Four Retail Marketing Tactics Hotels Can Use During Cyber Week

Online shopping - Cyber Week

Black Friday is big for retailers, but with shoppers glued to their devices and heavily browsing during the five-day shopping holiday that is Cyber Week, the travel and hospitality industry can also take advantage of this high-spend season, too. Hotel marketers can leverage many of the same tactics leading retailers use to activate customer data, cater to individual needs, and drive holiday sales.

Capitalize on the extra time and money customers spend shopping on their devices and drive sales with these four strategies.

1Do more with fewer emails.

Instead of bombarding customers with blanket emails that they’ll most likely ignore or unsubscribe from, send quality promotions based on their unique behaviors, location, and interactions with the hotel’s brand. Use customers’ past site behaviors to personalize email offers and travel recommendations based on recently browsed or booked experiences. This type of personalization will stand out in an inbox full of generic messages and let customers know that the hotel brand “gets them” better than competitors.

2Cater to convenience.

As an industry, travel and hospitality sees some of the highest abandonment rates. Today’s customers are hyper-connected and hyper-distracted, and they’ve come to expect Amazon-caliber immediacy and convenience from every brand no matter the vertical. To meet this expectation and combat distraction, hotels should optimize booking abandonment campaigns to feature customized information and trigger earlier in the funnel—within just a few hours of the user exiting the hotel’s site. This allows the user to easily continue where they left off and decreases their window of time to book elsewhere or change their mind altogether.

3Encourage self-gifting.

While Cyber Week deals are great for checking off wishlists for others, they also tempt customers to buy for themselves, too. “Treat Yourself” campaigns are on the rise in retail, and they can easily be applied in travel and hospitality. This time of year can get stressful, so consider encouraging self-care with some travel therapy or a self-reward with deals on spa packages. Motivate customers to get away and focus on themselves in the new year—and pairing this campaign with an expiring offer can be very powerful. Even better, leverage year-over-year customer data to uncover booking patterns and send special offers to those who are most likely to engage.

4Create urgency with discount alerts.

According to a recent study from Hoffman York, 44 percent of U.S. travelers plan and book leisure trips two weeks or less prior to their departure, with more than half agreeing that they can be swayed by last-minute deals. Booking and discount alerts create urgency by providing those with the highest propensity to purchase the opportunity to book before the rate expires. These alerts are a great way to entice those looking for a quick getaway after the rush of the holidays—and they can also help drive bookings when hotels need to clear excess inventory or fill availability during or after peak travel seasons.

Travelers will be in the mental space to spend this coming week continuing well into the new year. By leveraging and optimizing customer data and marketing strategies effectively, hotels can ensure these potential guests spend at their properties and see the most successful season yet.

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Michael Osborne is the CEO of SmarterHQ, a multi-channel behavioral marketing platform for B2C marketers to personalize individual customer interactions in real-time. SmarterHQ works with some of the world’s largest brands—such as Omni Hotels,, Bloomingdale’s, and Finish Line—and has been recognized by Forrester’s Total Economic Impact study to deliver 667 percent in ROI.