There’s a saying that “old ways won’t open new doors.”
When you stop thinking of your hotel website solely as a way for guests to book rooms and start thinking of it as a revenue generator, you open up a world of possibilities.
Of course, securing bookings should be the primary goal of your hotel website and the user experience should be geared toward that. However, adding shopping cart e-commerce functionality that enables visitors to purchase additional products and services from you (or launching a dedicated website for this) is a great way to generate revenue from other sources.
We call this ancillary revenue, which means offering something in addition to hotel rooms that generates revenue for the hotel.
At Leonardo, we believe that every hotel has a unique story to tell and therefore, a unique product or service to sell. This article is meant to give you some inspiration and get you thinking of ways you can start generating ancillary revenue for your hotel.
Ancillary revenue generation isn’t a new concept for travel suppliers, as many leading hotel chains have had online stores for years now. In many cases, these online stores offer things like pillows and mattresses for purchase so guests can relive the hotel’s comfort every night in their own homes.
For example, Westin sells their mattress and box spring sets, marketed as the “Westin Heavenly Bed,” as well as all of the bedding and accessories that go along with creating a heavenly sleep experience. Marriott does something similar with an online store where guests can purchase Marriott guest favorites, including bedding sets, pillows, robes, hair and skincare and more.
Now, thanks to the availability of cost-effective and user-friendly technology, every hotel owner and marketer has the means to sell ancillary products and services online. And individual properties are getting much more creative with it than selling bedding.