Intelligent SME.tech Issue 27 - Page 39

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Launched in March 2022 , onejourney is our all-in-one ecommerce platform . It ’ s like Shopify for hotels and lets guests shape their own stay by booking rooms , spa , dining and retail products in a single shopping basket .
Typically , we ’ re seeing increased revenues of 40 – 60 %, with approximately 30 % of orders featuring multiple products – combinations of hotel room , spa treatment , restaurant booking , plus retail offerings .
Wider e-commerce trends show customers want to be unbound by a business ’ s operating hours , and we see hotel website traffic peak at 8pm when most reservation teams have gone home for the day . onejourney works with existing hotel operational and booking systems to provide real-time availability , letting guests book 24 / 7 .
Successful retail is also about choice – unbundling and guest customisation is growing , with hospitality industry data showing 87 % of guests are more likely to book hotels with a la carte pricing .
Hotels need to give guests greater opportunities to personalise their stay , and onejourney does that by intelligently showcasing products and services across the whole hotel , letting guests book more specific itineraries such as a 7pm dining reservation , a room upgrade and take-home personalised bathrobes all in one basket .
Shifting the mindsets of hoteliers from sellers of rooms to a wider retail approach is essential . There are areas of hotels which are currently undersold because they aren ’ t accessible to online shoppers . Switching to an e-commerce approach unlocks huge returns and represents an exciting direction for the industry . We ’ ve recently added Google Pay and Apple Pay mobile wallets to onejourney platform , giving guests even more flexibility in how they book their hotel experiences and will continue to develop the product to facilitate the smoothest digital journey for guests .
When was Gifted introduced and how popular is it ?
We introduced our gift voucher platform Gifted in 2016 . Gift vouchers are incredibly popular across all types of retail and service businesses , and the sales of digital gift vouchers is consistently growing . Gifted is the top gift voucher platform in the UK market , used by hotels , such as The Ned , Claridge ’ s and Chewton Glen . We see it as an essential part of our wider promise to hoteliers to improve the way they sell their portfolios of products and services .
Tell me more about your career history – did you work in hotels before ?
While I haven ’ t worked in hotels , a number of our team have , including our CFO , Gwyn Hicks , our Commercial Director , Elli Regan and many of our client team . This gives us an important balance of inside knowledge , helping us deeply understand our clients and their challenges , and ‘ outside thinking ’ which can bring fresh ideas to the industry .
My background is in sales and marketing across a range of industries , with roles as a business and marketing consultant , but hospitality always interested me . The ethos of service and providing memorable experiences for their customers is universal and we carry that at the heart of Journey .
How do you recruit people with the right digital skills ?
Journey ’ s team is integral to our success , and many have developed their skills through training as part of our company evolution .
We work with local universities to recruit more junior roles , while our more senior team come from a range of industries and are often recommended to us – or us to them ! Skills are important but ultimately , it ’ s about attitude : we recruit people who are ambitious , unafraid to shake things up and who think differently .
There ’ s a misunderstanding that cities like London or Edinburgh dominate the tech landscape . While they may be home to huge multinational brands , there ’ s exciting technology companies based in almost every corner of the UK . On the edge of the Cotswolds , we ’ re able to offer work / life balance that companies in big cities aren ’ t able to . �

SHIFTING THE MINDSETS OF HOTELIERS FROM SELLERS OF ROOMS TO A WIDER RETAIL APPROACH IS ESSENTIAL .
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