Four months ago, I was chatting with a friend who works at the front office at a small hotel. We were sharing travel stories as I was asking her about the accommodations for an upcoming trip. She told me how she had just had a tour of a room where the guest left almost no room in their suitcases for gifts and souvenirs.
I asked her if this is something that happens often, and she nodded calmly. She said it’s not uncommon to see guests coming in with bags full of clothes and nothing else, save for maybe gum or a toothbrush. It seems like when going on vacation, people only want to bring back memories from their trip—not things to remember them by.
There is a saying that people want a souvenir of their trip, but that they don’t want to remember it. I think many of us can relate to this. We tend to forget the trivial things like gum, toothbrushes and clothes and remember the big things instead. By the end of our trip, we have an overflowing suitcase full of precious memories.
Hotels have held onto the old stigma that guests can’t give back to the hotel, but it’s not true at all. Providing a complimentary location for guests to shop for souvenirs and gifts will ensure that people continue to feel appreciated and respected by the hotel. The following tips will help you in maximizing this business opportunity.
Simply put, hotels are looking for an extra revenue stream. Make your gift shop a part of the hotel that is treasured by guest as well as staff members alike. It’s no secret that guests want something more than trinkets when they visit a hotel gift shop; they are looking for quality products that will last them for years to come.
Hotels are a great place to find unique and high-end products that people want. Use this to your advantage by catering to the need that most people have, which is to buy high-quality, unique gifts. There may be a wide range of gifts available, but some of these gifts can be downright ugly or tacky. Be vigilant in making sure that each item you sell can be considered a quality product meant only for the eyes of those who can appreciate its beauty and intricacies.
Hotels are great places to sell products as they have large numbers of tourists in one place and people visiting them don’t necessarily know the area that well. A lot of the time people can get to a hotel and not know what there is to do nearby; so if a hotel sells maps/ guides/ magazines with information about what’s going on in the area you’ll be able to help these customers out. There is also a huge amount of potential when creating branded content for hotels because they are usually so large; you could create anything from magazines and leaflets to art exhibitions that shows people what you can offer in your shop. The other great thing about hotels is that a lot of them have their own restaurant and bar; so this means that you can sell your products in those places too. This will also help to create a really strong brand as you are spreading your products across multiple locations and not just one.
If you have a hotel with 100 rooms, that means that you can reach 100 different groups of people – this could be perfect if you want to create a new product where each group has their own unique features. Think about what each group of people would really want to buy and create a product for them. Not only this, but if you have a shop that has 100 rooms then you can think about what category they fall under: for example, do they all need different types of hotel bedding? Or do some need a laptop charger? You could sell these products in the shop too and it becomes even easier to target your customers.
The key element of your shops is the way in which you present your products and services; remember, you want to try and make them look like something that people will be interested in. You should try and get the branding for your hotel/ hotel shop to be as subtle as possible because if it is too obvious then people may not realise what type of products you offer. If you can do this then you will have a store that is easy to navigate and customers can feel a bit more confident when they are deciding what they need and want.
Hotels have a very easy way for people to get all the information they want about their products. They will often include information about the products in the magazines and brochures that they provide to guests, so this means that you should try and provide your customers with at least one of each type of product that you sell. This will make your shop look more appealing and attractive to people who are thinking about buying something.
When it comes to creating a picture for your hotel shop, try and provide some eye-catching graphics for your store as these will attract a lot more attention than if you just used neutral coloured backgrounds. Try and create a style guide for each product that looks similar to what you would consider classy or high end. This will ensure that your guests know what they are buying from your shop and which category it fits in.
To make your hotel shop attractive, you will need to do some research about the local area, its culture and what people like to buy from their shops. This is a really good way of getting all the information that you’ll need to sell products from your hotel; if you do this then people will recognise that you aren’t just making stuff up as you go along. If there are some things that would be useful for your shop such as maps or guides then consider getting them printed out by an outside company. You should then look online for other local products that you could sell in your hotel shop. Jot down a list of the ones you think would be popular and keep them until you have some more products to sell.
Creating your hotel shop can be really fun and interesting as you have so many things that you can do with it. You will need to make sure that what you are selling fits with the type of hotel that you’re running. If your hotel is on the beach then selling books may not be the best idea, but if it’s in an urban area then a lot of people will love to buy books or magazines about what’s going on in the area. This is one of the reasons why you should think about selling magazines; that’s because they are so easy to sell and can be in every category that you sell.
Bed and breakfast hotels aren’t all that different from hotels in other areas; they are often aimed at the same type of people who would like to go on a holiday. If you want to make your shop look high end then you really shouldn’t be selling any of the items that you sell for other types of accommodation because these products won’t fit in with what your customers want. If you are trying to appeal to a younger market, then it is important that the products in your hotel shop look modern and stylish.
You should research what kind of hotel shop would look nice if it was being done by another person so that you can try and put yourself into this mindset when creating your own store. By doing this you can give your customers a good experience when they come to see you and then in turn they will want to come back again.
You should put a lot of thought into what kind of things would appeal to people who are looking at your hotel shop. You should also think about what sort of products would be popular with the other guests! You need to sell products that you know people are going to love in your hotel shop; this means doing all the research and spending time at the shops before you go ahead and set up your own business online.
Most b&b owners don’t have an option for making their own hotel shop, but there are some ways that they can create a nice experience for customers. Firstly this is done by designing their own website in such a way that it looks appealing to the visitors who come to their site. The design should be easy to look at and something that will draw customers’ attention.
Back to my friend’s revelation
Hotel and Bed and breakfast shops should consider setting up a package where tourists can get a good deal on shipping where they have their gifts, souvenirs and items shipped home instead of having them carry them around. Doing this would make the clients happy because you take one worry off their shoulders, and it also makes a good experience for them when they visit your hotel and buy something from your shop. It will go a long way in creating a lasting impression and maybe helping to convert tourists into loyal customers for life.