How Hospitality Marketers Can Capitalize on Expiring Goods
It’s well established how hotels, resorts, theme parks and other attractions need to offer a wide variety of amenities and activity options to attract and satisfy guests, and stay competitive. It’s also well-known how demand for those dining, spa, entertainment, pool cabanas and other options is directly tied to highly-unpredictable circumstances. Inclement weather and fluctuations in guest occupancy, preferences and demographics can create a surplus, regardless of forecasts.
Whenever this “use it or lose it” inventory goes unsold, the financial impacts compound. Not only are revenue and upsell opportunities missed, but your organization remains on the hook for hard costs such as staff wages.
As a result, finding just the right balance between available inventory and sales of perishable products is a Holy Grail within the hospitality industry.
An efficient way for marketers to quickly sell excess inventory to capturing potentially lost revenue is through timely mobile push messages. Smartphones are nearly ubiquitous today, in the hospitality industry as well as the general public. So, whenever tickets are unsold or appointments remain un-booked, a push message can alert the majority of your guests to last-minute availability or discounts on expiring inventory.
While mass messaging to all guests is a good start, hospitality marketers who also leverage System of Record (SOR) and other data will have more control over campaigns.
Here’s how leveraging data can take messaging efforts to the next level:
- With data from inventory management integrations, push campaigns can be automated and triggered whenever inventory is above a certain threshold.
- By leveraging guest data such as preferences, loyalty level, past purchases and current location, push messages can be targeted to the right guest at the right time with different messages targeted to different groups (i.e., delivery of the deepest discounts to your most loyal guests).
- Data from Point-of-Sale (POS) and inventory management can help identify surpluses or trends over time, and use it to predict and proactively plan.
Consider this example:
Hours before the event begins, your Hawaiian beach resort still has a large surplus of tickets for tonight’s luau, likely due to unexpected low room capacity. Based on trends during similar circumstances, you know that this event is unlikely to sell out. You also know that, regardless of whether the remaining tickets are sold tonight, your F&B and labor costs will remain the same.
With access to a messaging platform, and the ability to target guests based on their identity (including who already hold tickets for tonight’s event), you may choose send one or more of the following messages:
- Announce remaining ticket availability to all guests currently on property, as a reminder
- Announce a flash sale of $25 off remaining tickets to a particular loyalty tier or other guest profile
- Offer complimentary tickets exclusively to select loyalty members, honeymooners or other group
Your choice may depend on your goal: do you want to recoup ticket revenue in the short term, deliver a positive guest experience that drives loyalty (and therefore revenue) in the long run, or deliver a loyalty reward as part of your white glove service? Regardless, the benefits will be widespread, and with minimal effort on your part. Additionally, your guests can respond even more easily when next steps such as purchases and reservations can be completed immediately in app or on mobile web.
As you can see, push messaging can help hospitality marketers quickly address and capitalize on inventory before opportunities are lost for good. On the operational side, you can create opportunities to impact revenue, upsell or elevate guest experiences. From the guest’s perspective, the receipt of messages can enhance their visit – whether as a reminder, targeted discount or a random surprise. With positive impacts all around, push messaging to deplete perishable inventory creates a win-win situation for all involved.
Request a demo to learn more about TE2’s experience management solutions.
Danielle Chapman is The Experience Engine’s Product Evangelist.