Think like a retailer: 4 tips for hoteliers
 
Think like a retailer: 4 tips for hoteliers
04 AUGUST 2015 2:41 PM
Thinking like an online retailer could help hoteliers capture more bookings online. 
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—In this shifting distribution landscape, hoteliers would do well to think like online retailers, according to a distribution expert speaking during the Revenue Strategy Summit last week. 
 
“You need to start retailing differently,” said Rebecca Bucnis, Kalibri Labs’ executive VP and chief commercial officer.
 
That means getting smarter about how you present products and pricing online, she said. 
 
Savvy digital shoppers want packages and promotions. They want discounts and value-adds. And hoteliers should display them in a way that creates urgency and a need to book now. 
 
Bucnis pointed to retail giant Amazon as an example, citing four key things it does right. 

This Amazon screen grab shows the retail giant’s pricing practices in action.
 
1. The discount illusion
For most products listed on the site, the list price is struck through to offer the illusion of a discount. (e.g. instead of paying $399.99 for the Xbox shown below, you can get it for only $382.95 for a savings of $17.04.)
 
2. A sense of urgency
Amazon also displays how many products are left in stock to create a sense of urgency. (e.g. “Only 9 left in stock.”)
 
3. Review assurance
The product rating (e.g. four out of five stars) provides a certain level of comfort and assurance to the buyer. 
 
4. Ease of purchase
Clicking to either “add to cart” or “buy now” makes the purchase process seamless and simple—particularly when the user’s preferences are saved in profiles. 
 
OTAs following suit
Some hotel booking sites have jumped on the retailer bandwagon, Bucnis said. Expedia is one example. 

A search for hotels in Cleveland, Ohio, shows Expedia’s retail pricing prowess. 
 
The site shows struck-through prices to create the illusion of discounts. It shows how many people have booked within a given timeframe—and how many rooms are left at the given price. User ratings provide an assurance of quality. And simplified transactional processes make it easier to book than ever before, she said. 
 
“The world has changed,” Bucnis concluded. “Consumers want information. They want to connect with you. They’re willing to connect with you. What are you doing to make that connection, and how are you measuring it?”
 

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