Smart Upsells in Hotels: What are they and how to use them?

The boom of Smart Upsells is here, and it’s new and exciting! In the retail industry and beyond, traditional upselling techniques are increasingly becoming obsolete, disposed of as if belonging to the previous age of traditional sales methods. When physical stores shifted from brick-and-mortar to online stores, they emphasised algorithmic marketing to advertise goods and increase their revenue per shopper. One might often find ecommerce items under the section “frequently bought together” incredibly relevant to their quests.

If we look at the statistics that ecommerce stores make 10-30% of their revenue with Smart Upsells, the internet lingo of the past year might come to mind, “In this economy?”. Indeed, it is. It’s surely testimonial to the effectiveness of targeted, customer-centric approach to upselling. Consumer behaviour is constantly evolving with the arrival of new modes of communication, shopping, vacay-ing and overall consumption, and smart upsells are a way to keep up.

Smart Upsells are now tapping into the hotel industry.

Thanks to the arrival of AI-powered communication tools, it is now easier to implement smart upsells in hotels as the industry gains newer platforms to communicate with guests with ease. 

Automating Smart Upsells in hotels have proven to be highly impactful, with a threefold increase in weekly number of breakfast upgrades via smart suggestions by Runnr.ai’s virtual concierge.

Not only are Smart Upsells increasing revenue per booking, they improve guest satisfaction by bringing to them easy access to various on-site services. In this pie chart, we see an overview of guest requests at Runnr.ai’s virtual concierge as it automates such interactions.

What are Smart Upsells?

Smart Upselling is a fully automated, data-driven and personalised sales strategy that enhances the customer experience and increases revenue. In contrast to traditional upselling techniques, it is powered by AI and “recommender systems” which predict customer preferences and behaviour based on consumer insights and predictive analytics. 

Consequently, Smart Upsells in hotels are highly intimate and able to deliver tailored recommendations to enhance the guest experience. 

Three types of smart suggestions can be made from different types of data collected in hotels. 

Firstly, through the user’s profile and explicitly stated preferences. Secondly, through the similarity (or diversity) and popularity of types of services sold. And thirdly, through customer segmentation, by identifying demographics who may have similar preferences and behaviours.

How to use Smart Upsells?

When traditional (in-person) upsells are poorly executed, guests perceive them as pushy and annoying, as opposed to helpful and improving their guest experience when done right. In the same way, smart upsells online, if done poorly, can be spammy and sometimes seen as exploitative of their private data. 

That’s why, Runnr.ai limits the upsell messages to be the most impactful, and embraces an “enrich your stay” button where the guest agrees to hear about offers from the virtual concierge. 

This approach shows respect to the guest’s autonomy and privacy while still providing them with valuable and relevant offers. The effectiveness of a recommendation can be considered through the lens of accuracy, coverage, relevance, and diversity of offers. 

Mock-up demonstration of Smart Upsells

As Maarten Fugers, CPO at Runnr.ai explains, there are two ways in which hoteliers might implement smart upsells on Runnr.ai’s conversational AI platform. The first type of smart upsells is generated from a predefined and general set of upsell items at the right time – such as breakfast bookings, early check-in, late check-out, etc. The second generates upsells based on available services on site such as romantic packages, restaurant reservations, and celebratory wine or champagne offerings. 

When integrated into Property Management Systems (PMS), automatic upsells generate extra revenue per booking with little to no effort from the human supervisor, due to the fact that the restaurant reservations, spa booking and so on can be seamlessly facilitated through the system. As per other requests, the virtual concierge will directly contact the front desk for further assistance through the unified inbox

Conclusion

For the hotel industry, smart upsells are just getting started, and they are here to stay! The refashioning of algorithmic marketing in ecommerce stores proved to be valuable to the hotel industry, alluring extra spending per guests and positive reviews from them. 

It is through conversational AI platforms such as Runnr.ai that smart upsells can work seamlessly in hotels. Direct interactions with guests via virtual concierge or mobile apps are uniquely positioned to deliver Smart Upsells in the hotel industry. 

You can unlock the potential of Smart Upsells in a variety of ways, but at their core, they should avoid annoying sales tactics and spamming. Remember to choose a platform that respects customer autonomy and privacy, as understanding restraint is key.

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