Riding the retail revolution – Sabre highlights the trends fuelling the transformation of hoteliers into retailers

As technology and consumer behaviours change, so do the brands and experiences guests seek and value. Hoteliers must adapt their mind-frame in order to stay relevant in a world full of alternatives. That is the advice of Sabre Corporation, which has worked in partnership with global consumer trends and insights experts TrendWatching to deliver a consumer trends study explaining the so-called retail revolution taking place in the hospitality industry.

It is clear that hoteliers are continually faced with new and difficult challenges in a transforming marketplace. People are connected to their devices in a way like never before. Personalisation is the new expectation, and hoteliers undoubtedly know that creating a more personalised experience is necessary to stay relevant.

“Technology is changing the expectations of today’s traveller. They demand flexibility, optionality and a seamless shopping experience that goes beyond booking a guest room. This presents exciting opportunities for hoteliers to extend far beyond their traditional offerings,” explains Clinton Anderson, president of Sabre Hospitality Solutions. “Hoteliers must pay attention to the consumer behaviours driving this retail revolution and capitalise on the possibilities.”

As a trusted technology partner to over 40,000 hotels, Sabre is quite well positioned to offer insight into technology options to hoteliers that will enable them to deliver the creative and personalised offers their guests expect.

The report, ‘Retail Revolution: Trends fueling the transformation of hoteliers into retailers’, was released this summer and details how innovative retail and hospitality players are harnessing six key consumer trends to drive innovation and improve their guest experience. It includes actionable insights to fuel creativity and gain a deeper understanding of how concepts can be applied to provide guests with convenience, relevance, fun, recognition and support – the things the analysis identifies that they crave in today’s retail-driven environment.

It highlights that travellers are increasingly aware of an ever-growing ecosystem of cameras and sensors. “Although sensitive to security concerns, they crave personalisation and are willing to share their data to get it. Truly smart physical spaces – retail stores, hotel rooms and more – are now built with technology ranging from facial recognition to robots that create experiences tailored to the guests moving through them,” says the report.

It also notes that retailers have mastered the use of algorithms and smart devices to increase convenience and serve up intuitive recommendations at crucial moments. “Busy travellers will increasingly expect the same experience from their travel providers. Developing capabilities to automate shopping, selecting and purchasing activities will allow hoteliers to deliver increased simplicity – and a more meaningful experience – to their guests,” the report explains.

Another factor is that smart retailers are responding to society’s increasing sense of isolation by transforming their spaces in new ways to foster connections and promote social well-being. “Hotels, with a myriad of unique and functional spaces at their disposal, have significant – and relatively untapped – potential to maximise their properties and provide unique experiences to their guests,” identifies the report.

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