Running a hotel is challenging at the best of times, that’s why you need to stay up to date with smart strategies to increase hotel revenue.
Throughout this post, we will highlight easy to implement strategies on how to increase room revenue in a hotel.
Coming up in this post:
- Website design and mobile presence
- SEO and Digital Marketing Strategies
- Offer Gift Vouchers and Experiences
The most obvious category, to begin with, is your pricing strategies. Your pricing strategy needs to be considered around various factors, your room types, occupancy, demand, seasons, services, day of the week and competition. So while we look at the following strategies consider your personal factors to maximise your revenue.
One of the most important things you can do for pricing your hotels is to master forecasting. This is reliant on being able to anticipate demand to decide on your pricing.
For forecast pricing to work efficiently you need to have records of occupation rates, revenue, room rates, and the average spend per room for at least a year. This way you can see what events throughout the year bring you high demand, low demand and any wider market trends.
It’s as straightforward as it sounds, if you experience particularly high demand around the Christmas period or weekends, then raise your room rates to maximise revenue. Likewise, your hotel has a history of low demand in certain periods you can predict this pattern and set high discounts and offers for these periods to increase interest.
Pricing around your competition is a mammoth task. You’ll need to review a complete competitor analysis on all of your local competition. Factors to consider is do they sell the same services as you? What are their room types? What are their room rates for similar room types?
When you have identified your direct competition, take a look at the deals they offer. Do their deals affect your occupancy? Are they increasing or decreasing their rates around certain time periods or events? Do they offer discounts?
Studying and mimicking successful competition pricing strategies is a fast-track way to figuring out what will work for you long-term. But don’t piggyback off their pricing strategy as your strategy. It may not work out well for you. But it is important to consider competitor pricing as this may very well affect your demand.
To attract certain all-round business, you should consider segmenting your pricing. That means having a separate pricing strategy for certain groups of customers. Hotels commonly have agreements with local businesses offering ‘business rates’. This is a win-win strategy as your hotel gets the first choice of stay with local business events, and they get exclusive pricing for their clients. The same can be applied if you host many business conferences at your hotel. You can offer business rates at a discount of 10-20% lower (Depending on the size of the booking), than the forecasted room rate for your business guests. This is particularly attractive for companies when choosing your hotel to run their event.
Many hotels use segment pricing to offer larger discounts to third-party bookings to remain competitive on their websites.
It is always preferable to get direct bookings for your hotel than to use a third party- simply because you keep the profits. Any strategies you can implement to encourage direct bookings are a winner. You can offer discount codes to past guests of your hotel to encourage them to book directly with you for any future stays. This eliminates them using third-party bookings again in future as they are familiar with your hotel, and would be making savings.
Offering incentives through creating packages gives guests a much higher perceived value for money and costs you little to nothing to do.
Guests are more willing to pay for high-value experiences, especially if they perceive they are getting a great deal. That’s why it’s important to market your packages with a ‘worth amount’ and and ‘saved amount’. For example, you can package a spa and overnight stay over your lower demand mid-week days and market it as the following: Romance mid-week overnight stay and indulgent spa package, worth £400 now only £300. Realistically this will not be costing your business £100 in revenue, but to the guest, they will get a perceived value of saving £100!
You can combine any of your services to create packages. Try rooms with dinner, spa, golf, or room amenity upgrades such as champagne on ice.
Also referred to as Best Available Rate by Length of Stay. This is a great way to get guests to extend their stays over otherwise low demand periods. Say for example a Monday and Tuesday night are usually particularly low demand nights, you can introduce a LOS strategy to encourage guests to pay that little bit extra to stay those few nights for a great deal.
Likewise, you can even implement a minimum night stay rule over, particularly high demand periods. This ensures that you are maximising your room occupation rates.
It is so important to ensure you have up-selling and cross-selling strategies in place.
Up-selling: This is where guests are encouraged to spend more on their existing purchase or booking. It is vitally important that your staff are trained well to execute this properly. A great way to entice guests to spend more on their experience is by offering them a better experience. This is best achieved during the booking process. Guests can be offered a room-upgrade for a better room, or better view etc.
Cross-selling: Thi sis where guests are encouraged to spend on additional services to the one they have already purchased. Many hotels refer to this as ‘enhancing the guest experience’. Skilled staff members can achieve this easily by introducing additional experiences that the guest could try during their stays, such as a revitalising full body massage, or a 3-course dinner in the hotels highly-rated fine dining restaurant. The best way to cross-sell is after the initial booking process and before the guest arrival. So the most effective means is through promotional emails before arrival.
While you may worry this will put off guests from staying at your hotel, it is actually common procedure to put in place a cancellation policy. Surprisingly a cancellation policy can even be used to increase revenue.
Through implementing during peak times, a cancellation policy is primarily your fail-safe net for any no-show guests if they fail to notify you of cancellation within 24-hours, for high demand hotels this can be extended for up to 48 hours. You just need to make the cancellation policy very clear to guests when booking.
Additionally, for any unsold rooms you can entice last-minute bookings at a discounted price, on the condition that if they cancel they don’t receive a refund.
Did you know you have only 15 seconds to interest 55% of visitors on your website?
Having a well-designed website is key to converting those online bookings and generating interest in your hotel.
We have dedicated a full blog post on the importance of great website design strategies. You can read the full post here.
But the main things to nail down to increase hotel revenue are:
- Quick load time (around 3 seconds)
- Simple Navigation
- Easy online bookings
- Clean and attractive design (first impression and often an impression of how your hotel will be)
- Use only high res images and gallery of the hotel
- Videos are a nice way to showcase your hotel. According to Fitsmallbusiness.com video is 70% more effective for producing conversions, especially when added to your website.
