A report commissioned by Sabre Hospitality Solutions in collaboration with Phocuswright has revealed the need for data-driven approach on channel strategies to maximize returns and profitability.
The new report – Channel Optimization in Hospitality: Secrets of Data-Driven Hoteliers – is intended at helping hoteliers make well-informed, data-driven decisions about their channel strategies and offers insights on consumer trends, along with data analysis, infographics and clear recommendations that hoteliers can put into action right now.
The fragmented nature of today’s hospitality industry creates a complex distribution landscape, the report says. In the changed consumer search and booking behaviour, traditional segmentation would not work.
Hoteliers need to identify the unique behaviours of shoppers and group those common behaviours together with a targeted approach. Regional variations in consumer behaviors as well as widespread adoption of consumer technologies and services drive additional complexity and must be addressed, the report says.
Many hotels continue to rely on legacy technology systems that are not equipped to handle today’s diverse distribution strategies, which call for pricing and product strategies that can change rapidly and easily. Advances in technology have dramatically changed how consumers shop, which in turn affects how hoteliers must market to them.
Today’s hotel guests command greater control over their personal travel decisions, thanks to the number of shopping and booking channels and the fact that travelers now use an array of devices to research, shop and book any given trip.
“Mastering distribution is a bridge to transforming the guest experience and an opportunity to build familiarity and loyalty with the guest before they ever walk onto the property,” said Alex Alt, President of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. “Today’s distribution landscape is highly complex and that will only increase in the future. No matter the size or location of the property or chain, every hotel needs to have a well-defined distribution strategy – informed by data and analytics – for how they can successfully attract guests across all channels.”
The report suggests three key Steps to Developing the Right Channel Mix:
1) Get Your Data House in Order – With the right analytics, hoteliers can better engage with guests as individuals based on explicit and implicit signals shoppers give during the shopping experience.
2) Leverage Persona-Based Motivation to Understand Behavior – By combining traffic and conversion statistics with consumer trends and regional differences, hoteliers can take a strategic look at their target customers and develop a channel mix that fits their brand. And
3) Assess Channel Risk and Return – Channel optimization is not a ‘set it and forget it’ proposition. Hoteliers must consistently monitor and evaluate their channel strategy to more efficiently acquire traffic, then convert that traffic into profitable transactions.
“The investments that hotels make in their channel optimization and distribution strategies will define the next generation of winners in hospitality,” Alt said. “With this report, we share insights and takeaways that will help hotels maximize revenue through distribution.”