Knowing your target market, crushing your marketing strategy, and providing the right kind of monetized amenities and services are essential for getting your hotel guests to spend more, but there’s another important part of the equation—the right technology.
Inspiring your guests to spend more starts before they even set foot on your property. If your website is doing its job, it will be enticing prospective guests with great room photos, irresistible package offers, and experience-enhancing add-ons (from in-room extras to activities).
The next step is to make it as easy as possible for your guests to spend. Here’s how:
Sell Packages and Add-ons through Your Property’s Website
Planning and booking leisure travel is an exciting process during which travelers are open to ways of enhancing their stay experience. If you’re promoting ancillary products and services on your website, make sure to capture impulse spending with a website booking engine that allows customers to purchase those special packages and add-ons right when the motivation strikes!
A revenue-driving booking engine will offer the flexibility to not only sell package rates, but to set up reservation options—such as a choice of in-room extras like a cheese platter, cocktail-making station, or yoga gear—that can be attached to all or specific rates and/or room types and allow guests to select add-on services at the time of booking to personalize their stay.
Well-timed & Well-targeted Automated Offers
An offer for a discounted couples massage at your spa probably won’t go very far with a solo business guest. The more relevant your offers are, the more successful they will be. Your property management system (PMS) holds the key to well-targeted guest communications. Guest and reservation data can be used to trigger booking confirmation, pre-arrival, and check-in emails based not only on reservation dates, but also on the rate and/or unit type booked. Use your PMS data to send the right offers to the right guests at the right time. For example, a pre-arrival email template that includes an option to book that discounted couples massage could be attached to your romance package. Room upgrade offers could be included in confirmation emails for eligible rooms.
Your PMS data can also help power highly targeted and fully automated guest communications and offers throughout the guest journey when integrated with your CRM and/or guest messaging applications.
When it comes to upselling, timing and targeting are critical. Focus on enhancing the guest experience rather than the hard sell and conversions will follow.
PMS + POS Integration
Your PMS takes care of room sales, while your POS (point-of-sale) system takes care of ancillary sales like restaurant, spa and gift shop purchases. Together, they streamline the process of charging ancillary purchases to a guest’s room via an automated connection. This connection allows the POS system to automatically query the PMS whenever a sale is entered into the POS system. The PMS verifies the guest is currently checked in, their room number, and credit authorization limit to approve the charge, which is automatically posted to the reservation folio in the PMS in real time.
Automating the process of charging incidentals to the guest’s room not only improves billing accuracy and prevents lost revenue by ensuring charges are never missed, but it improves the guest experience too by allowing guests to conveniently settle a single bill for everything upon check-out, and eliminating the frustration caused by manual billing errors. PMS + POS integration results in a seamless guest experience that takes the hassle out of on-property spending for guests.
Last, but not least, your guests must feel safe spending at your hotel—or they simply won’t. Secure payment options are a must.
Make sure your online booking engine keeps your guests’ data safe through SSL encryption (webpages using SSL encryption display a secure padlock icon in the address bar before the URL, telling users that the page is secure) and PCI-compliant payment gateway integration.
Payment gateway integration with your PMS makes processing card payments more secure by keeping credit card data out of the PMS, using security measures such as point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization. When guests enter their payment card information into your online booking engine or insert their card into your credit card reader, the card and transaction data is securely sent to the payment gateway, which encrypts the data and sends payment information to the payment processing network. If the issuing bank authorizes the payment, the transaction authorization is sent back to the payment gateway, and to the PMS.
For on-property card-present transactions, EMV (chip-and-PIN) is currently the most secure payment method, preventing credit card data theft via compromised card readers. Choosing an EMV-certified payment gateway integration is the best way to protect your guests and your business from on-site credit card fraud and shows your guests you take their data security seriously.
Increasing guest spending is not about nickel-and-diming. Leverage your hotel technology to improve the guest experience by allowing guests to personalize their stay with relevant booking add-ons, presenting personalized upsell offers at the right time, and providing a seamless, safe way to pay. Make it effortless for your guests to spend and they will spend more!