A dramatic change is transforming the hotel industry. Following the lead of e-commerce retailers like Amazon and the online travel agencies, hotels are increasingly becoming gatekeepers and storefronts to the entire traveler experience. It’s an evolution based on the age-old concept of merchandising, but with a new twist.
In the past, hotels were primarily in the business of selling beds in rooms. But in this new era of merchandising, hoteliers will have the insights and retailing know-how to sell guests not just a bed, but an entire hotel experience delivered to serve each traveler’s unique needs. This opens up retailing opportunities for a huge range of products and services, whether that’s selling access to transport, food and drink, tours and activities, meeting space, or much more. Best of all, this strategic shift will help hotels generate more revenue while boosting guest satisfaction.
But even as this merchandising transformation takes hold, not all hotels are prepared. In order to succeed, hotels need to get much more strategic about knowing what their customers want at any given moment, something they can only do by generating smart insights from customer data, and by building a more flexible process for creating offers.