Sabre Hospitality Solutions has collaborated with Phocuswright on a new research report that evaluates channel optimization in the hospitality industry, identifying the critical elements of an effective, future-ready channel strategy that will maximize the ROI of both direct and indirect channels.
This new report, “Channel Optimization in Hospitality: Secrets of Data-Driven Hoteliers,” will help 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.
Challenges in Today’s Distribution Landscape
The fragmented nature of today’s hospitality industry creates a complex distribution landscape and unique challenges that hoteliers must overcome in order to maximize revenue:
- Traditional segmentation isn’t enough. Hoteliers need to identify the unique behaviors of shoppers and group those common behaviors 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.
- OTAs and metasearch engines are investing heavily in advertising and sophisticated technology platforms to capture more traffic and hotel bookings.
- 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.
Consumers & Technology Increase Complexity in Channel Strategy
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.
What’s more, research shows that there are wide variations in shopping and booking channel preferences based on geography. The report analyzes shopping and booking trends by channel in the US, the UK, China, Brazil, France and other countries, and finds that a customer’s purchase channel does not always correlate with shopping channel preferences.
“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.”
Three Key Steps to Developing the Right Channel Mix
The report discusses three critical takeaways for hoteliers who want to master distribution and overcome market complexities:
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.
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.”