If you own a glamping site, or are starting a glamping business, you need to drop everything and read this immediately. Well maybe don’t drop your phone or computer, that would cause you some problems with the reading. Today we look at the 9 reasons every glamping site needs a great website. A website is something that even these days can be overlooked by small businesses, let’s try and make sure those small businesses aren’t owned by you.
As a glamping site owner myself, I really cannot stress enough how important the following points are. 97% of our bookings at North Coast 500 Pods come digitally, with over 80% of them coming directly from our own website. The future is now and we, as glamping site owners, need to adapt.
- A Website is Your Shop Front
- Everyone Buys from the Internet Now
- People Don’t Like Phoning Companies Now
- Social Media is Taking Over
- People Do Things in Their Own Time
- We Live in the Google Generation
- There Are Lots of Glamping Sites
- You Want a Glamping Business, Not a Glamping Job (I hope)
- Glamping Websites Have a Massive Return On Investment
A Website is Your Shop Front
People look on the internet when they are ‘window shopping’ now-a-days. Previously when looking for a holiday, they would have popped down to the local travel agent and looked in the window. This principle is still in play, it’s just gone digital, like everything else.
As glamping site owners we need to adapt with the times and put our shop front on the digital street that our potential visitors are scrolling through. Furthermore, we need to make that shop front outstanding, to bring people in the front door. That’s the aim of the game with any business, getting people in the door to see what you have to offer.
Every glamping site needs great homepage to ensure people want to go further in. Have a look at North Coast 500 Pods’ homepage below and ask yourself, would you enter this shop?
Outstanding, right? I’d enter, would you?
People decide the credibility of an entire business on the look of their website. In fact, they base a lot of this credibility purely on first impressions. Let’s make our first impressions great.
We alluded to this point in the previous section. Let’s put some more meat on the bones of it. According to ABTA – British Travel Association 81% of all holidays booked by Brits in 2018 were done online. Just take a second to think about that. If your glamping site doesn’t have a website you are essentially knocking back over 4 out of every 5 potential customers before they can even say your name. WOW. I know that if I didn’t have a great website for my glamping site and read that stat, I’d immediately start enquiring on how to get one.
I don’t think we need to say much more on this. The numbers speak for themselves.
This is a personality issue a lot of the British population seem to have now. Yes, I know, it’s probably not good that we don’t like speaking to eachother anymore. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. This point only reiterates the above, where we realised 81% of bookings in 2018 were done online.
In 2018 less than 15% of holidays booked by Brits were done over the phone. For a glamping site, if you can only take bookings over the phone or have a poor website, have a think about that number! As for foreign nationals, I’d imagine even less of them would make a phone call when looking to book a glamping stay in the UK. In fact we have never had a call from someone foreign. A lot book through our website but in fact, even more book through channels, mainly Booking.com.
Social media is absolutely massive just now and is only going to grow further and further. Social media statistics from 2019 show that there are 3.2 billion users worldwide, and this number is only growing. That equates to about 42% of the current population (Emarsys, 2019). The majority of the UK have social media.
So how does this relate to our glamping sites? Well, our social media platforms link in to our websites. Social media throws potential customers at us via our websites. If we don’t have a website the link is cut!
According to a recent study, 74 percent of consumers draw up purchasing decisions using social media. These numbers are crazy! You can see North Coast 500 Pods Instagram and Facebook pages. We have a combined reach of over 15k people. That’s 15,000 potential customers.
At the risk of sounding like a marketing mogul, social media fills our potential customer funnel full of people! Having a poor website cuts that funnel in half and a lot of our potential customers drop out the sides! That’s the last thing we want.
The nature of the internet means people do things in their own time. In fact, there have been mornings where I have woken up to bookings with revenue generated higher than the cost of a website. So whilst I slept, my website made me more than the cost of the website itself!
We have night hawks and early birds up and down the country as well as people looking to book our pods from abroad at all hours of the day and night. The ‘telephone booking’ model falls down here. So does email booking to an extent, when people want something they tend to want it now. A great website allows this, nothing else does!
When someone wants something these days, what do they do? The go on Google of course. Google only lists websites – obviously. So we need to get ourselves visible to Google via a website.
For Google to really like us, we need to actually do a little more work than just a website. This is called SEO (search engine optimisation). But that’s a conversation for another day.
So I’m sure you’ll be aware there are glamping sites popping up everywhere. We need to set ourselves apart from the rest. When better to do it that when someone is looking to book a glamping holiday?
We’ve established someone wanting to book a glamping holiday has an 80% chance of doing it online. They’re going to Google glamping holidays near you. If you have a website and your neighbour doesn’t, there’s about a 90% chance they’ll book with you, should you both have the same level of glamping pods.
If you and your neighbouring glamping site have the same level of pods it’s a 50/50 chance that they’ll book you, right? Wrong. The potential customer will almost certainly make their decision based on your two websites. That is why we as glamping site owners need GREAT websites!
This is maybe more a general business fundamental problem rather than glamping sites alone but let’s run with it. People start their own business to become business people, don’t they?
A business should be able to run itself whether the owner is there at the time or not. A website allows us to have that in our glamping business. Without a website we are creating a job for ourselves. Answering phone calls, taking payments and doing admin. That’s a job. A website automates an entire branch of your glamping business.
This may be a bit outlandish for some of you but for those that made sense to, the book I have on my desk right now is definitely worth a read. The E Myth Revisited – Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.
Glamping Websites Have a Massive Return On Investment
This is why we all have a glamping site, isn’t it? Yes it may not be directly for the money but every one of us is at least in this indirectly for the money. We do it for the freedom, for the opportunity to spend more time with our kids. To work from home or to jack that job we hate. Every one of those reasons is related to our return on investment.
Websites simply will be the highest return on investment asset in your glamping business.
Based on North Coast 500 Pods bookings through the website, we would have a 2000% return on investment, in 3 months alone. That is based on the average cost of a high end glamping website like ours.
The return on investment would of course be nowhere near that if we didn’t have a channel manager system. You can see this on our booking page.
A Website for Your Glamping Site is a No Brainer
I’m not even sure we need to conclude on the above. A website is an absolutely fundamental asset in your glamping business.
North Coast 500 Pods website traffic February -August 2019. The number don’t lie. 35 thousand visitors in only a few months. So many potential customers.