January '24 Category Pruning & Optimizations
Twice a year HTR assesses the categories on the site to determine if there are new categories that need to be added based on the evolving hotel tech stack as well as prune old categories that are no longer relevant or a good fit. In our end of year analysis we determined that the IT & Building Management category on the site was confusing to users and was serving as a catch all for categories of the tech stack that really didn't belong together.
As such, we have decided to deprecate this as a department from the site beginning early January 2024.
What will happen to the sub-categories within IT & Building Management department when the department is deprecated from the site in January?
Each sub-category was assessed individually to determine the best approach for how to handle. Here are the final conclusions:
- Hotel Maintenance Software 👉 moved into Operations
- Payment Processing Tools 👉 moved into Operations
- Cyber Security & Fraud Prevention 👉 moved into Operations
- Pre-Opening & Renovations Software 👉 moved into Operations
- Energy Management Solutions 👉 moved into Operations
- Parking Management Software 👉 moved into Operations
- Digital Signage 👉 moved into Guest Experience
- Hotel Wi-Fi 👉 moved into Guest Experience
- Guest Room Management 👉 moved into Guest Experience
- Marketplaces & Integrators 👉 deprecated from the site fully (details below)
- Metasearch & Ad Tech 👉 Hotel Advertising Solutions
Why was the Marketplaces & Integrators category fully deprecated?
one such category which was the Marketplaces & Integrators category which had several issues that lead to its deprecation from the site beginning in 2024. The core issues with the category were:
- Inaccurate listings: Of the 27 products listed in the category, only two of them were true standalone solutions that were listed correctly as such. The 25 others did not qualify as true standalone solutions and were therefore listed inaccurately in a misleading way to users. Instead, these solutions were add-on modules that were essentially just integrations of another product. For example, the Apaleo App Store was one such product listed in the category. The problem is that this a hotel cannot leverage the Apaleo App Store without using Apaleo's PMS and therefore not a true standalone integrations solution and should have been listed instead as an add-on module of the Apaleo PMS. Additionally, if add-ons that faciliate product integrations could be listed as a standalone product then every company would technically have an integrations product which just doesn't make sense and isn't helpful to users on the site.
- No search demand: In addition to the inaccurate listings issue mentioned above, we also analyzed search demand for this category and found that there is not sufficient demand for a standalone integrations solution to justify having a standalone category for this in the marketplace. As such, we have decided to deprecate this category.
What if my company had a product in the category? What about our reviews?
If you are one of the 27 companies that had a product listing in the Marketplaces & Integrators category, two things happened when your profile was deprecated along with the category to preserve your content:
- Product Migration: Your product was migrated from a standalone product in the category to instead become an add-on module of the core product that it was a part of to more accurately reflect the nature of the toolset for hoteliers browsing the site so they can learn about this as a capability of your product even though it is not a standalone solution. For example, the Apaleo App Store standalone product profile was deprecated and an add-on module was created for the Apaleo App Store within the Apaleo PMS profile. You can update the description of this module via the profile editor of your vendor dashboard.
- Review Migration: In order to ensure that no customer reviews were lost, HTR automatically migrated any reviews that your company had solely for that product to add them to the core product that the module has been added to. For example, if the Apaleo App Store had 10 reviews, these reviews were migrated to the Apaleo PMS product profile since the Apaleo App Store is in reality, an add-on/module of the Apaleo PMS.
Cyber Monday 2023 offers are now live!
Hotel Tech Report's once-a-year limited-time Cyber Monday offers are now live!
- Save up to 70% on posting
- Get up to $6,000 in free banner advertising
November Profile Enhancements
Today we rolled out several updates that aim to make profiles more helpful for buyers. These updates come as a result of several feature requests from both hoteliers in the community as well as vendors and serve to make profiles easier to scan, digest and understand.
