Where do you look if you need a hotel in Nairobi or Dakar tonight?
For many African travellers, the answer is Jumia Travel. This hotel booking website has 200,000 listings worldwide in countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Myanmar. But Jumia Travel got its start in Africa, where it has 25,000 hotel listings and offers content in local languages like Yoruba, Ibo, Hausa and Swahili.
"The beauty of Jumia Travel is that we have hotels for all pockets," says Guido Mancassola, Chief Marketing Officer for Jumia Travel. "We have hotels from $3-5 a night up to 5 stars. Our grand belief is that there's a perfect stay for anybody."
To help more people find that perfect stay in their "Let’s-Book-It" moments, Jumia Travel turned to Google Hotel Ads.
Jumia Travel's users do "everything, everything with mobile," says Mancassola. At certain times – such as the second half of each day and the later days of each week – up to 75% of Jumia Travel's website traffic comes from mobile devices.
Jumia Travel also knows that its customers are highly price-conscious, whether travelling for business or for pleasure. They are also ready to travel; many Jumia Travel bookings are made less than 48 hours before check-in. So Jumia Travel markets with a local focus in each country, and includes mobile-friendly touches, like allowing users to snap and upload photos of the hotels they visit.
When a traveller looks for hotels on Google Search or Google Maps, they can see Jumia Travel's listing right up front on Google Hotel Ads. The ads combine Google technology with Jumia Travel's listings to show just what each traveller needs in their Let’s-Book-It moments: Jumia Travel's price, available dates, star ratings and vital information like "free wifi."
If the interface is fast and easy for the traveller, it's good for Jumia Travel as well. The marketing team sets its Google Hotel Ads account to raise or lower bids automatically according to such real-time parameters as device type, the advance booking window and the length of stay the user indicates.
“It’s a much more advanced product than what we’ve found elsewhere,” reports Mancassola. “The bidding mechanism is much more refined, so we can adjust how much we’re happy to pay for a click based on a percentage of the total booking value."
"We’ve been very positively surprised to see that after a Google Hotel Ads click, the conversion rate to booking is very high," says Mancassola. "Thanks to this, we can tie our bidding strategy quite closely to our ROI targets. It’s very transparent, and that's not something we’re able to do with our metasearch partners.”
Also a pleasant surprise: Google Hotel Ads was easy enough to use that Jumia Travel was able to launch and manage it without adding extra overhead to its marketing team. That made life simpler and helped keep ROI positive, says Mancassola.
"Google Hotel Ads is different. It's like a hybrid between SEM and meta-marketing. It's a new acquisition channel, but it's also very effective in terms of our strategic objective of growing our business."
Google Hotel Ads is helping Jumia Travel win more bookings with its mobile-first, price-conscious, time-sensitive audience. Google Hotel Ads is the most effective of all Jumia Travel's paid channels, says Guido Mancassola, with a conversion rate 88% higher than comparable channels.
The proof is in the bottom line: Since the launch of Google Hotel Ads, the company has improved its overall paid search conversion rate by 8 points and improved its site-level ROI by 4 points. Google Hotel Ads are also converting at a rate that’s twice as high as metasearch channels, with a bounce rate that’s 35% lower.
"The conversion rate with Google Hotel Ads is one of the highest we've ever experienced," says Mancassola.” You can capture a lot of demand with Google Hotel Ads. It’s been a tremendously effective acquisition channel.”