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Retailing Excellence Special:

Best Practices for a Hotelier Taking First Steps in Retailing – Issue 2

Are you just embarking on your retailing journey in hospitality? Wondering if you are setting up your first virtual store in the right way? This retailing special provides some “Best practices for a hotelier taking first steps in retailing”.

This article is broken down into two main components, Ancillary Products1 & Content Management.

By Derek Hervey | Retailing Excellence Lead at Sabre Hospitality

hotelier first steps

Ancillary Products

  1. Continuously expand the array of additional revenue opportunities through policies, services, experiences & goods. Hoteliers first steps as adopters of SynXis Retailing have seen more success as they offer unique ancillaries in each of the four main product categories2. This creates variety for the guests’ shopping experience.
  2. Scale up your virtual store to a minimum of 15+ ancillary products. This allows for personalization to occur for the guests as they will have choices among the categories and within the categories. Choices empower guests and generates satisfaction in their shopping journey. Remember that SynXis Retailing allows for unlimited ancillary products. 
  3. Offer different sub-categories within a category to further drive variety for guest. For example, in the category of policies, there are sub-categories, you could offer stay policies, pet policies, travel insurance policies, etc. Offering a variety of sub-categories will help the hotel to further drive personalization and understand how to optimize and drive categorical revenue.
  4. Drive innovation with experimentation of new ancillaries that are specific to your properties unique value proposition. Explore revenue opportunities that will reflect the hotel’s brand. Innovation and experimentation of new ancillaries also allows for ways to elevate the hotel brand’s equity and to broaden their product offering scope.
  5. Rotate ancillaries in line with seasonality and guests’ expectations to offer the most desired items. For example, explore partnerships with local vendors to build and drive the experience category: tickets for nearby attractions that are in-line with the season like whale watching. This type of retailing generates excitement for the guest and drives impulse purchasing as they don’t want to miss seasonal experiences and attractions. These are encouraged initiatives any hoteliers should take as their first steps.

Content Management

  1. Provide top-quality high-resolution imagery with each offer. Guests rely on engaging visuals to determine if an offering is worth purchasing. When adding images to SynXis Retailing, always use higher resolution digital photos. The photos will automatically be resized appropriately, and by using higher resolution means that the images will appear sharper on screen even at a reduced size.
  2. Double check that content in photos matches feature titles of ancillaries. Images should accurately depict the offering. For example, if the spa is part of a ski resort hotel, an image of an oceanside massage would not make sense. To help drive ancillary conversion make sure that content from image and feature title match up correctly.
  3. Verify that ancillary offerings have more than one image. At times in virtual shopping, guests undervalue products not because of the product itself but because the product imagery is only showcased through one hero image. Allow guests to browse multiple photos outside of the hero image to create a carousel view for each ancillary product.
  4. Build the right and captivating ancillary feature title. Outside of imagery, the feature title of the ancillary is the most important driving content variable for purchase. For example, consider more appealing headlines in a newspaper that draws attention to the article. This is a similar approach, but make sure it is authentic to the ancillary. Moreover, the content in the feature will update to match the choices on the SynXis Retailing platform. Be sure that attributes and variants are clearly named to help the guest easily navigate options.
  5. Identify the right detailed descriptions for each ancillary. Descriptions and disclaimers should be short enough to provide guests the information they need and clear enough to communicate what the customer needs to know. Brevity allows for scannability, especially for content viewed on mobile devices.


  • Ancillary1 (ancillary products): Any trip-oriented products including policies, services, experiences, or goods that are offered beyond the room. For example, a late check out, transportation, an event, or branded merchandise etc.
  • Product Categories2: Classification of ancillaries that is used for offer management, reporting, analytics, etc. In SynXis Retail Studio, our product categories consist of policies, services, experiences, and goods
  • Policies: Including stay policies, pet policies, travel insurance, stay enhancements (room view, balcony, floor, etc.) and more
  • Services: Including daily pool pass, breakfast in bed, cabana rental, transportation, laundry, spa services and more
  • Experiences: Concert/event tickets, tickets for nearby attractions, activities (yoga, golf, horseback riding, etc.), dining experiences (Easter brunch, wine & cheese tasting, etc.) and more
  • Goods: Merchandise that can be purchased (pillows, toiletries, coffee mugs, robes, shirts, etc.) as well as food and beverage such as a to-go breakfast or a bottle of champagne
  • TRevPAR: Total revenue per available room. This KPI enables hoteliers to measure profit optimization beyond accommodation revenue (RevPAR) as it takes into consideration all revenue streams generated as part of an accommodation booking. This industry KPI has attracted more attention as of late due to the revolution of ecommerce and retailing capabilities that enable hoteliers to now capture revenue streams before, during and after a hotel stay and is now commonly used and should be part of the hotelier first steps learning.

Are you ready to get started on your retailing journey?

with SynXis® Retailing