The Future of Retailing – Challenges and Opportunities

Lauri Mussa, Director of Reservations and Channel Management, Rosewood Hotel Group, HSMAI Global Distribution Advisory Board Member  

What is retailing?  

Is retailing the unbundling of rooms? Is it selling meeting space? Is it selling food and beverage? Is it your transfer? Is it collaboration with a partnership? Is it, in five years that the gen Zs and the millennials are going to want to buy their travel in one spot? What does that mean to the hospitality industry? 

Retailing is all those different things, and in hospitality, we are leading down the path of a broad definition. HSMAI’s Global Distribution Advisory Board got together to discuss all things retailing. Read on for the innovations, obstacles, and future of retailing.  

Challenges to Implementing a Retail Strategy 

  1. The industry needs more data, especially to consider if this is a good financial decision.  
  2. There is a danger of losing yourself when trying to retail incremental things when we cannot say that we’ve done a great job at retailing our primary products.  
  3. It can be technologically complex and costly.  
  4. Making sure of what you have, testing and learning what constitutes value. 
  5. Operational challenges in fulfilling offerings, from the communication when it sells on the website to get to the operations team, to take something through to the room, to go to the transportation team, etc. It can be incredibly difficult to bring that all together and to make it a great experience for the guests.  

Opportunities for Implementing Retailing  

  1. Put a booking widget on a website as a test to see if people will buy rental cars or flights from your website.  
  2. Develop a retailing insights program and expand product offerings. 
  3. Gain incremental revenue by including a product link and taking the commission of the top line.  
  4. Build the platforms, the APIs, and the deep links into all your verticals.  
  5. Look for ease of implementation and low development costs – like a partner that provides the scripts and artwork.   

5 Predictions for The Future of Retailing in Hospitality 

  1. We need leadership from the top, driving through the message that this is the way of the future. 
  2. Hospitality is lagging behind other industries mostly because of technology and that will be a hard gap to close. 
  3. Staffing and resourcing will continue to be the biggest obstacles. 
  4. and Expedia have the money and the resources. They’re going to be pushing the envelope, in terms of retailing and travel options. 
  5. Whether the battle is won or lost is in the ability to attract profit to our sites in the first place. 

Whatever the future holds, retailing is an exciting change for the industry. 

Categories: Revenue Management
Insight Type: Articles