ABS speaks your guest’s language — Photo by ROOMDEX, Inc.

Hoteliers have a language problem, but it’s not what you think. It’s not the ability to speak to people from other countries. It’s the way they sell their products – their rooms. Given the amount of competition in the hotel industry, you would think that product differentiation would be a priority. But go to almost any hotel website and you will find the exact same products. The Standard Room. The Superior Room. The Junior Suite.

Here is a fun and easy exercise for you to try right now. Do a Google search for What is a Superior Room. I did, and this is what the Collins Dictionary says:

  • (supɪəriər rum) Word forms: (regular plural) superior rooms. noun. (Hospitality (hotel): Hotel room) A superior room is a room in a hotel that is more comfortable or has better amenities than other rooms.

So, it is a better room than other rooms. That, of course, means nothing because it is a relative comparison. You would have to know what other rooms are like exactly. And if you think that is vague, then consider the Junior Suite.

The website, UponArriving.com admits:

  • There doesn’t seem to be one universal definition of a junior suite but it is usually a hotel room with a larger sitting area that is not in a different room from the bedroom. However, hotels use this term pretty loosely and inconsistently and as you’ll see below a junior suite can take a number of different forms.

The website, Suiteness.com, that is in the business of selling suites, features a blog post to help consumers understand what common room/suite type names mean. In it they state:

  • So, what the heck is a junior suite? Interestingly, not all suites are made the same, and some people end up getting a glorified room when they book a ‘luxury suite.’

Many hoteliers have recognized this as an issue, so they rename their Suites to something like the Madison Suite or the Jefferson Suite. But, as you can begin to see, this isn’t really solving the problem. In a long list of names on their website, it’s not immediately clear what these names really mean.

Consider the many hotel design trade shows where there are seemingly infinite choices for wallpaper, tile, furniture, bedding, in-room electronics, fixtures, etc. Hotel owners and designers work extremely hard on bringing a set of distinctive hotel room experiences to their guests that will increase conversion, occupancy, and RevPar. Then they hide all these great purchases behind a generic room type name like Junior Suite. Faced with a long list of room types on a website, most of us quickly gauge which room type is better by the price tag. The shopping experience actually begins with the price, then moves to the picture, then perhaps to the room description…but probably not.

If the room details reveal the important differentiation between the Madison and the Jefferson, then perhaps when merchandising hotel product, the shopping experience should start there. The devil isn’t in the details – the guest experience is in the details. So how do we bring the actual room features to the forefront of the hotel room shopping experience? The answer is Attribute-based Selling (ABS).

With ABS, hoteliers sell every room attribute separately. Instead of the traditional method of offering rooms by room type, a hotel essentially unbundles its room inventory and allow guests to pick the features they value. So instead of buying a Junior Suite, the consumer buys a Fireplace, a Jacuzzi, a Balcony and a Park View. It’s truly a more personalized way of defining a stay experience.

ABS extracts and highlights the value in a room in a way that reflects the intention of the hotel’s designer and in the language of the hotel’s consumers. In doing so, attribute-based selling gives customers a method to purchase products in a way that better matches their individual desires, with the benefit of driving more revenue for the seller.

Here is a frequently heard counterpoint. We distinguish between the City View Junior Suite and the Park View Junior Suite. This fairly shows an effort to highlight a key feature (the view) in the room type name. But for someone considering upgrading from a Park View Superior, you will need to highlight more than just one feature that they already can have more cheaply.

For the guest, the room is the central part of their stay. They not only want a clear picture of what they’re getting for their money, they will actually pay more if they feel they are getting exactly what they want.

For the hotelier, the room is the hub of the hotel brand experience and the driver of nearly all of its revenue. They want to extract as much revenue as possible from the per key investments they have made.

However, the current process of purchasing a hotel room is vague for the consumer and leaves money on the table for the hotelier. ABS solves both problems by simply speaking the language of the consumer – room attributes with understandable value.

The good news is that while the promise of ABS has been discussed in our industry for a while, the technology is finally coming soon. Very soon. Stay tuned.


ROOMDEX is the technology leader in the hotel upselling software space. Its hotel upsell software automates, monetizes and ultimately simplifies the hotel room upgrade process by putting the power of choice in the hotel guest's hands.

ROOMDEX Upsell Automation uses hotel reservation, guest data and its proprietary True AvailabilityTM and Dynamic Pricing algorithms to deliver personalized digital offers, greatly enhancing the guest experience. The hotel upsell tool relieves hoteliers of the labor time required by other upselling solutions while delivering high margin revenue and a substantial ROI.

ROOMDEX is now the exclusive provider of ABS Upselling. Attribute-based selling re-imagines hotel inventory merchandising, delivering a unique and improved guest satisfaction and increased hotel revenue.

ROOMDEX leverages hotel operational and software experience gained by our team members while in leadership roles at companies such as MICROS (now Oracle Hospitality), Nor1, Duetto, StayNTouch and Shiji to develop our innovations in hotel automation, dynamic pricing, operational availability and attribute-based selling. Since founding in spring of 2020, ROOMDEX has signed hundreds of hotels across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Website https://www.roomdex.io
Twitter: @ROOMDEX
Facebook: facebook.com/roomdexinc
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/roomdex
Youtube: click here

Paul Peddrick