Upsell and cross-sell in hotels is about generating additional revenue by offering extras, various upgrades or add-ons.
It can come in the form of a more expensive or personalised version of the same product (room upgrade) or offering a product that hadn’t been previously considered (massage, tour around the city, etc.).
In theory upsell in a hotel sounds logical and fairly easy to execute, however, what if you …..
…don’t know what to (up)sell?
For starters, make sure your offers represent good value, are convenient, and that they are adding something relevant to the guest’s stay.
Sell anything with a high mark-up value
First of all fill in any gaps in the guests travel plan to make things easier for them – airport transfer, parking, massage after a long trip are the big ones for example.
Then don’t forget to focus on the convenient basics like late check-out or room upgrade or special room features. Those are the classic options that convert a lot.
How about in-room extras? A bottle of wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, movie rentals or premium minibar offerings are all great options.
Don’t forget 3rd party offers
Additional activities are a big part of the stay and can be offered by your property or by third parties through partnerships. Bike rentals, boat trips, tours, monuments and many more. If you’re in a city famous for its food, consider offering a tasting menu or afternoon tea as fun alternatives.
Incentives and coupons
A sure way to capture anyone’s attention is incentives. Who doesn’t love free stuff and coupons? When offered a great deal, customers are more likely to buy into it.
For example; if you offer your customer a free welcome drink when they check-in online or a 15% discount on their next stay, they are more likely to return to redeem their reward.
Don’t forget about promoting your offers
The biggest problem is that the guest usually has no idea that you are offering something extra. Because, if you don’t promote, they don’t know.
Combine automated digital tools with the power of your front desk
Be smart and combine automated digital tools (like automated pre-arrival and in- stay messaging by email and text messages, online upsell catalogue, QR codes, wifi success page) with the power of your front desk, where they can use personalised data to sell during your guest’s stay.
Distribute QR codes around your hotel
Print a pdf with a unique QR code (generated by MyStay) that contains information about hotel rules and amenities and place it on reception. By scanning it, the guest will immediately know your check-out and breakfast time, cleaning policy or minibar prices.
Basically, instead of taking a paper with all this information (that will definitely end up in a bin) or asking a receptionist again and again, your will have everything available to him at the tip of his fingers at all times.
The hotel staff can then distribute the QR codes and tablets wherever they like within their facilities. At the reception area, in the lobby, at the restaurant and/or in the rooms.
Once this is done, the guests can use the tablets or scan the QR code 24/7 during their stay. The guests can find all their information online, they can book any offer or service they like anytime, anywhere.
Upgrade your upsell game to a whole new level with in-room tablets
In-room tablets are the new in-room amenity that will increase revenue instantly. They offer the option to access all information and Smart catalogue offers 24/7, while also taking away any friction for the guest.
By few clicks, the guests can order anything they want, without even leaving their bed.
You can offer the new type of comfort in all of your rooms or only in the premium ones.
Focus on training your staff for front-desk up-selling
Make sure that all the members of your hotel are on the same page. Training every customer-facing staff member to spot up-selling opportunities, and to approach the guests with the right tone, at the right time, will be a key advantage.
Traditional upsell in hotels without involvment of online upsell, requires proactive approach mostly on the side of the guest and creates very limited space for the staff for upselling during the stay as they are limited by the in-person interactions. There is also a lack of statistics of guest behavior during the stay.
Guests can also get easily annoyed by the staff pushing offers and there are usually not enough interactions between them and the staff for a meaningful upsell to begin with.
Attract your guests by perfectly timed email marketing
The pre-arrival email is also ideal for plugging in offers such as room upgrade, airport transfer or parking spot reservation.
You can also highlight facilities like spa, pool, yoga, gym, etc. to encourage them in utilizing these services or let them know about your special offers with a one-time message.
Do you offer a degustation menu or decided to offer guests a welcome drink as a bonus to booking a spa? Then use the one-time message that can be sent to guests before, during their stay and pre-departure.
Recognize your target audience, it allows you to deepen your connection with your guests and increase upsell opportunities as well. Also remember, not every guest is a good fit for upsell; so never try to push additional products or services on someone who doesn’t truly want or need them.
Use the magic of social media
Showcase best offers, combo packages, and deals on your website as well as on your social media profiles. You can also post Carousel images on social media platforms, highlighting the various offerings you have at your property.
For example posting some exclusive couple packages; can also be the best social media post idea for a hotel.
This kind of post is especially right before valentine’s day or the whole of May to September (wedding season).
BONUS: Tips for the easiest upsell ideas
Parking or a hotel transfer
The absolute number one best-seller. 🏆
The guests need to get to your facility somehow – either by a bus/taxi or by their own car. In the first case, they would need to deal with finding the correct public transport, pay for it and hope they won’t get lost.
In case they have their own car, they will need to find a parking spot. Since there is a 95% chance that your hotel does not have its own parking, or has enough space for all guests, the guest will need to pay the fare.
So what is the perfect, most convenient way to provide maximum comfort?Offer an airport transfer or a parking spot pre-payment.
Don’t be shy with this particular offer. You would be surprised how many guest are actually interested in upgrading their room straight before their arrival or once they arrive. Most of them won’t ask about it, however once your concierge brings it up there is a high chance of scoring extra revenue, and extra points for satisfaction that you care about guests’ comfort during the stay.
Early check-in and late check-out options
Bringing extra flexibility and convenience, this is one of the most popular and appreciated offer.
All you need to do is set a rate and determine the extended time frames for arrivals and departures.
Also, make sure to include it on the top of your list and pro-actively promote it to your guest, so they know it is available to them.
Encourage guests to stay longer with discounts for a one- or two-night extension. This is an effective way to sell additional rooms on low-occupancy shoulder dates.
People travelling by car could be interested as they’re not restricted by train or plane tickets. 😉
FOOD 1 0 1: Hotel restaurant, breakfast to bed, private dining, degustation menu, welcome drinks, and discounts
As long as you have your own restaurant, the options for this are limitless.
Guests come to your facility for various reasons – and every single one is an opportunity for you to offer special promotions, degustation menus, breakfast to bed of happy hour drinks.
Ideally, you’d create offers that encourage additional spending. That could be buy-one-get-one-free deals for drinks or a free dessert for guests who order both a starter and a main course.