We write about being mobile optimised into almost all our strategy posts, but with good reason! With almost 60% of all online searches are carried out on mobile devices. This is especially true for the travel industry. Over 90% of travellers on mobiles will switch sites if the site fails to meet needs.
This even stretches to Search Engine Optimisation. Google prioritises websites with high-quality mobile optimisation. Mobile compatibility for websites is so important. Especially when ensuring the design fits for mobile and tablet screen size. But not only is the design a must, but it also needs to function properly too. Your website needs to be able to seamlessly take online bookings on mobile as a priority.
Therefore, to maximise hotel revenue you need to make sure first and foremost that you can take bookings on mobile. Then as a secondary measure, ensuring a friendly mobile experience will solidify your guest experiences, making them repeat customers. Here’s how you can achieve this:
Create a personalised experience. Mobile helps personalisation in a big way too! These features include:
- Mobile check-in and check-out
- Keyless sentry (through a mobile app)
- Push notifications (great for upselling and cross-selling and confirming reservations)
- Instant messaging communication (Room feedback or room service communication)
While these features and hotel experiences won’t necessarily bring in immediate hotel revenue, staying current and even ahead of trends will make guests return to you in search for the same experiences.
For more information on how to optimise your website for mobile, you can read our post here how to optimise your website for mobile.
It is essential that you are easy to find! As crazy as it may seem, having an online presence is a must to show you are existing. But just having an online presence isn’t everything. You need to be easy to find, and through using the right digital marketing strategies you can achieve just that.
There are many ways to ensure you’re found easily, through social media presence, appearing on search engines, and even on review websites. Let’s look at each of these individually.
Using social media in the right way is a great method to increase hotel revenue. But don’t just sign up to any and every social media platform. You need to have clear and well-thought-out social media campaigns on the right networks to be successful. Here are some things to consider:
- Think about your demographic. E.g 70% of Instagram’s audience is under 35 years old. While Facebook is the most-used social media platform in the world.
- Run competitions to generate interest. You can see an example of the types of social media promotions
- Stay current with social media features. Like the new Instagram IGTV video feature.
- Make sure all your social media has direct links to your website.
75% of travellers start with search engines to find a place to stay!
It is crucial to appear on search engines. When a potential customer is looking you up online, you need to be visible on the front page of search engines. The best way to ensure this is to sign up to Google My Business. The benefits:
- Free sign-up
- Works with Google maps so will show your hotel for people searching for hotels in your area
- Will allow people to find your contact information easily
- Will allow people to find your website super easily! (Many hotels signed up to third-party websites who also have poor SERPs won’t show on search engine results until quite far down on the results page. The third-party booking sites usually show before the direct hotel website)
- You have more control over what shows in the search results
- More likely to be shown over your competition
The travel and hospitality industry is heavily monetised when it comes to SEO. So if you want to appear top on those search engine results pages you need to be paying for ads. Whether this is on search engine platforms or social media ads you need to be involved.
For a great introduction on how to begin with paid ads (Also called PPC Ads), you can follow a guide from WCIC Tech Which PPC Platform Should You Choose.
The abandonment rate for hotel bookings online is 75%! So having a way to recapture all that lost business is vital to growing your hotel revenue. That’s where the genius behind retargeting ads come in!
Retargeting ads focus on targeting ads only to past visitors to your website, reminding them to pick up where they left off. They work by showing display ads to these past visitors with deals and incentives to entice them back.
Businesses with online reviews have 12.5% more conversions. So don’t ignore the importance of websites such as Trip Advisor.
As much as you want to close your eyes and look away, it is important to have a strategy in place to offset any bad reviews left on review websites. You can convert unsure potential guests into customers simply by the responses you give to negative online reviews.
More importantly, it’s a direct communication to your guests into their experience with you. So listen to their feedback and complaints as these are a huge insight into your hotel experience and performance.
It’s also important to note, guests spend more with hotels who have good reviews because they have greater confidence in their choice.
- Set alerts to get notified of new reviews
- Sign up to Google My Business to get generating direct customer reviews
- Respond positively and quickly to influence negative online feedback
One of the most lucrative and easy-to-implement strategies to directly increase the revenue you make is to offer gift experiences and gift cards. One of our customers The Celtic Manor Resort went from making £700,000 in voucher sales to £2.3m in just a couple of years.
With gift experiences and gift cards, you make instant sales on future services (that you may or may not even need to service).
What do we mean by this?
A massive 10-15% of purchased gift vouchers never get cashed in, even though you have already sold the voucher. This means that you never pay out for the service cost of that voucher. It is always better for business to sell your hotel services through gift cards as a priority rather than direct room bookings.
It is easier than it sounds.
With the experience economy on the rise, more and more people are looking to spend their hard-earned cash on experiences rather than goods.
Other revenue maximising benefits:
72.1% of consumers spend more than the value of the voucher, adding 55% on top of the average value of the card itself.
Here’s how you can maximise your gift voucher strategies for increased revenue:
- Advertise your hotel services as experiences to generate more interest
- Prioritise gift vouchers and gift experiences over direct bookings to maximise the potential revenue earned.
- Offer product add-ons when selling your gift vouchers to personalise guest experiences. Find out more about add-ons here
We hope you have found the strategies throughout helpful. This post has been designed to help you implement smart strategies to increase hotel revenue. For more ways on how to increase revenue in a hotel, see another post of ours here.