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Design Hotels showcases mobile’s upselling power via check-in upgrades

Design Hotels is the latest hospitality marketer to leverage mobile’s ability to upsell hotel stays via room upgrade and amenities offers shown to customers who check-in via their smartphones.

The hotel brand has teamed up with mobile guest engagement platform GuestDriven to power the check-in features, which are designed to maximize revenue as well as further personalize customers’ stays. As mobile check-in becomes more synonymous with hospitality brands’ digital strategies, consumers can expect to see a growing amount of hospitality chains employ upselling tactics prior to guests’ arrival on premises.

“The user experience of GuestDriven’s Express check-in has been designed in a way that captures the guests focus and attention at a time when they’re looking for ways to prepare for and enhance their stay (24 hours prior to arrival),” said Kim Adams, marketing coordinator at GuestDriven, Montreal. “It has been purposefully designed to drive strong conversions, and it is performing very well in the times of the on-demand economy.”

Optimal commerce opportunities
Design Hotels recognizes that its guest are in pursuit of personal enrichment through culture, art and travel, and is seeking to capitalize on those desires by offering a top-of-the-line stay. While last-minute room upgrades or upsells result in additional revenue for the brand, added amenities may be the very thing to augment a customer’s experience and ensure their loyalty for future vacations.

Mobile plays a starring in this strategy. Design Hotels has discovered that 99 percent of its consumers bring one mobile device with them on their travels, and 40 percent carry more than three.

Guests are also likely to spend higher than their initial budget if they find lodging matching their personal preferences, culminating in highly personalized service.

Design Hotels now allows guests to check-in via their smartphones prior to their arrival at the hotel, during which they confirm personal details and receive access to the suite of possible upgrades.

If consumers plan to have additional guests staying in their room or prefer a better room view, they can easily click on the appropriate upgrade package and make the purchase on their mobile device.

At one of Design Hotels’ premier properties, the GuestDriven check-in has converted 20 percent of customers to buy an upgrade, proving that last-minute upsells are attractive to the right clientele.

The hotel in question, SKT Petri in Copenhagen, began seeing monetized check-ins the same day as the platform’s launch. The feature essentially functions as a plug-and-play solution for hotel brands, requiring little capital but yielding potentially significant amounts of revenue.

It also enables hotels to glean more valuable data about consumer habits, behavior and preferences, allowing marketers to provide more enhanced experience to all guests.

Merchandising right elements
Several upsells that GuestDriven offers include spa packages, room upgrades and in-room dining platters upon arrival.

This tactic may be especially lucrative for brands catering to a more high-end audience, as customers are often willing to spend a few extra dollars to receive an experience that is of value to them.

Mobile is also an ideal channel for promoting last-minute purchases. Users can easily click through and make a purchase if they have their credit card information stored in an account, resulting in a streamlined process.

Several weeks ago, Genre Hotels also embarked on integrating mobile check-in via the GuestDriven platform (see story).

“When Express is turned on at a hotel, guests immediately are drawn to it and use it,” Ms. Adams said. “They start their pre-check-in with it and will select upgrades and offers.

“The results are often same day as launch,” she said. “Guests flock to this because it’s part of the experience they are coming to expect.

“Things like early check-in and late check-out are some of our best performing offers. Guests will and do pay for that convenience! It’s a matter of offering it in a way that converts – and Express mobile check-in does that, fast!”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York