All-inclusive or buy-the-bed and add on? This type of proposition was mass delivered to market initially by the budget airlines. The premise of this was “buy what you want, and do not pay for services that you don’t need or won’t use”. For the airlines, this meant asking fliers if they didn’t mind a middle seat at the back of the plane, were they ok being the last to board, could they travel without checked luggage, and forgo food or drinks. The consumer now has the choice to strip away all the extra services and just pay for a seat.
According to a consumer survey commissioned by Airbnb in 2018, what travellers’ value most is a surprisingly simple list of amenities. Air conditioning was selected as one of the essential indoor amenities – even over Wi-Fi. The majority rated functionality first and thoughtfulness second.
Within our sector, we are beginning to see technology assist brands in delivering a hospitality version of this concept. Optional cleaning, Wi-Fi, room size, windowless rooms, and limited 24-hour front desk are all generally available as a choice the consumer can now make. However, the industry can do more to promote this proven consumer purchasing requirement.
A personalised approach to upselling is another way to increase revenue. Brands should get creative and offer personal choice services and amenities such as grocery shopping, early check-in, pillows choice, etc. We believe that not only do these offers make the consumer feel more comfortable with the purchase but are likely to spend the same if not more by personalising their stay with bespoke add-on services and amenities.
According to the 2019 Skift Megatrends Report, two keys to implementing personalisation are data and timing. Capturing the appropriate data will allow you to analyse a customer or buyer persona and tailor offers they are most likely to purchase. Understanding your customer’s journey can improve the timing of offers. For example, a person booking 30-days in advance may not think a pre-stocked refrigerator is necessary but receiving an offer 2-days before check-in is likely to be relevant. Every ancillary sale has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line and a chance to improve your service.
What do you offer, how flexible are you, have you explored customer feedback, can you improve rate by offering less?