XolaBot Lightning Deals

Xolabot's Lightning Deals feature allows you to automatically offer last-minute promotions on your website.  XolaBot - our automated marketing bot - lives on your website and engages visitors to drive conversions and increase revenue.

There are two min ways use Lightning Deals:

    1. Increase occupancy for distressed inventory. Distressed inventory is the idea that you have a timeslot where the arrival time is approaching and there aren't many or any bookings yet. For example, let's say that you have a tour time coming up in 12 hours that can accommodate 16 people but there are only 2 people booked (12.5% utilized). That could be considered a distressed inventory and Lightning Deals could offer last-minute deals to incentive website visitors to book distressed inventory. This will ultimately allow you to increase bookings during times that aren't as popular. You define what qualifies as distressed inventory when setting up Lightning Deals. 
    2. Increase bookings for specific times of the day or days of the week. If your business has typically slow times of the week or day, you can use Lightning Deals to only offer discounts for timeslots that fall during your less busy times. For example you could set up a Lightning Deal that invites people to book for 15% off on weekdays before 5 pm.

XolaBot & Lightning Deals Demo

When someone lands on you're a website, they will be offered a Lightning Deal if it fits the settings that you configure. Here is how it will look from your customers perspective. 

There are three steps the website visitor must act on before they go to the Xola online checkout window:

First, they are asked if they are interested in a Lightning Deal. The copy is: "Hi! We’re offering some last-minute ⚡deals for {Name of Listing}. Are you interested in learning more?"

They have two options to pick from:

  • "YES, PLEASE": This will bring them to the next prompt where they can select the number of people in their reservation.
  • "NO, THANKS": This will mark the message as read and it will go away. 

Second, they are shown what the discount offer is and are asked to select their party size. The messaging for this is: "Fantastic! We may be able to offer you up to 25% off your booking. How many people are in your group?" The discount messaging is based on the coupon campaign you have chosen.

The buttons they select is the size of their party. This ensures they are only shown timeslots that can accommodate their group size. 

Third, the visitor is presented with the available times. Once they select the timeslot the Xola booking window opens and their discount is automatically applied.


Getting Started with Lightning Deals

To set up your Lightning Deals, you first need to enable it from the App Store and then configure your preferences. Click here for a video walk through on getting started with Lightning Deals.

  1. Within Xola, log in as an Admin
  2. Select App Store from the top navigation
  3. Search for XolaBot
  4. Select Install on Lightning Deals and follow the prompts.

Once on the settings page, you have the following configuration options:

  • Experience: Lightning deals allows you to promote one listing at a time. From the drop-down list, select the listing for which you'd like to offer Lightning Deals. 
  • Coupon: The specific parameters of the Lightning Deal are based on the discount coupon campaign you select. From here, you have two options:
    • Option 1: Select an existing coupon campaign from the drop-down list.
    • Option 2: Go to Marketings > Coupons and create a discount coupon specifically for this Lightning Deal. The new coupon must be a discount style coupon. Learn more about setting up a coupon campaign here.
  • Delay: This the number of seconds after someone lands on your site before XolaBot will offer the Lightning Deals. For example, if it is set to 3, then the lightning deal will be shown 3 seconds after the visitor lands on your site. 
  • Minimum capacity utilization: Capacity utilization refers to what percent of a timeslot  is booked. For example, if a tour time can take 12 people, and 3 are already booked, then the capacity utilization is 25%. Lightning Deals will allow you to specify the range in which timeslots will be shown. If you select the minimum to be 0% and the maximum to be 50%, then only timeslots that are less than half booked will be offered as Lightning Deals.
  • Maximum capacity utilization: This sets the maximum of the capacity utilization range. 
  • Duration before the event: This allows you to specify how far in advance of a timeslot a Lightning Deal will be shown. For example, if you set it to 24 hours, then any timeslot that is within 24 hours and within the capacity utilization range will be shown. But, if a timeslot is more than 24 hours away, then Lightning Deals will never show it. This ensures that people are not able to book your last-minute lightning deals weeks in advance. 

You can configure Lightning Deals to best match your business needs. Keep reading to see examples of the two main ways of using XolaBot Lightning Deals.

Increase utilization for distressed inventory

This use case is geared toward using Lightning Deals primarily to fill underutilized timeslots. This is well-suited if you are looking to offer a discount anytime of day or day of the week, so long as the timeslot meets your capacity utilization settings.

We suggest first determining what range you should use by looking at the Capacity Utilization report. If you don't have this enabled, you can go to the App Store, search for Capacity Utulization, and enable the app. It will be located under the Reports tab. 

Once you have that enabled, select the listing for which you want to offer Lightning Deals and your last month of data. You'll see something like this:

Screen_Shot_2018-12-13_at_3.40.40_PM.png

This allows you to easily visualize low or no capacity timeslots in order to get a sense of how offering Lightning Deals for distressed inventory could increase bookings for those timeslots.

A possible Lightning Deals configuration might look like this if you wanted to incentive website visitors to book distressed inventory.

  • Experience: Listing for the lightning deal
  • Coupon: 25% off discount coupon.
  • Delay: 1 second (which will show almost immediately)
  • Minimum capacity utilization: 0%
  • Maximum capacity utilization: 50%
  • Duration before the event: 5 Days

In this setup, any timeslot within 5 days and under 50% booked will receive a one-time offer for 25% off. You could even get a little fancier and set up the coupon associated with this Lightning Deal to only be offered during weekdays. This prevents Lightning Deals from being offered for timeslots during the weekend!

These are just some ideas to get you started. Each business is unique and you will have the best idea of what configuration makes the most sense for your business.

Increase bookings for specific times of the day or days of the week

Lightning Deals can be restricted based on the paramaters of the coupon campaign, which allows you to base your Lightning Deals on time of day or day of the week rather than, or in addition to, capacity utilization. For example, if you only want to show Lightning Deal time-slots for your weekday morning timeslots, all you need to do is adjust the coupon arrival times to something along these lines:

Screen_Shot_2018-12-13_at_4.10.06_PM.png

Perhaps you might want to configure Lightning Deals with something like this:

  • Experience: Listing for the lightning deal
  • Coupon: 25% off discount coupon.
  • Delay: 1 second (which will show almost immediately)
  • Minimum capacity utilization: 0%
  • Maximum capacity utilization: 50%
  • Duration before the event: 2 weeks

With this setup, we are extending the duration before the event to 2 weeks, which offers more opportunities to fill our weekday morning timeslots. A campaign like this would be useful for businesses that are very busy on weekday nights and weekends but struggle to bring people in during regular business hours.  

These are just some ideas to get you started. Each business is unique and you will have the best idea of what configuration makes the most sense for your business.



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