Feature Requests from Vendors 👉 Profile Enhancements
- See review counts by filters
- Review tags for country, size and type to more easily find relevant reviews
- Increased visibility for partner recommendations by moving them out of a tabbed view within the reviews section into their own new dedicated section
- Add-on modules have been separated into their own dedicated section on profiles
Feature Requests from Users (hoteliers) 👉 Geographic Relevance Indicators
- Review segmentation and geographic popularity of a product by country
- Alerts to warn users if a given product may not be popular or serve their country
- Alert #1: No reviews from the user's country
- Alert #2: More than 50%+ of a product's reviews are from the same country
- Ability to find relevant reviews with country flags on reviews
- Filter reviews by country
$5k in Free Case Studies for Awards Participants!
This month all HotelTechAwards participants get up to 10x free case studies as a perk of participation ($5,000 value). Not only does this help you share your company's latest success stories with HTR's 300k+ hoteliers that visit the site each month but it also ensures a level playing field in the competition so that it doesn't cost more to share your success stories (one of the variables in the HT Score).
How It Works
- Publish a case study to the site between 10/1/23 - 10/31/23
- Complete the case study refund request form for the case study that you published once its been completed and posted to the site
Redesigned Hosted Ebook Landing Pages
Today we rolled out a full redesign of the hosted ebook landing pages to help elevate the promotion of Premium Member hosted reports and sponsored buyers guides and boost landing page conversion to generate more downloads.
Product Level Branding
Today we rolled out two new features to allow Premium Members to add extra product-level branding for branded profile banners and logos.
- Custom Product Banners (available w/all Premium Plans): Make your profiles catch the attention of visitors faster to more effectively market your products and boost conversion by replacing your company's generic branded banner with custom product specific profile banners
- Custom Product Logos (available w/Gold & Platinum Plans): Additional branding to enable more precise marketing of subsidiaries or sub-brands that are housed under the same umbrella/parent company
Partner Recommendations Tab
Several companies have requested an easier way to view, manage and update partner recommendations via the vendor dashboard which is why HTR just rolled out a new dedicated tab within the vendor dashboard where you can:
- View which partners have left you a recommendation
- View recommendation details
- Recommend your partner back
- Filter by product to see product-specific recommendations
- Update partner recommendations with 1-click to get them to count as fresh (similar to review updating)
Pricing UI Enhancement
Today we rolled out a redesign of the pricing tab within the profile editor based on feedback from both sides of the community (hoteliers and vendors). Complete the pricing section for each of your products to help pique buyer interest to convert into a price quote and for a quick boost to your HT Score.
- For Hoteliers. One of the most commonly requested pieces of information that hoteliers ask for most is pricing. Hoteliers constantly reach out asking if we can obtain relative pricing benchmarks to help them better understand which products fit their budget and how they benchmark relative to each other
- For Vendors. On the other hand, the feedback that we've gotten from most vendors is that they want pricing discretion and don't necessarily want their pricing publicly available (as evidenced by most vendors not having pricing on their websites...). This pricing UI update allows vendors to report an estimated price range (without any add-on modules or integration fees) for benchmarking purposes while also maintaining pricing discretion (by not having to publicly state a specific price or number)
- Our Solution. We created a way for vendors to share a rough pricing estimate for their base product for a single 100-room hotel (with no add-ons or integration fees) and then we benchmark this relative to other vendors in the category without disclosing pricing publicly
- Impact on Rankings. Pricing information continues to be part of the profile completeness HT Score variable and does impact rankings the same as it always has so it's important to make sure to fill in this section of the profile editor to make sure you don't lose points or have any negative impact to your rankings
Since the rollout of Instant Connect last year, the majority of vendors on the platform have migrated to accepting leads in real-time based on targeting criteria reducing their time-to-followup and cutting their CPL in half. With vendors now migrated to the Instant Connect system, we've had several requests for the ability to automatically decline leads that don't match your criteria which is why today we're rolling out the new Auto-Decline feature. Here's how it works:
- Enable Instant Connect in a category and set your targeting criteria
- Scroll to the bottom of the settings
- Select 'yes' if you would like to automatically decline leads that do not match your targeting criteria.
A couple things to note:
- Once you enable auto-decline, you'll no longer get notifications about leads that don't match your lead targeting criteria
- Once you decline a lead you won't be able to go back and change your mind (so make sure to only auto-decline segments that you absolutely cannot service)