Using Custom Events to Monitor Changing Booking Windows
- Posted by Brett Perry
- On March 27, 2020
Though Google Analytics offers a lot of great insights out of the box, you can add custom features to your GTM to get an even better look at your website performance and user behavior. Here at Screen Pilot, custom events are our method for tracking what users are doing in every step of the booking process. These are critical insights now more than ever, as COVID-19 has significantly impacted user behaviors.
Users are spending a lot of time on FAQ’s and cancellation pages, and less time on pages like packages and things to do. Though this may leave most hoteliers at a loss, it doesn’t have to.
If you use custom events to monitor booking windows, you can win back control over your booking process by applying those insights to the rest of your COVID-19 response strategy.
But first, what is the custom event?
The custom event is a piece of code you insert into the GTM on your booking engine to track certain steps a user takes. In this case, every time a user gets to the booking engine and updates their arrival date, the date will be pulled into this event and then displayed in Google Analytics. Within Google Analytics, we can see every single arrival date that a user has looked for in the booking engine.
Here is a sample:
Why do booking windows matter during a crisis like COVID-19?
In times like these, it is common knowledge that traveling will slow down and immediate results will not be available. However, this doesn’t imply that nobody is looking for travel. There are still thousands of people planning vacations at the moment, especially after being in their homes for this long. Developing this booking window event ensures we are able to find those people and deliver a holistic experience.
Comparing arrival dates to the date the user was searching helps solidify their booking window. From these results, data can be analyzed on an aggregate level to determine when the majority of users are looking to plan their next vacation.
How should I plan with the booking window in mind?
If the majority of users are looking for dates in the summer, a property can update messaging and targeting to inform users of travel opportunities in that timeframe. Providing relevant content to this group of people is a crucial piece of establishing a strong foundation after a dip.
Staying agile and recognizing that there are still people who want to travel is incredibly important when transient revenue is slowing down in the short-term. Understanding a user’s booking intent is just one important step in recovering from this pandemic.
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