How Hotels Can Use Urgency Like the OTAs to Drive Bookings

Many people have a natural tendency to procrastinate, choosing to put things off until the very last minute.  But in the world of e-commerce, brands work tirelessly to convince customers that delaying a buying decision isn’t a good thing. This is something commonly achieved by creating a sense of urgency.

Studies conducted by internet-based research lab MarketingExperiments have found that urgency can have a huge influence on conversion rates. One of their tests resulted in a staggering 992% sales uplift.

So why can urgency have such influence on buying behavior? Without it, customers know they can delay a purchase, confident the exact same product or service they’re interested in will be around whenever they choose to return. Urgency removes that certainty. It gives customers a specific and compelling reason to act now. And when it comes to the hotel booking space, urgency is an especially powerful tool for driving conversions.

But while OTAs have embraced urgency as a sales tool, most hotels have not. This point of difference has undoubtedly helped OTAs dominate direct bookings, and yet such tactics are easily replicated. With that in mind, here are just a few ways hotels can harness urgency and make it the heart of their own user experience.

Limited-time deals

Brands use time-based urgency all the time. By creating exclusive promotions and offers with specific end dates, customers are motivated into making a purchase by only having a limited window to benefit from a special rate.

The effectiveness of limited-time deals can be altered by a number of factors. The duration of the offer is a big one. If a promotional rate is available for a fortnight or a month, the motivation for a customer to act quickly is very low. But an offer that’s only around for days, hours, or even minutes instantly ramps up the urgency.

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