Awaiting your first booking on Viator? Follow the below steps to make sure your product is fully optimized to attract travelers.

You’ve signed up for Viator and created your first product(s). Congrats! But if you’ve just created your product and are eagerly awaiting your first booking, here are some quick tips you can follow to help speed the process along! These best practices will ensure your product is fully optimized and is properly positioned to capture travelers’ attention.

1 – Collect as Many Reviews as Possible to Establish a Good Reputation

Our research shows that reviews are the top decision-making factor for travelers. No matter where a customer books your product(s), they can always leave a review on Viator. And the more recent reviews of your products, the better, especially during peak season when many potential customers will be browsing your listings.

The Viator Management Center gives you the power to solicit reviews from travelers who have booked with your before. We automatically request reviews from travelers who book through Viator. Within the management center you can request review from travelers who didn’t book on our platform, such as guests who booked directly through your site or another OTA. This tool gives you the power to tap your existing database of customers for new reviews on Viator

Reviews are your biggest source of credibility. Building a strong base of quality reviews is a great way to give a traveler the confidence to be the first one to book your experience!

2 – Reduce Cutoff Time to Under 4 Hours to Capture Last-Minute Bookers

A low cutoff time, or your hours-in-advance to accept a booking, is a crucial factor to capture last-minute bookers—and a potential first booking. With a reduced cutoff time, your product is truly unlocked to those travelers that are already in-destination, browsing their mobile devices to book a last-minute activity. Skift found 35% of travelers have used mobile phones to book an experience while in-destination.

Why under 4 hours? Today’s travelers are seeking out unique, spur-of-the-moment experiences while they are on the go, and you want your tour to be available to them when inspiration strikes. There are numerous examples of when a traveler may be searching for an activity while in-destination (e.g. game planning over breakfast what tour they should do later in the afternoon), so make sure they can find your activity.

Lower your product’s cutoff time to within 4 hours of when it starts (or less—the lower the better!) and you’ll increase your chances for grabbing your first booking!

3 – Include 6+ High-Quality Photos of Your Experience

Research indicates that including 6 or more high-quality photos for your product can significantly increase the odds of getting a booking. Your photos reveal to travelers what sets your activity apart from the crowd. Consider using natural lighting for more vivid shots, highlighting the narrative of your experience by arranging photos in the proper order, correct composition techniques, plus maximizing resolution and image quality. Also ensure you own the photo you use and try to capture candid photos of travelers.

Avoid using screenshots, watermarks, blurry or dark photos, photos you don’t own, and don’t use collages.

4 – Use an Intro Offer to Entice New Customers to Book

We recently rolled out the ability to set up intro offers on your new products. Compared to similar offerings, lower-priced products receive their first booking nearly twice as fast. This self-service feature gives you the power to set discounts on new products, in order to drive your first booking. Implementing an intro offer for your new product is a fantastic way to attract attention and start receiving bookings. To qualify for an intro offer, your product must be no older than 30 days.

Not only does an intro offer entice customers with a discounted price (and beats out your competition), it also increases visibility on our site. Products with intro offers receive placement on pages dedicated to special offers on our sites and are included in exclusive marketing campaigns, which increases exposure and could lead to more travelers booking with you.

About the Author: Matt Ellis

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