To regain primacy in travel planning, hotels must offer something that competing digital intermediaries cannot.
Here are some highlights from our latest article on www.hospitalitynet.org :
From a consumer perspective, travel planning opportunities are ubiquitous – many major digital platforms offer some sort of travel planning, whether it be Google, Uber, or even major banks. For hotels, however, it means they face significant challenges in customer acquisition. In order to regain travel planning primacy, hotels need to offer something nobody else can.
The evolving landscape of customer attention – and the challenge for hotels
One of the challenges hotel brands face is the continued erosion of their primacy in the overall travel planning process. From OTAs to meta search and even banks, consumers have access to more travel planning triggers than ever before. The increasing presence of non-travel brands and intermediary platforms act to decrease direct customer engagement with the hotel. At the current rate of market evolution, this new, broader array of sources will increasingly shift consumer reliance from hotels to non-travel brands for travel arrangements. So, what can be done?
Re-capturing customer attention with new products unique to hotels
What hotels need are new products that only they can provide and sell. Think hotel features that are not yet productized: early arrivals, late departures, etc. Hotels don’t sell these now because it can be operationally challenging. But with the right technology they could – and they could have the exclusive on those products. That technology is called ABS (Attribute-based Selling).
ABS represents a strategic lifeline for hotels aiming to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive landscape. What can ABS do?
1. Reconnect with travelers: With ABS hotels have the opportunity to offer a customer-centric and flexible approach to booking via feature-based merchandising and shopping.
2. Strengthen brand loyalty: As ABS allows for a more personalized and tailored experience, it helps foster a deeper connection and affinity with the brand.
3. Reduce customer acquisition costs and increase direct revenue: ABS offers a dual advantage for hotels, simultaneously reducing customer acquisition costs while boosting direct revenue. By being the sole source of unique stay products, hotels increase the likelihood of repeat bookings to the lowest cost acquisition channel – their website.
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