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Why Hotel Operators Are Launching Marketplaces
By Tiffany Lung
Thursday, 4th November 2021
 

The hospitality industry has taken on new learnings from the e-commerce sector, learn how hotels are now crafting online marketplaces to boost affinity with the local crowd to increase revenue.

Times of change have brought challenges to the hospitality sector, but it has also adapted to new learnings from the exponential growth of the e-commerce scene as well as retail in general. In its current climate, hospitality operators have shifted to thinking like a retailer and monetising unique experiences with commercial offerings as a way to reap revenue beyond the bedrooms.

The pandemic has prompted many consumers to support local and reinvest in the home economy over times of crisis. Businesses such as malls and hotels have taken this concept on board, utilising vacant spaces to host weekend markets and initiatives that spotlight local creators. Getting involved with the community and partnering with other brands has also boosted affinity with the local crowd – great for content and public relations.

Marketplaces aside, businesses can also onboard local brands to set up their webstore by expanding their product portfolio from their own products and services with new creative suppliers and special services. Mirroring the concept of pop-up stores, businesses can introduce new experiences, products and services online by establishing a multi-vendor marketplace within your hotel domain, to go hand-in-hand with marketing initiatives and seasonal celebrations.

Hotels can craft an online marketplace with local traders and suppliers under themed campaigns for an authentic touch. There are high earning potentials from curating a marketplace by charging a commission per transaction and without having to carry the cost and space of inventory, making the online channel an asset-light subsidiary.

Service marketplaces have also become a fast-growing category as consumers begin to value intangible experiences over materialistic goods in recent years. This can be offered through leisure tours and activities to services appreciated by locals such as food deliveries and dining experiences with in-house restaurants. Additionally, achieve international sales as travellers book experiences in advance which can also be customised through localised storefronts with exclusive ranges.

Reinforcing your brand

A hotel no longer exists just as a lodging facility, but some have now created a strong branding and lifestyle that many consumers aspire to resonate with. This status symbol presents the opportunity to create its own successful line of branded merchandise, on top of the usual line of hotel goods.

With an already established level of credibility from the hotel’s branding, customers will naturally instil confidence and trust in the online marketplace. By choosing to shop with the hotel, operators can capture clients’ data to personalise experiences and deliver a five-star service.

One thing to note however is that the retailer may have limited control over the quality of goods and services delivered by its vendors, which in the end can affect the hotel’s branding. One negative opinion over an experience can directly influence the perception and brand trust, but a satisfied customer can generate positive word of mouth and drive conversion with little to no customer acquisition costs. This can be managed by selecting trusted partners beforehand and curating reputable vendors to ensure guaranteed success. Setting up the right fulfilment option and courier partner is also essential to the last-mile delivery strategy, which in this case many operators opt for in-house delivery services.

The exclusive experience

Consumer behaviours are ever changing and businesses have to pivot their strategy to remain relevant. Businesses not only have to provide solutions to capitalise on demand but also have to think one step ahead to maintain engagement for future opportunities. Third-party brands can also operate on other platforms with competitive pricing, attracting today’s fickle customers - but building exclusive partnerships can attract traffic to the store.

Hotels can capture and retain consumer spending within their ecosystem by encompassing their products and services through their loyalty program. Exclusive collaborations paired with rewards and points redemption can also avoid disintermediation from vendors.

Additionally, bespoke touches such as add-ons to experiences or customisation options can improve customer satisfaction to drive repeat purchases and customer lifetime value. Customers like having control over their choices from customised designs, payment methods to fulfilment options but can be challenging to develop with a high level of complex configurations to achieve this.

Key takeaways

Creating an e-commerce extension to the business is a great way to build additional revenue to market and sell products via a new channel. For hospitality players, encompassing third-party vendors such as local creators can help drive high traffic, spread awareness to new audiences and prompt further discovery of your hotel’s products and services derived from marketplace presence.

Hospitality delving into the marketplace space is a sure-fire win to create additional revenue streams from the traditional revenue by room mentality. Without tourists, retailers and hospitality operators have to rely on building up businesses with the local segment, to capture domestic spending which is relatively higher with improved discretionary income due to the current lack of travel limitations.

As businesses work to improve their digital presence and drive traffic to the store, well designed UI/UX experience is important to populate all services into one platform. Techsembly’s multi-vendor marketplace solution works for hospitality groups with a large international portfolio to diversify and localise each of its international websites to meet specific local audience needs which ultimately uplifts conversions.

Techsembly’s hospitality marketplace solution enables consolidation of bookings and other shopping for quick and simple checkout – benefitting both the consumer and finance team. The centralised dashboard also enables multiple log-ins for users at different levels of access to manage their own storefront and inventory, but still allow the main retailer to have a central override for any brand and product validation.

www.techsembly.com

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