Key Actions for Hotel Retailing Success
Over the last couple of months we have guided you through the trends and technology shaping the Future of Hotel Booking. We offered our definition of "Hotel Retailing", listed emerging trends and themes, gave user scenarios and provided ideas of how hoteliers can leverage the trends.
Here we list the key actions for hotel retailing success:
Every interaction with a brand's digital or physical property offers the chance to build on an existing relationship. By using the data captured during previous stays, as well as stated preferences online, hotels have the opportunity to uniquely tailor every touch-point to individual guests. Adding custom recommendations and promotions, factoring in loyalty perks or offering bespoke service during the booking process can not only surprise and delight, but also help convert sales and encourage repeat stays.
Best-in-class brands are supporting travelers at key moments in the booking experience with contextually relevant information that can drive purchases. Whether offering deals, promotions or perks at the point of booking, or providing relevant follow-ups and reminders, these offerings arrive at timely moments along the entire purchase path. Additionally, these messages can factor in external contexts like time of day or weather to capitalize on moments when travelers might be more open to completing a transaction.
Today's consumers are comfortable browsing and buying from a wider variety of channels and devices. As a way to capture the intent of aspirational travelers in the moment, hotel brands must develop ways to streamline the path to purchase on every one of their platforms. By offering visual and audio recognition tech that instantly identifies pertinent booking details, using known data to auto-fill forms or creating one-click transactions, hotels can close the gap between discovery and purchase.
Travelers interacting with brand properties across devices and platforms are expecting a unifying, consistent experience throughout that allows them to pick up a booking process on one device where they left off another. Developing a comprehensive system for syncing shopper profiles across channels, offering recognized engagements and experiences at every stage of the purchase path, can ensure travelers feel supported regardless of where they choose to book.
Forward thinking brands are optimizing the user experience of their digital properties by tailoring display content to the type of device being for browsing and booking. By customizing the depth and layout of information for each of their platforms, brands can deliver a consistent, but optimized user experience. This focus on adaptive design anticipates traveler needs to streamline the booking journey regardless of the device being used to complete an action.
Despite the growing number of digital tools available to streamline and automate the booking process, for many travelers there's still no substitute for assistance from a knowledgeable member of staff. New communication tools and platforms are instantly connecting customers with a live representative for in-the-moment service and insider advice to help improve the booking experience and offer ongoing support throughout a trip. These efforts not only deliver additional assurances at the time of booking, but also build deeper relationships between a customer and brand.
360-degree and real-time video technologies are offering new possibilities for how people will experience media, entertainment and even remote locations in the future. By leveraging these virtual reality and live-streaming platforms, hotel brands can immerse their guests in the sights, sounds, and feel of a destination from anywhere to close the gap between imagination and real life. These tools can help inspire plans for a new trip or provide the extra nudge needed for a guest to book their next holiday.
In a hyper connected world, consumers have become accustomed to getting what they want when they want it. On demand services have shortened the acceptable wait time between a request and its fulfillment. Hoteliers looking to meet this new service expectation must also look to ways to hasten the delivery of experiences such as streamlining the booking process and allowing instant access to assistance along the way.
For a full copy of the Future of Hotel Booking report and details on the 3 key themes and 10 trends identified, download the complete report at http://www2.sabrehospitality.com/FutureofHotelBooking.