Payments Innovator, FreedomPay, the global leader in secure commerce technology for lodging, retail, restaurants and other hospitality merchants, today announced the publication of a new Report entitled Hospitality 2020+ The Reasons Why We Talk About Data-Driven Commerce.
The extensive analysis takes an in-depth look at how enterprises that wish to get and stay ahead in a highly competitive and changing sector, need to embrace a next generation fully integrated customer centric platform across all channels
More efficient management of big data, and the delivery of improved real-time business and customer intelligence, while enhancing existing legacy systems, will allow them to satisfy the demands of increasingly tech-savvy and demanding consumers.
New technology, online services and increased consumer spending power have fuelled a decade of continuous growth for the hospitality industry. Travel and tourism (including hotel, lodging and food and beverage) now accounts for over 10% of global GDP. The global hotel industry alone is worth $525bn, with US revenues upward of $200bn annually.
With potentially millions at stake, businesses that deliver seamless, ultra-convenient experiences that their customers have come to demand (combining security, payment, loyalty and offers), are those that will achieve the most significant success in the market. These technological shifts include the rollout of user-friendly apps, online booking and check-in, advance ordering and e-loyalty programs.
Additionally, while many hospitality businesses have focussed their attentions on front-end improvements, a large number have overlooked vital back-end functionality, resulting in disjointed and fragmented operational systems which are a threat to growth and their competitive place in the sector.
FreedomPay Founder and CEO, Tom Durovsik said: “Across the hospitality sector, businesses of all sizes are finding themselves having to adjust their strategies to survive in a new data driven era – one of optimistic local and global growth but also one of unprecedented change in terms of competition, guest expectation, technological empowerment and data regulation. This report clearly highlights the advantages of having a truly data driven customer centric strategy that provides fully integrated solutions via a single payments platform across in-store, online and on-mobile.”
A direct relationship with customers
With the hotel industry surpassing $500bn globally, the size of the prize is attracting large and small operators, all battling for a bigger slice of the pie. At the same time, pricing power is shifting to the consumer, who is likely to browse online for venues offering the best value, location, and service reviews.
Data indicates that enticing customers to book through a provider’s proprietary channel rather than a third-party, results in savings of up to 20%. To add to this, 26% of travelers say that service and experience is why they choose a particular brand when deciding where to stay, which further outlines the importance of having the right digital architecture in place.
The solution – value of true end-to end integration
Using an integrated commerce platform as a central data engine allows businesses to surround and expand current siloed systems, improving the guest experience, creating an effortless franchisee management system and providing smarter data and business intelligence. A customer-centric commerce platform also creates an architecture that fuels innovation and provides businesses with the ability to ‘future-proof’ and de-risk services, allowing for agile business decision making and driving competitive advantage.
Christopher Kronenthal, President and CTO of FreedomPay added: “Hospitality organizations can no longer allow outdated legacy providers to hold them back and must act now to assimilate important functions into data driven connected digital architecture. The vast majority of processors simply cannot keep pace with advancing technology.
“A Commerce Platform provides a viable opportunity to achieve this with minimal risk and disruption. In addition to managing transactional data from real-time interactions across multiple booking and sales points (POS) – they are able to deliver a clear understanding of what is happening and why. Not just within the purchase journey, but across all industry silos to reveal the key factors and experiences that are influencing decisions.
“Using a platform as an open and integrated engine to drive data to, and from, other non-sales facing hospitality functions, unlocks huge potential to reduce cost, improve customer experience and revenue as well as to enhance loyalty and long-term profitability”.