Attribute Based Shopping - A blessing or a bane?
While attribute based shopping has been discussed for over 10 years, the level of noise about its application for the hotel industry has significantly increased in the last 18 months. After significant investment in new systems and technology, companies like IHG are tipping their toes in the ABS waters. While some tout the great benefits (and revenues) expected by offering customers more choice, others take a more cautious approach, questioning the expected benefits and ROI. What is your take on ABS, will it do what it did for the Airline industry - boost ancillary revenues, or will it be the "3D TV" of Hotel Technology.
I love the customer-centred vision at the heart of ABS. The promise of 'infinite SKUs' and stay packages that are experience-led rather than room-led is intoxicating.
For many hotels, the digital sophisticates, these new capabilities will likely be put to good use. For other hotels, I suspect the rewards of ABS are many years away. The practical challenges of delivering a web of attributes in-house, the complexities of correctly pricing both rooms and attributes and the organisational inertia will stymie many optimistic ABS initiatives.
I hope that the early adopters will quickly identify a killer app for ABS that the rest of the market can follow. In the meantime I'd suggest hotels start to experiment with upsell technologies (like Oaky) as a half-way house and opportunity to identify what attributes their guests will pay more for today.