Guest Comment – Evening Bookings

The majority of online glamping bookings are placed after 8pm reveals Jonathan Knight, CEO of coolcamping.com

Couple looking at tablet
Pic: Getty Images

With thousands of glampers using our online Bedfulbooking system each year, we are in an excellent position to spot trends in booking behaviours. Our most recent analysis of visitors in 2017–18 has revealed that over 40 per cent of bookings are placed between the hours of 7pm–11pm, peaking at nine o’clock at night.

This is no great surprise, as night time bookings reveal the reality of everyday life – that most of us are too busy in the day and are reluctant to interrupt our office working hours.

The data, taken from our website’s booking system, Bedful, highlights the growing trend in the glamping industry of having a complete 24-hour presence online, with a website capable of taking online bookings during ‘out of hours’ periods.

While our data shows that bookings usually peak at around nine o’clock, we still have customers at one or two in the morning. Some will be night owls who stay up late to organise their holidays and others will be international customers who are travelling to the UK from abroad.

A further 3 per cent of bookings were shown to have been processed between the late hours of 11pm–5am.

The results come as we also see new growth in year-on-year bookings, with good weather boosting the 2018 season, and further growth in online bookings across the outdoor accommodation industry.

Cool campingThe expectation of today’s consumers is that everything is available online. The Cool Camping website now has over three million visitors each year and in April we launched a second, luxury glamping website – glampingly.co.uk – to further tailor our presence online.

While the new data suggests online bookings remain the growing area for modern marketing, there’s still a place for phone-in bookings and emails, however.

Our systems also offer a dashboard and diary function where telephone bookings are completed but the stats show that late evening is very much a peak time for booking interest and a point when consumers, having had discussions with friends and family, make their final purchase. It’s important to be able to take a booking at that time.

Tips for Capitalising on evening interest

  • Ensure online booking is prominent: Use an online booking system and ensure your booking button or calendar is in a prominent position on your website. Add calling hours (such as “from 9am–6pm”) next to your telephone number if applicable and prompt people to make bookings on your website outside of those hours.
  • Target social media for peak hours: Schedule your important social media posts and tweets outside of daily working hours (such as during lunch breaks or after 6pm) to maximise their exposure and hit customers with your message at the most relevant time.
  • Integrate your systems to avoid double bookings: Use a fully integrated booking system, like Bedful, to ensure third party websites such as AirBnB, Cool Camping and Glampingly are all connected to safeguard against double bookings while you’re sleeping.

About the Author
Jonathan Knight is CEO of coolcamping.com. Over the last 10 years, the Cool Camping guidebooks and website have been at the forefront of British camping and glamping, recognising small, independent, special places to stay that go the extra mile. The Cool Camping website’s booking software – known independently as Bedful – allows businesses to process bookings on their own websites as well as through coolcamping.com.

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