“Upselling” is an important concept for any hospitality business. Large fries, bigger seats, nicer rooms…
For hotels, the many benefits of upselling are obvious. But how and when should hotels up-sell? Online tool pre-arrival? Offline at check-in? Combination of both? Let’s follow the money to find out…
Front-desk upselling is great when done right. Who hasn't been won over into an upgrade by the charming smile of the front desk staff?
But let’s be honest: I can’t remember the last time I was offered a hotel upgrade – and this has nothing to do with my hiatus in traveling thanks to Covid. Also, the “room with a view” does not sound too appealing when I am checking in at 11pm after a long flight. “Bottle of Champagne?” – “Nah, I’m a beer guy”.
It’s all about the timing, consistency, and personalization. Yeah, there is no GIF for that…
Even with the danger of me sounding a bit bias towards online upselling, timing, consistency, and personalization can be easiest achieved when automated. Pre-arrival. Via UpsellGuru. Yes, that’s us!
I will admit: Both methods, online and offline, have their strengths. But in combination, they develop synergies (the famous “Billboard Effect” for example), which guarantees higher sales and success.
Well, I promised you some numbers…. so, let’s get to it before I bubble about upselling all day.
In the study "Online Upselling: Moving beyond offline upselling in the hotel industry" (Basak Denizci Guillet) published in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, a comparison was made between front-desk and online upselling.
The results: synergies all over the place. Online vs. offline upselling goes together like peaches and cream.
In the case study, a 5-star hotel with 262 rooms in central Hong Kong was analysed over a period of 7 months, right after the implementation of UpsellGuru, to investigate the direct impact of online up-selling.
Key findings at a glance:
Discussing with the hotel's Director of Revenue Management, the main reasons for the increase in front-desk upselling were mainly:
There are no winners in the battle of online vs. offline. The real winners are the hoteliers (congrats for mastering the art of upselling!!) and of course their guests: hope you loved that upgrade we had you bid on!
Online and offline upselling both work separately from each other, but together, they lead to greater success.
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