Gemma is in her early 30s and is renovating her house in a beautiful part of London. However, her successful, demanding career dictates that she travels regularly. Like other professionals of her age, she doesn’t have time to trawl her high street and source items for her house in the traditional way. Instead, she is ready to shop at any time, from any place.
Imagine Gemma’s delight when, while staying at The Story Hotel in Stockholm, she discovered that the basin in her hotel bathroom would go perfectly with her new bathroom at home. Not only that, but she could order it from the hotel’s online shop and have it delivered straight to her home, all from the comfort of her aeroplane seat (thanks to onboard WiFi).
“I spotted the most wonderful bathroom basin in my room while visiting the city on business,” she said. “I just had to have it and was delighted to discover the sinks were available to purchase in the hotel’s online shop, with easy home delivery! Two weeks later it arrived and now I am installing it into my lovely new bathroom at home. Every time I go to brush my teeth at night I will think of my perfect stay at the hotel.”
The needs of the millennial shopper
Much has been written about the spending habits of millennials and the retail experiences to which they’re drawn. ‘Authenticity’ and ‘the desire to feel a part of something fashionable and trendy’ are significant drivers, with smartphones and tablets being the main portal to online shopping. Hotels are in a unique position to service the retail needs of those like Gemma. Through the curation of unique and locally-sourced hotel items, procured via easy online ordering and expedited delivery, hotels can meet the evolving retail expectations of millennial shoppers.
But enabling guests to take home items for their home can also have an astounding impact on the customers’ relationship with your hotel brand. Items placed in the home, that a person will come into contact with every day is a powerful, yet subtle way to remind guests of their experience in your hotel and city. Tokens of a good experience – sinks, cushions and candles, to name a few – serve as reminders, as memories of an exceptional experience to be shared with friends and family. For hotels, making it easy for guests to procure these tokens enables them to connect their brand with their guests in meaningful and lasting ways .
Connecting items with experiences is the future of retail
It’s not just for smaller hotel chains and quirky boutique hotels, either. We are currently working with larger luxury brands such as the Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill to launch their online retail channel, which will enable guests to shop locally-sourced gifts from brands favoured by Sir Winston Churchill himself. In our experience, this idea of “ shopping with the hotel” is powerful for generating repeat hotel bookings. Art, interiors, jewellery, perfumes – when we work with hotels to curate their local online offering, we look for a local interpretation, whose dynamics change with the season. But above all we want it to be a unique reminder of a guest’s stay in your hotel.
In the meantime, Gemma will be reminded of her time at the Story Hotel every time she brushes her teeth.
To find out how to transform your hotel’s retail, contact me at email@example.com or visit hoteletail.com