Today’s hotel market has seen a resurgence in travel demand, but in many ways it’s a very different environment than it was before 2020. On the one hand, the cost of workforce will begin to grow as hoteliers offer salaries, benefits, and career advancement opportunities. to address chronic staff shortages. Customer demand has also changed, as customers are beginning to expect higher levels of service, greater personalization of the customer experience, and more widespread adoption of hybrid travel models, such as travel bleisure or short term rentals.
Success in this new hospitality market requires a more holistic approach to revenue generation that is implemented through flexible and seamlessly integrated mobile technology. Instead of focusing solely on increasing room occupancy and revenue per night, hoteliers should consider every touchpoint of the guest journey and every space in their hotel as a potential way to drive revenue and growth. improve the customer experience. This holistic approach to revenue generation is only possible thanks to advances in mobile hotel technology that allow guests to personalize their stay and hoteliers to manage every aspect of their property from anywhere with an internet connection.
Diversify your hotel assets to include hourly/daily rates and short-term rentals
There is no reason for hotels to limit themselves to only offering overnight room reservations. Expanding asset classes to include hourly or day-use rates and short-term rentals allows hotels to meet the needs of emerging market traveler segments. Hourly reservations have been especially useful for airport hotels, allowing them to better serve busy air travelers facing extended layovers or flight delays. Hourly rates also allow hotels to capitalize on the growing trend towards remote working by offering rooms as a quiet and productive “escape” from a noisy or distracting homework environment. Hotels that have a spa, golf course, or other resort-type amenities can also take advantage of day bookings to meet the needs of local guests who want to experience these activities, without necessarily booking a room for the night. On the other side of the time spectrum, creating a short-term rental asset allows hotels to directly compete with Airbnb and other vacation rental properties in their market.
Leverage mobile upgrades to increase ancillary revenue
Compared to the airline industry, hotels are grossly underutilizing their ancillary revenue generation potential. Although the airline industry’s ancillary revenues declined significantly during the pandemic, in 2021 they had grew over 13% to $65.8 billionand composed 14.4% of total worldwide airline industry revenue. The hospitality industry is far from reaching these numbers, although it has many more opportunities to generate ancillary revenue in ways that add value to the guest experience.
Mobile technology can go a long way in bridging this gap. A mobile PMS system can provide a seamless self-check-in experience for hotel guests. By integrating mobile check-in with a digital payment gateway, keyless entry system and guest messaging system, hotels can enable guests to skip long lines at reception and check in entirely from their smartphone. While this feature is certainly handy, it also creates the perfect touchpoint for hotels to send targeted automated offers for room upgrades, amenities, loyalty benefits, and monetized early check-ins/late check-outs directly to the mobile device in the hands of their customers. .
This method has proven to be much more effective than traditional in-person upselling at the front desk, achieving conversation rates as high as 18% for in-room upsells and 10% for add-ons. This is because traditional upselling often feels forced and offers are rarely directly relevant to the customer and their unique habits and preferences. Mobile upselling, however, can personalize offers based on a comprehensive customer profile and discreetly deliver messages to key touchpoints in the customer journey.
Integrating your PMS with a customer relationship management (CRM) system as well as an upgrade optimizer can further increase your revenue. CRMs build on your PMS’s existing guest profile by adding guest loyalty status, travel intent, custom interests, propensity to spend, and custom survey results. The CRM can then leverage this more nuanced data set to deliver more effective offers and messaging throughout the customer journey. Upgrade Optimizers go one step further by intelligently optimizing the price of upgrades and tailoring offers based on a customer’s unique travel needs and personality.
Make the most of unused space
Each section of the hotel has the potential to be monetized as a guest-centric space. In addition to mobile check-in, hotels that use smart guest-facing kiosks can essentially eliminate the front desk from their lobby. The result is the transformation of the lobby from an overgrown waiting room into a monetized space for socializing, dining and co-working. Integrating with a mobile point-of-sale (PoS) system allows your customers to continue their mobile experience across all of your hotel’s dining establishments. Instead of having to wait to get an associate’s attention in the lobby lounge to order appetizers and drinks, customers can simply sit down, scan a QR code, and bring up their order while they check their e-mails or enjoy a conversation.
Optimizing Stay Personalization: The Future Belongs to Attribute-Based Purchasing
The trend towards hyper-personalization of the customer journey is only growing. In the near future, hotels will once again follow the lead of airlines and adopt attribute-based shopping (ABS) as their primary booking strategy. ABS is a group of pricing technologies and strategies that breaks down products into their component attributes, allowing customers to create their own end products by selecting a series of preferred attributes. Instead of the traditional booking method, where guests choose between finite and standardized room types, ABS allows guests to “build” their ideal room by selecting a series of desired attributes, including floor number, the type of view, the number of beds, and the addition of a variety of room features like a balcony or a bathtub.
Although the technology behind ABS has been around for over a decade, it still needs to be greatly simplified if it is to be fully exploited by hotels and their guests. For ABS to succeed, a hotel’s technology stack 一 and specifically, PMS, CRS and RMS 一 will need to be aligned to introduce a streamlined approach to ABS that can generate revenue, without defragmenting the inventory or overwhelm the customer with too many foreign choices.
Keep in touch recently partnered with the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality to conduct a comprehensive survey of American travelers’ sentiments toward attribute-based shopping 一 the first study of its kind for the hospitality industry. The results were encouraging: after discovering the concept of ABS, almost everything of respondents (97%) expressed some level of interest, with 57% being “very” or “extremely” interested. Respondents generally had a high opinion of APA, with supermajorities saying it would increase personalization (78%) and transparency (68%), and strong majorities saying it would be “convenient (59%) and “simple” to use (58%). Even more interestingly, nearly two-thirds of travelers (63%) who pay more than $251 per night and 48% of those who pay between $151 and $250 per night were willing to pay more to select their preferred room features. .
In the years to come, ABS will represent the culmination of existing trends towards increasing mobility and the personalization of the guest experience within the hospitality industry. It will also represent an unprecedented opportunity for hotels to generate revenue while improving the convenience and personalization of the guest journey.
Nicole Dehler is Vice President of Products at Stayntouch
Stayntouch provides a complete cloud and mobile hotel property management system (PMS) and 1100+ integrations, enabling hotels to increase service levels, drive revenue, reduce costs and ultimately captivate their guests . Backed by a team of professionals with deep roots in the hospitality industry, Stayntouch is a trusted partner to many forward-thinking hotels and resorts, including TWA Hotel, First Hotels, Conscious Hotels, Margaritaville, Valencia Hotel Group and Modus Hotels. Stayntouch is also a preferred PMS partner for some of the world’s leading independent hotel collections including; Design Hotels, an independent Marriott brand and Curator Hotel & Resort Collection.
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