Imagine you’re at home and decide you need a holiday on the weekend, fast.
You ask Alexa to find you a good deal on a hotel somewhere you’d like to go, and a flight to get there. In less than ten minutes, you’ve got your travel and holiday booked, and all without looking anything up online.
You arrive at your hotel, and there’s an Amazon Echo in the room. Without having to get up out of the bed, you’ve booked a massage and ordered breakfast simply by asking for it.
What may have seemed like science fiction just five years ago is already a reality.
Last year, Amazon, Marriott, Kayak and Expedia and a number of other travel or hotel companies announced several different partnerships that made bookings available via Alexa.
These clever companies recognised several years ago that consumers are already using Amazon Echo and Alexa to try and find out booking information. They saw an opportunity to add a direct booking service to what was already an information service, and they jumped on it.
In fact, since 2016, Amazon Echo users have been able to add software to their device, which allows them to ask Kayak questions such as “where can I go next month for $1,000?”
In the last year, however, these different companies are further integrating their services, extending their partnerships, and developing their software to make bookings even easier. They’re even extending AI beyond bookings, into the realm of customer service.
Amazon recently announced a partnership with Marriot, called Amazon for Hospitality, to bring the convenience of voice-activated AI right into your hotel room.
Soon, (and already in some hotels in the US!) Marriot and other hotels will begin installing Amazon Echo devices inside rooms. Guests will be able to ask them everything from, ‘where do I find the pool,’ to, ‘can you book me a table at the restaurant?’
So, what does this hotel technology revolution have to do with revenue management?
Put simply, everything. Revenue management is defined as the art of getting ‘the right product to the right customer at the right time to the right price.’ It’s no easy field, but it can make the difference between the success and failure of a business. As a revenue manager, you have to be able to study data, predict trends and develop innovative strategies to take advantage of these ‘eureka’ moments in consumer services.
The bold success of Amazon came from their recognition years ago that consumers were moving online to find products. By using big data, they were able to target consumers more effectively, and so deliver the right product at the right moment.
With this move into hotel bookings, they are again using the principals of revenue management to revolutionise customer service.
They’ve figured out another ingenious system to deliver the product, (the flight or the hotel room) to consumers using a platform they are already on, quickly and efficiently, so that they can sell it before it’s ‘expiry date’ (the moment the plane leaves the ground minus a passenger, or the day a hotel room stays empty).
So, in fact, revenue managers have played a central role in the development of this exciting new technological revolution!
Are you considering a future for yourself in revenue management?
Torrens has just launched a new Graduate Certificate of Revenue Management, in partnership with the Australian Revenue Management Association. You can study all the clever tricks that led to the success of Amazon, without even having to commit to a full degree.
The course explores big data and information systems, strategy, innovation, digital marketing and the role of new technologies in business. You get to investigate real life case studies like Amazon, to better understand how to deliver products to consumers in the 21st century.
The course can be completed online, with flexible options, and at a pace that suits your lifestyle.
Within less than two years, you could be the next genius powering a tech revolution like the Alexa hotel booking system!
[image ‘Alexa for Hospitality’. Photo credit: Amazon]
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