HNN: What emerging online distribution platforms or strategies are generating return on investment for you? Any that you’re avoiding? Stein: “Dynamic rate marketing and social commerce are very interesting for us right now. DRM allows real-time hotel inventory availability and pricing to be inserted into various e-commerce initiatives, from display advertising to paid search and email marketing. Displaying real-time rates and availability to a highly qualified audience helps us drive more direct bookings. “Also, while social media may drive just a small share of total online retail sales at the moment, its impact is becoming impossible to ignore. Social-driven sales and referral traffic are rising at a faster pace than all other online channels. “I wouldn’t say there is any platform I would avoid altogether. Sometimes you have to wait until a platform matures or for consumers to catch up to technologies and capabilities. As an example, Amazon Travel, which went live on 1 January, focuses on hotels and offers short descriptions of activities near each property. The commission is about 20%, but the return is still minimal. It’s still new, so it is too early to tell how effective it will be. “Many times, it’s about a hotel’s budget and the ability to test and compete. As always, we need to take into account the type of hotel, its business needs, guest demographics and the property’s location.” Get the full story at Hotel News Now