World Panel
Viewpoint28 August 2019

Attribute Based Shopping - A blessing or a bane?

Digital Marketing in Hospitality

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Attribute Based Shopping - A blessing or a bane?
CitizenM corridor in NYC
This viewpoint was created by
Klaus Kohlmayr, Chief Evangelist at IDeaS Revenue Solutions
Meng-Mei (Maggie) Chen
Assistant Professor at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

Customers don't buy attributes, customers buy solutions to their problems. What customer problems could ABS solve? How could ABS make customers' lives better or easier? The fate of ABS will depend on the answers to these questions.

What customer problems could ABS solve? To answer this question, hoteliers should focus on their customer personas, personas' lifestyles, and reasons to visit the destination. A family traveling with an infant needs more than a baby crib, and will pay for the extra amenities such as baby bathtub, baby bottle sanitizer, etc. To make customers' lives easier, Westin Gear Lending program enables travelers to maintain their travel routine without carrying their sports gear, while a Westin Workout room let travelers use fitness equipment in their rooms. Hence, monetization opportunities are not much about rooms' physical attributes, but addressing customers' problems.

Focusing on monetizing attributes may create a dilemma. Hotel rooms can be differentiated based on a very limited set of attributes, such as a king or queen bed, high or low floor, near or away from elevators, shower or bathtub, different views, etc. Even if customers could configure their own rooms, they may not perceive this opportunity as value-adding. On the other hand, high-end properties may offer more attributes or features, but their customers probably do not want to invest their valuable time to configure, while hoteliers want to avoid showing the price of every attribute. 

Nerveless, the technology developed for ABS will be a blessing. When hoteliers think outside of the box (hotel), identify services or amenities helping customers solving their problems, then these services or amenities could be booked and confirmed through ABS. What about booking a hotel room with two beach chairs and an umbrella? Anyone? 

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