Hotel Merchandise Ideas to Boost Revenue and Brand Presence

Creating, promoting, and stocking hotel merchandise is a significant undertaking for busy hoteliers. However, the potential payoff can be worth it. Travelers are always looking to take a piece of their destination home with them or for their loved ones. While selling souvenirs in your gift shop isn’t new, hoteliers are taking this concept to the next level. Whether you’re a small boutique hotel or a large franchise, here are some merchandising ideas to boost your brand presence and bottom line.

Branded Product Ideas

Collaborate with brands and businesses to release new and exclusive products or take an everyday object, add your logo, and customize it to reflect your brand’s aesthetic. Whatever it is, make sure it aligns with your property’s experience and identity. For example, a hotel inspired by a certain era, such as the ’60s or ’70s, may provide branded, retro items such as umbrellas, sunglasses, t-shirts, hats, or hoodies. Your guests will think of your property every time they use these items. 

Next-level ideas include:

  • Work with a winery or distillery to offer your own branded wine or cider.
  • Everyday items such as toiletries and towels. Provide them in-room for guests to use during their stay and for purchase.
  • Tea accessories and sets (saucers, pots, and cups) and special blends available in-room and for purchase.
  • Custom-designed reusable water bottles and to-go coffee mugs.
  • Include your logo on stationery (journals, pens, decorative cut paper, washi tape). Collaborate with local artists to design decorative artwork for these items.
  • Local honey, chocolate, and other easy-to-pack specialty food items (entice customers to rebook when they need to restock).
  • Throw blankets.
  • For tropical locations, selling branded swimwear and flip-flops are nice gifts, and useful in case guests forget to pack their own. Guests will think of your property every time they wear them.

Sales Strategies

When brainstorming product ideas and sales strategies, it is important to consider your market. What types of guests stay at your hotel? What services, amenities, and atmosphere does your operation provide? How does branded merchandising fit into the guest experience and journey?

A brick-and-mortar gift shop is the obvious first option to explore, especially since your customers are already at your property and likely to browse. But there are various ways to promote your branded products to boost sales and brand awareness:

Upsell during booking. Upsell branded products as add-ons through your online booking engine. This not only drives ancillary revenue but can work to make customers feel more committed to their booking. Just take care not to overwhelm bookers with too many options. WebRezPro property management system allows you to attach add-on options to certain room and rate types so that only relevant products are presented to guests during the booking process. 

Consider offering limited-edition items at a discount when customers book online. This strategy works by enticing guests with a great deal on an exclusive item while increasing total revenue and brand presence. Offline, guests display the object in their homes, and it becomes a point of conversation with their friends and family, who may decide to book with your property through this exposure to your brand. Increase online exposure by including a card with the product asking recipients to share a photo of themselves with the item on social media, using a specific hashtag and tagging your business.

Social media contests. When people travel, they enjoy sharing about it online, and the people in their circle pay attention. Positive user-generated content is the best kind of marketing. To make the most of this opportunity to increase brand exposure, host a social media giveaway contest to win property merchandise. To enter, current guests must share a photo or video of themselves enjoying your property, using a designated hashtag and tagging your profile. The happy winner will likely share another pic of their prize, further increasing your exposure!

Provide items for guests’ use. Show off the quality and usefulness of the products available for purchase by providing them for guests to use during their stay. This works especially well for in-room amenities like toiletries, towels, bathrobes, tea and coffee, and decor.

Have staff members showcase items. Like the above strategy, have staff members use items while engaging with or providing services to guests. For example, if you offer branded, luxury towels for sale, have your massage therapist or nail technician use them during sessions.

Host a fundraiser. Sustainability and humanitarian issues matter to guests now more than ever. Create a limited-edition item that prominently displays your brand to promote a good cause and your property, with part of the profit from sold items going toward your cause. 

This strategy strengthens the connection with your guests over a shared cause, fostering customer loyalty. Further, the items are taken home and proudly displayed to increase brand awareness.

Branded merchandise is about more than the physical item itself; it’s about what the object represents: your brand’s values and guest experience. Travelers purchase hotel products as visual reminders of memories and stories from their trip. Let your guests take home a piece of your property through unique merchandise to increase brand awareness and revenue.