You are a hotel group executive. You open your laptop, go to your email, and see:
From: VP of (another department)
Subject Line: ROOMDEX ABS solution
What’s your first reaction?
NB: This is an article from Roomdex, one of our Expert Partners
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up to date
Before we predict it, let’s talk about hotel employees. Hotel staff can typically be divided in two. You have the on the ground staff, i.e., everyone working in the Front Office, Housekeeping etc. And then there’s the layer of staff that largely goes unseen by guests: hotel management (i.e. accounting, marketing, IT, sales, etc.). In a hotel group, these people report up to group-level VPs who oversee multiple hotels at once.
Those of you who work in management have the responsibility of driving the company’s financial success. Each individual has their own specific goals and criteria, often incentivised by remuneration.
Here’s the prediction: If a meeting request arrives in the inbox of a hotel executive with the subject line “ROOMDEX ABS solution,” there is a strong chance the initial reaction would be, “What’s in it for me?” – and that reaction is justified.
Adding any software solution that touches multiple departments becomes a cross departmental project. Any new piece of technology that requires time and collaboration with multiple teams needs to prove it will not just benefit the company but also each VP’s performance related goals.
So, Attribute-based Selling (ABS). What’s in it for me? Let’s take a look.
You are a VP of Brand (or VP of Guest Experience)
The hotel industry has always been extremely competitive. Until about 15 years ago, the differentiation between hotel brands was clear. Guests knew who was who and what was what. Today however, the market is saturated with many different hotels, brands and offerings. There are now many brands composed of brands that were collected to make sure every granular market segment was being addressed. So how do you differentiate your brand?
The big brands have embraced technology as a real differentiator. Take Hilton for example. They solved a long-time travel frustration by introducing confirmed connecting rooms for guests. In other words, they worked across departments to overcome the archaic technological hurdle of being able to offer and allow guest to pre-book adjoining rooms. This is something guests have always wanted but the booking process wasn’t always seamless, required manual intervention and was hard to fulfil. But once they had a viable solution, they shouted from the roof tops about it. They used the new functionality as a PR opportunity to differentiate their hotel brand in the marketplace in the eyes of consumers.
Attribute-based selling (ABS) is the same kind of break-though. ABS offers guests the ability to choose their own room features and empower them to personalize their stay experience. In doing so, it elevates the overall guest perception of the hotel and brand experience. Branding is how customers identify one product from another and ABS provides a distinct product advantage.
You are a VP of eCommerce
As eCommerce VP, not only are you responsible for the online sales of the brand but you are continuously looking for ways to increase cart value and conversion.
There are a myriad of factors influencing the shape of the conversion funnel, but ultimately conversion depends on how effectively your website displays the value of your hotel, i.e., merchandising effectiveness. Customers want to feel they are getting value for money in whatever it is they are buying.
ABS helps improve conversion because it is a more effective merchandising technique than selling by room types. Traditional room type category names only imply value to the guest. What exactly is a Junior Suite? What is a Superior Room? These names don’t differentiate your product, nor highlight the unique assets of your property. Conversely, room features (balcony, high floor, away from elevator, premium sheets, etc.) directly convey value to the guest in terms the guest understands.
With ABS, guests can add features and unique room attributes to their cart as they easily correlate price with things they truly value. Plus, ABS lets you sell new product. You can now monetize a room feature that is unique to a few rooms that are within a single room category, such as a high room, or a view. Cart value and conversion. What’s not to like about that?
VP of Revenue
As a revenue manager, you are the person in charge of leading pricing strategies in order to maximize a hotel’s profitability. A question you are faced with more often than not is to increase revenue and profit without raising prices or overspending. As you well know there is a high link between RevPAR and profitability, and any hotel that takes any actions to increase the RevPAR this will translate into improving the hotel’s profit. Easier said than done you might say.
Similar to improving online conversions there are many strategies to improve ADR. Attribute based selling is one of them. By implementing ABS, revenue managers have the opportunity to monetize more of their assets without increasing their objective costs – every new dollar made via your room product goes directly to you ADR. And it works. Recent results show that implementing ABS increased revenue on average of 14% YOY.
ROOMDEX upselling already leverages a hotel’s revenue management efforts when determining upsell offer prices. ABS takes it a step further and calculates individual attribute prices automatically. The result? You deploy ABS with very little effort and in the process maximize your profitability.
“What’s in it for me?”
Attribute-Based Selling (ABS) works for your department. It is the next logical step forward in hotel retailing, distribution, and fulfilment. It improves guest satisfaction, brand distinction, cart value, conversion and ultimately delivers more hotel revenue. And makes you look good in the process.