The Doing it Right Edition
Earlier this week we had shared an article on the mistakes that we need to avoid when approaching hosts. You can read the full article below:
The article promised a second part, in which we would outline a more effective strategy instead. In this article we fulfill that promise. Please enjoy!
Phase 1 — Relaunching the Homes Section
The upcoming inventory Mega-Update for our marketplace will greatly improve availability around the world and allow us to place a greater focus on non-hotel properties such as apartments and homes.
We expect to add more than 1 million to our non-hotel inventory.
This means that we will automatically have a vast variety of vacation rentals onboarded through new suppliers. Taking advantage of this, the first phase of our strategy will be to identify inventory that fits the criteria for vacation rentals and to re-launch the “homes” section of our marketplace.
This will allow us to target customers, who may prefer homes over hotels in an efficient and cost-effective way.
Phase 2 — Gathering Data & Automation
As a preparation for phase 2, we are developing a data-focused infrastructure as we speak. The system will gather all relevant information from hosts that have been onboarded through suppliers and enable custom logic to leverage on that asset.
The main goal of this phase is to bypass the mainstream media as an expensive intermediary for establishing contact, and instead build a channel of direct communication. The system we are building is designed to leverage available data based on the actions of users on our marketplace and trigger automated scenarios.
Phase 3 — Preparing the Marketplace
While we execute phase 2, we will further develop the homes section of the LockTrip.com marketplace and integrate channel management software (CMS), which will allow for a friction-less onboarding experience from the perspective of hosts. It is essential to not waste the time of hosts by generating overhead in keeping their listing up to date.
Having a powerful interface for one-click setup, with an easy and intuitive handling is also a vital point for retaining hosts. They need to be satisfied with the overall experience.
Phase 4— Generating Traffic
Phases 3 and 4 will be executed in parallel to our marketing strategy. The hotels, flights and homes sections are a powerful trio, which when coupled with our affiliate program, will generate growing traffic.
A higher booking rate translates into a stronger argument to pitch to hosts during various levels of communication.
Phase 5— Integrating 28,000 Homes
Thanks to our tight relationship with our friends at FantasticStay, we will be working closely with them to not only enable them as a preferred channel management service but also to on-board their existing customer base of 28,000 hosts. This will translate to a single click type of “Accept” user experience in order for a listing to be migrated to LockTrip. As FantasticStay continues to grow, our tight relationship with them becomes more and more strategic in the context of onboarding hosts.
Our plan is to extract maximum value from this step by initiating it when we have some growth traction. This will justify the integration and commitment on our partners’ side.
Phase 6— Direct Contact
Thanks to the system built in phase 2, we will now be able to approach hosts directly and invite them to our marketplace.
For example, if our system registers a growing interest for a certain listing, we could reach out to the host with all relevant data and include instructions on how to join the marketplace — all executed in an automated work-flow.
Supplementing Phase 6
Phase 6 has much more to it than the short example given above. Depending on our traffic level, we will pull additional levers to reach a growing share of the market. We have decided not to disclose these in order to protect our strategic advantage.
However, some strategies will be disclosed as soon as we reach phase 5.
Phases 1 and 2 will start soon after the completion of our current roadmap.
Phases 3 and 4 will be very much dependent on how quickly we can grow our customer base and also when travel restrictions will be lifted.
Phases 5 and 6 will then follow as we announce host-specific marketing strategies and put them in place.
As you may have noticed, the fundamental of the whole process is booking rates. The phases are based on the observation that hosts follow customer preferences and not the other way around. We, therefore, take advantage of our strengths and apply them to a new vertical.
However, this also means that attracting new customers will have a higher priority than attracting hosts until a certain threshold has been reached (phase 4).
– Your Team LockTrip
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LockTrip is a blockchain-based travel marketplace that allows users to save on average 20% on their bookings by cutting out middlemen. Every booking burns LOC proportionally to its booking value, continuously reducing its total supply.