page with links organized in a hierarchical structure. Always work with information architects who know how to organize content in a way that goals of your websites are met by integrating business needs, user needs and content categorization. Navigation structure that makes it easy and intuitive for visitors to find what they have come looking for on your site will increase your conversion rate. That is what all top sites do, and you should follow suit.

2. They Clearly Mention their Unique Selling Points

In other words, websites that have a good conversion rate always make their unique value proposition clear. Visitors will leave if they cannot clearly see why they should do business with you and the benefit of it. Top websites advance their value propositions through a list of benefits. They always have their benefits focused on the user – they do not only talk about themselves. What it means is that instead of saying, "we have 99.99 percent uptime", you will be better off saying something like, "Your websites will enjoy 99.99 percent uptime".
 
3. They Have Effective Calls-to Action

Hubspot featured a company that experienced an increase in their conversions by 105.9 percent simply by having a clear call to action.

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are vital. Understand that psychological trickery will not lead to serious gains in conversions. You need to understand what your customers need and then give it to them using the language that resonates with them. A great example about the importance of using clear CTAs is that Mozilla experienced a clear increase in the number of people downloading their popular Firefox browser by having a strong CTA. They changed "Try Firefox 3" to "Download Now – Free". The change looks simple but it really makes a difference.

4. They Have Killer Headlines Throughout The Site

The headline has the potential to make or break a website. You have to create an impression in the first eight seconds of a visitor landing on any page of your website, and your headline will play a big role in that. Websites that have good conversion rates know what resonates most with their visitors and they use that carefully to create a great impression. It will take some testing to identify what works for your business and with your audience. Just ensure that you have a clear headline with a unique value proposition. It is even better to use a headline that compliments an image. Another good idea is to use a short, attention-grabbing headline and back it up with a sub-headline.

5. They Build Trust

They do it with trustworthy testimonials, which are usually the most important trust signals. They have testimonials from real people, including experts and celebrities. You can make these testimonials more personal by featuring pictures, names, positions and even companies. Some top websites make use of a rotating carousel of testimonials with each of them having a name, a picture, a video and a clear discussion on how the service helped them. You can also build trust by giving customers a guarantee, which helps them feel reassured while on your website. All this goes a long way in improving the likelihood of a conversion.

In addition, you can try several other techniques if you are interested in improving your conversion rate. Using product videos is a great idea, as it can increase purchases of that product by 144 percent. Some companies have implemented a "Chat Now" button to see a 31 percent increase in free sign-up form fills. Similarly, a security seal on your website, having social proof and credibility indicators, and using natural language on forms can all help. It may require some testing though.

Consider working with a professional website design expert to know what works and how to improve your conversion rate.

About The Author
Nimesh Dinubhai
President
Websrefresh


Nimesh Dinubhai completed his studies in 2003 and launched Websrefresh to help businesses grow their ROI. He also owns two Arizona hotels, one of which earned the Historical Hotel Award in 2014.

 
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