Attribute Based Shopping - A blessing or a bane?
— 11 experts shared their view
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.
Marketing professional, speaker, lecturer and journalist in the field of Digital Tourism
While ABS is something which comes naturally in the airlines model, where customers already expect to pay for certain variables, in the hospitality it cannot be taken for granted. Just because it worked for airlines, it doesn't mean it will for the hospitality industry.
Let's look at the case of the Malaysian hotel group, Tune Hotels (founded by the low-cost airline AirAsia co-founder, Tony Fernandes), a no-frill budget hotel chain. Here guests, starting from a very low rate, could add on accessories (blankets, towels...), more consumption, even a window in room! Just a few years later, Tune Hotels in London closed and got rebranded; in the TH official website, it states today: “We're All In! No more top-ups or add ons”. Why that?
Honestly, I believe more in a great SPA, a decent Restaurant, other few amenities as strong drivers of revenue for a hotel. While in the room, the most distinctive feature for additional revenue today is its own flair. I also believe in the customer's journey and its different purchasing needs at different times, which could be, one day, controlled by some big tech players.
But I am still not convinced by ABS for hotel rooms and ABS as the way to personalization. Open for a different view.