Hotel managers that don’t include upselling in their sales strategy are leaving money on the table. In 2021, RoomRaccoon awarded Plantage Rococo Eco Hotel for best upsell performance. The property generated €14,000 in revenue by using RacccoonUpsell. This is only one successful case out of thousands of hotels across the world that are actively using this technology to upsell at their property.
According to Social Tables, the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. But surprisingly, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. By leveraging this knowledge and the following 9 upselling techniques for hotels in 2022, you can increase your revenue, build deeper relationships with customers and put your property’s amenities to good use.
The importance of upselling in hotels
Upselling is the simple process of offering your customers relevant extras to improve their stay and overall experience. At the same time, upselling increases your revenue per available room (RevPAR) by getting customers to spend more than they originally had planned, such as upgrading their choice of room or splurging on ancillary products or services, such as a spa treatment or a local tour, on top of their room.
Increased revenue is not the only thing you can look forward to, upselling offers a number of benefits, including:
- Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty through added value;
- More positive reviews;
- Stored guest preferences for future personalization;
- Higher RevPAR through increased spending; and
- Greater utilization of property amenities.
Good to know: To get a guest to increase their spending at your hotel your upsell product or service should be three things:
- Good value;
- Convenient; and
9 Techniques Hotels Should Use to Upsell in 2022
1. Include targeted upsells and cross-sells
Newlyweds won’t be interested in buying the same amenities as a corporate booker.
Including relevant offers and add-ons throughout your website, social media channels, and your booking engine increases the chances that a customer will find something they like. Typically, upselling offers are placed near products that are geared towards upgrades and similar value-added features. On a hotel website, offers can be placed on the experiences or activities pages as well as amenities pages for the restaurant or spa.
“Get a couples spa package at half price when you book a stay for 2 nights. Check availability.”
In your booking engine, you can include add-ons for specific room types. A popular example is the honeymoon suite where you can upsell champagne, flowers, chocolates, and a 3-course dinner.
Take a look at the example below:
Source: RoomRaccoon Booking Engine
The key is proposing relevant products or services that offer personalized value to your guests during their stay. Some examples of products and services that can be upsold include:
What can you upsell in hotels?
- Room upgrades – who can resist a more spacious room with better views?
- Packages – create different packages of amenities for different audience segments to cater to all types of guests.
- Food and beverages – everyone needs to eat which is why dinners, breakfasts, desserts, and a bottle of wine are some of the easiest things hotels can upsell.
- In-room extras – what else could a guest find useful? This does depend on the type of travelers but movie rentals, a premium minibar, and a baby bed are all great options.
- Activities – additional activities can be offered and run by your property or third parties through partnerships. (more on this in point 2)
Make sure to test all of your add-ons and offers to see which ones result in the best conversion rates, and which audience segment favors certain types of products and services more than others.
2. Partner with local businesses to expand your reach
Package deals are convenient for guests who are traveling to your area to explore and partake in local experiences. Offering popular activities outside of your hotel is a great way to boost your reach with partnerships with local businesses.
Take a look at the great example below:
Source: Mount Nelson Hotel
In this example, the hotel partnered with local wine farms to offer guests a complete wine experience package for a minimum stay of two nights.
Think about what’s popular in your area for potential partnerships. Walking food tours? Tickets to the museum? Seasonal festivals? Travelers are attracted to the convenience of booking all of their entertainment from a single place and package deals give clients the perception of a bargain while earning you more revenue in the process — essentially, the ultimate upsell. On top of that, you encourage guests to come back and stay again by providing memorable experiences.
3. Enhance the experience during online check-in
Online check-in is the most opportune time to offer products that will enhance your guest’s experience. That’s because your guests have already purchased from you, and are more likely to spend a bit more for an experience that offers them more perceived value. Typically, a customer is in no mood to be upsold when waiting to get into their room after a long flight too. Online check-in takes the pressure away from making a snap decision at the front desk and allows guests’ to decide in their own time.
Contactless check-in tools have become increasingly popular during the pandemic and property managers are benefiting from the upsell opportunities. It’s important that the enhancements you choose are relevant to your target audience, location and personalised with any information you have gathered about your guest ahead of time.
For example, if your property is located in a city where business travelers tend to rent a car, consider offering parking as an add-on to their stay. If a wedding group is staying at your property, offer more rooms.
4. Get more group business with event upsells
One of the most lucrative upselling techniques in a hotel is catering to group business. This means speaking to event planners and group organisers to host events at your property. You’ll need to frame upsells in the context of the event. For example, for weddings, you can offer a flower arch for the ceremony, or a set menu at your restaurant.
Think: what makes my property special? Emphasize the value in an easily understood plan so that organizers can quickly see where their money will be spent and how the upgrade will contribute towards the overall success of the event.
You can get creative with what you offer based on what organisers are looking for. Hotels that are serious about group business usually invest in event management tools like Event Temple that connect to their Property Management System (PMS). This makes staying on top of event bookings easy.
5. Limit your upsell options
Even though it might seem like the more variety you can offer customers the more likely they are to find something they like but the truth is it’s overwhelming. It’s like showing up at a restaurant with a menu the size of a novel. Guests need a limited, manageable set of choices.
So keep your products and add-ons limited and targeted to specific audience segments.
6. Explain the value in your marketing content
A proven upselling technique that hotels use is to convince the customer of the product value through their marketing content. For example;
Don’t just say – “buy a bottle of champagne.” Instead, talk about the origin of the champagne and describe the flavor notes.
Rich and enticing product descriptions that ‘show’ rather than tell customers why they need to purchase something is a surefire way to upsell more amenities at your hotel. You can highlight details, use emotive language, and “set the scene” for potential guests.
Take a look at examples of good product descriptions for upsells during online check-in below:
7. Highlight upsells on your social media
A study revealed that 73% of millennials check a hotel’s social media feed before booking. In that case, highlighting amenities on your hotel’s social media channels is an important upselling strategy to consider.
However, when you post, avoid coming off as overly self-promotional. Instead, try telling a story that your audience wants to hear and promoting a ‘lifestyle’ that’s associated with your brand.
Instagram is the ideal visual platform to appeal to your followers and potential guests with high-quality, engaging photography, and emotional content. For example, you can post a picture of guests enjoying your Sunday breakfast buffet or post an aesthetic picture of the products used at your spa to create intrigue around your upsells.
Source: The Ritz Hotel
8. Use your PMS to identify trends and keep testing to upsell
Take advantage of the data stored in your Property Management System (PMS). Your PMS can aid your upselling and cross-selling efforts by providing rich data like stored guest preferences. You can use these insights to focus on offers that provide the most value and the best guest experience. Naturally, these will also be the offers that generate the most revenue for your property.
9. Improve guest loyalty post-stay with enticing offers
A great deal of upselling starts at the prospect stage and especially when guests have already booked with your hotel. But how about after the guest checks out? You can entice guests to stay with you again by offering them a discount or a free breakfast for their next stay during check-out or via a post-stay email.
Building customer loyalty is extremely important because it takes 7 times more effort to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer. Returning customers are more likely to upgrade their stays for a different experience which makes them the ideal upselling candidates.
Upselling is one of the best ways to generate more revenue for your hotel and it’s actually not that difficult. Ultimately, it’s about knowing your guests and their needs. You also want to offer relevant products at the right time, to the right guests, and in the right places. Armed with these 9 upselling techniques for your hotel in 2022, you’ll see an increase in customer satisfaction and business performance in no time!
If you’re not using upselling tools at your hotel yet, get in touch with us for a free demo!