What are hotel Black Friday sales?

Hotel Black Friday sales are the deals and discounts offered up by accommodation providers on Black Friday, a retail holiday that started in America. Decades ago business owners saw the opportunity to make good money – or ‘get into the black’ – by offering deals the day after the US holiday of Thanksgiving. And so Black Friday was born.

Black Friday is no longer a single day event, in fact it’s not even restricted to a weekend anymore. The sales bonanza is getting longer and more serious every year, and more globally accepted. 

Even in countries like Australia, where the term ‘Black Friday’ has held a much different and more sinister meaning, retailers and businesses are adopting the practice and offering amazing deals to customers.

While it’s traditionally been a retail shopping experience, more and more industries are starting to take advantage of the opportunity. For hotels, it’s a great way to kick start the holiday booking period.

Let’s take a closer look!

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Why are hotel Black Friday deals important?

As a manufactured retail holiday, Black Friday has essentially created significant consumer demand out of nothing. It gives people an excuse to splurge on themselves, not just others, in the lead-up to the festive season.

The more popular Black Friday becomes around the globe, the more businesses and consumers will participate, and the more important it is for your hotel to create offers that will tempt potential guests.

If you fail to create tempting Black Friday hotel deals, you’ll fail to secure Black Friday hotel sales – your slice of an ever-growing pie which can be worth thousands and thousands of dollars to your hotel. Black Friday represents a huge opportunity for your business, and it’s up to you to take it.

What you need to know about hotel Black Friday sales 

Usually reserved for the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday, Black Friday is now seeing itself stretched out over the entire weekend, with businesses also offering ‘sneak peek’ deals well in advance of the November date.

It’s a day for shoppers to celebrate, as they hunt for fantastic deals without having to worry about overspending on their favourite items. It also represents the perfect time to look for travel and hotel deals.

To give you a head start on how you might start building a Black Friday hotel deal campaign, here are five of many statistics gathered by Finances Online:

  • Black Friday traffic stemming from social media grew 7% from 2016-2019
  • Online holiday purchases in the US grew 32% in 2022
  • In 2020, November ecommerce sales reached $100 billion for the first time
  • 58% of Gen Z, and 54% of millennials rely heavily on Black Friday specials, compared to 37% of baby boomers
  • 36% of shoppers are influenced by promotions/limited time sales while an easy to use website/app is key for 21%

With online traffic, social media traffic, and mobile traffic ever-increasing, it’s vital your hotel is paying attention to how you should be engaging with travellers and also the ability of your website to accommodate prospective guests in their booking process.

Image representing black friday hotel sales

7 tips when creating your hotel’s Black Friday deals

There’s quite a lot of variety in what you can offer guests during hotel Black Friday sales, to ensure you start the holiday period with a healthy occupancy rate assured in the future.

Here are some ideas you should consider:

1. Start early

There’s no need to wait until the end of November to launch deals and communications on your website or social media pages. You can create buzz and awareness well before the event by posting teasers and sneak peeks. A great way to build a base of potential customers is to create a mailing list – ask people to sign up to receive a notification the second your deals go on sale.

2. Be creative

This almost doesn’t need to be said but you need to find ways to stand out amongst the noise. Some hotels might offer one outrageously attractive deal with limited inventory to get visitors to their website, seeking other offers when the original carrot is gone. What’s something special you can create to get travellers excited and visiting your website?

3. Focus on value

Yes, discounts are usually what shoppers are looking for but given the pandemic, slashing your rates too much won’t be the best road to recovery. Instead, focus on value-adds for guests. Let them choose carefully curated packages that promise to enhance their in-stay experience, such as additional goodies in their room or free access to certain amenities.

4. Stay flexible

This applies to how you win bookings and also how you treat travellers. Be flexible with your cancellation policies and create a loyalty program that gives people choice around how they use rewards or take advantage of offers. Consider offering vouchers so you aren’t closing yourself off to future sales if someone isn’t ready to finalise a trip right now or if they want to gift spending credit to a loved one.

5. Remarket

Remarketing is how you can reach travellers who visited your site or started a booking but didn’t complete their purchase. You can use Google or Facebook services to remarket and make sales you otherwise would have lost forever.

6. Personalise your offers

Should everyone get the same offer? What about people who have stayed at your hotel before and are already part of your loyalty program. Surprise these customers with Black Friday hotel offers available only to them. This will make them feel appreciated and pampered, further cementing their love for your brand.

7. Be community oriented

As the holiday season approaches hot on the heels of Black Friday, the theme of giving abounds and customers love a business that gives back. Even something small, like getting behind a charity and donating a portion of your hotel Black Friday sales could help you stand out and build a strong relationship with potential guests.

Examples of the best hotel deals for Black Friday

What exactly do the best hotel deals for Black Friday look like? Let’s take a look at a few examples of Black Friday hotel offers that might serve as inspiration for your own deals.

Popular types of Black Friday hotel specials include:

  • Discounts: Everyone likes to feel as though they’re getting a deal, so offering a percentage off your normal room rate or a dollar figure discount is an effective way to encourage hotel Black Friday sales.
  • Hotel credit: Give a guest something for nothing by offering free credit to use on your hotel services – at the bar, restaurant, day spa, or on in-room dining.
  • One night free: Designed to encourage longer stays at your hotel, Black Friday deals that offer a bonus night – e.g. ‘get your fourth night free!’ – can actually see a guest spending more with you than they otherwise might.
  • Free room upgrade: Offering a premium room at a standard rate is a more eye-catching way to offer a discount, and can help you exceed your guests’ expectations, which can lead to valuable reviews.
  • Complementary extras: Something as simple as a free massage, a goodie basket or a bottle of bubbles can be all it takes to get a guest to choose you over another property.

Key factors to secure guests that are after Black Friday hotel deals

To ensure your conversion rates are as high as you can get them, it’s important you pay close attention to the quality of your website and booking systems.

  1. Mobile-friendly

Shoppers are increasingly using mobile devices to make their purchases, so if your website and booking engine are mobile optimised you’ll be missing out on a lot of revenue

  1. Utilise OTAs

Online travel agents such as Booking.com, Expedia, and Wotif will always run Black Friday promotions and travellers will often comb these sites for deals. Be visible by connecting to extra channels. You can do this with no extra hassle by using a channel manager.

  1. Plan around your guest

Maintain a plan around your target audience. Who strikes the happy medium of being suitable for your hotel and also being willing to participate in the madness of Black Friday. Do some pre-planning around who your ideal customer is.

Not sure you have all the tools to pull-off a big Black Friday campaign? 

Little Hotelier is a software platform designed specifically for small accommodation providers – helping you manage your admin, get more bookings, and grow your revenue.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).