Thought Leadership

Hoteliers have a language problem, but it’s not what you think. It’s not the ability to speak to people from other countries. It’s the way they sell their products – their rooms. Given the amount of competition in the hotel industry, you would think that product differentiation would be a priority. But go to almost any hotel website and you will find the exact same products.

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The website, admits:

“There doesn’t seem to be one universal definition of a junior suite but it is usually a hotel room with a larger sitting area that is not in a different room from the bedroom. However, hotels use this term pretty loosely and inconsistently and as you’ll see below a junior suite can take a number of different forms.”

Many hoteliers have recognized this as an issue, so they rename their Suites to something like the “Madison Suite” or the “Jefferson Suite.” But, as you can begin to see, this isn’t really solving the problem. In a long list of names on their website, it’s not immediately clear what these names really mean.

If the room details reveal the important differentiation between the Madison and the Jefferson, then perhaps when merchandising hotel product, the shopping experience should start there. The devil isn’t in the details – the guest experience is in the details. So how do we bring the actual room features to the forefront of the hotel room shopping experience? The answer is Attribute-based Selling (ABS).

With ABS, hoteliers sell every room attribute separately. Instead of the traditional method of offering rooms by room type, a hotel essentially “unbundles” its room inventory and allow guests to pick the features they value. So instead of buying a Junior Suite, the consumer buys a Fireplace, a Jacuzzi, a Balcony and a Park View. It’s truly a more personalized way of defining a stay experience.

ABS extracts and highlights the value in a room in a way that reflects the intention of the hotel’s designer and in the language of the hotel’s consumers. In doing so, attribute-based selling gives customers a method to purchase products in a way that better matches their individual desires, with the benefit of driving more revenue for the seller.

For the guest, the room is the central part of their stay. They not only want a clear picture of what they’re getting for their money, they will actually pay more if they feel they are getting exactly what they want.

For the hotelier, the room is the hub of the hotel brand experience and the driver of nearly all of its revenue. They want to extract as much revenue as possible from the per key investments they have made.

The good news is that while the promise of ABS has been discussed in our industry for a while, the technology is finally coming soon. Very soon. Stay tuned.

Read the full article here!

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