When booking a hotel stay online, consumers are frequently presented with a cookie-cutter list of packages. Bed & Breakfast. Dinner, Bed & Breakfast. A spa break with a limited range of treatment choices. For a special occasion – such as Valentine’s – there’s a bottle of champagne included in-room.
These options are often driven by a hotel’s operational needs or to prioritise profit margin over what services the guest may actually want. A limited selection of packages certainly makes it easier for reservation teams to manage bookings, but does it encourage guests to spend more and confirm a stay that meets their expectations?
Where luxury hotels and resorts strive to provide full service and pre-empt a guest’s needs, this is at odds with the limitations packages provide a guest. However, the opportunity for hotels to be more flexible in their online sales approach is now here.
The application of ecommerce to hotel websites gives guests greater freedom by surfacing recommended products and services, which can be added to an Amazon-style shopping basket. It may sound simple and obvious to anyone accustomed to shopping online, but until recently, it was surprisingly hard to achieve technically for hotels.
Root of the problem
Inflexible booking solutions – a legacy of hotel booking systems – provide limited opportunities to tap into today’s ecommerce trends. Most luxury hotels still rely on different booking systems for each business unit such as bedrooms, dining, spa, golf, and retail. The various systems are rarely capable of speaking to each other and consolidating booking options.For guests wanting bespoke packages, making a reservation becomes a headache involving multiple booking engines or having to entertain an endless exchange of emails and calls to book additional services and products. In the age of the appointment economy – where guests place great value on optimising their time – they’re likely to lose patience with such a fragmented online experience if they are unable to easily make bookings when they want, for what they want.
This leaves reservations and revenue teams with high levels of administration to satisfy guests’ needs, leading to limited creativity for hotels to sell more in an exciting and intuitive fashion.
One cart, one purchase – all hotel products
onejourney, our all-in-one ecommerce platform, brings all hotel booking systems together into one seamless and intuitive hotel ecommerce experience. Luxury hotels worldwide are now surfacing all products and services to allow a guest to create a bespoke ‘package’ with ease.
As a guest goes through the booking journey they can add multiple elements to a single shopping cart, with live availability directly from the hotel’s existing booking systems and PMS.
Finally – guests are in control of their itinerary.
Hotel teams can now get creative and extend their sales by recommending products and services which are popular on property, presenting options for guests to choose directly from.
If a guest wants a dinner reservation at 6pm and a late-night deep tissue spa treatment, they can select the most convenient times with just a few clicks. Perhaps even adding little extras like a glass of champagne, instead of a bottle, on arrival or select in-room breakfast as an additional treat.
Dramatic revenue surge
onejourney pulls data from each separate booking system with availability presented to the guest in real time, requiring no additional work for the hotel team – whilst dramatically increasing multi-product basket purchases, and overall revenue at four- and five-star hotels in just a few months.
The Elms Hotel and Spa in Worcestershire experienced a 108% increase in year-on-year room revenue. More than a third (34%) of bookings are multi-product, with 59% of bookings made on a mobile device, indicating the synergy between modern technologies and the new ecommerce approach customers crave.
“Guests go to our website and find live availability of rooms. They book that and it goes into the basket. They then receive a prompt to book a spa, then table reservations. At the end, they can check out with one seamless payment. onejourney reduces our labour costs, increases revenue and increases direct bookings, reducing commissions,” says Mark Bevan, MD, The Elms.
Zoe Merriman, Spa Director, confirms:“It’s almost like because customers have the option to add [extra services], they find it easier to add on and progress their stay into something even bigger and better.”
In line with consumer trends
The onejourney ecommerce platform works in harmony with modern consumer trends. By 2026, 74% of total revenue in the travel and tourism market will be generated through online sales. Guests are using their smart devices to drop their selected options into a shopping basket Amazon-style.
Today’s consumers want to feel valued. They want to feel appreciated and recognised. By empowering guests with the ability to curate their own itinerary, hoteliers can heighten their reputation for providing a luxurious experience and boost their revenue.
Find out more about how onejourney can benefit your hotel.