NB: This is an article by Tambourine
From an outside point-of-view, a hotel should be anything but a commodity. After all, guests should be placing high value on a product that involves their most intimate and private moments. They take showers in the bathroom, sleep in the beds, take private phone calls, and yes, even walk around au naturel.
You would think all of these private moments would build a highly personal connection to hotel consideration and booking, or better yet, even loyalty over time. Yet, guest purchase behavior is usually swayed by price. And their brand preference is almost always weaker than the love they have for other consumer goods and services that cost much less, such as their choice of golf balls, laundry detergent or beverages.
Sadly, the blame doesn’t entirely have to do with modern buyer behavior or the fact that new hotels are popping up all over the country.
Here are the five real reasons why your hotel experience is seen as a replaceable commodity (and, surprise! Most of these are the hotel industry’s fault in the first place):
#1 The Hotels Experience is Largely Homogenized
Until very recently, hotel brands have catered to loyal customers who want something reliable, familiar and safe (ahem, boring). Place any traveler in a Hilton, Holiday Inn or Marriott guest room and they most likely will not be able to identify the brand they’re staying at or even be able to tell the major brands apart. So, because the experiences are similar no matter where you book, travelers instead use price as a point of differentiation.
#2 Hotels Willingly Surrender Rooms to be Sold on Price
When you hand over your room inventory to a 3rd -party channel, you are pitted up against your competitors (who have also lowered their rates) in a platform that makes your region appear overcrowded with options. To narrow down and simplify their choices, consumers are drawn to the one thing that does make each hotel listing different – the price.