A key challenge with last minute offers is to ensure the guests who book in advance and pay the higher rate are not ‘trained’ to become accustomed to waiting the day before check-in to book and get a discounted rate. This also carries other challenges such as: Loyal customers put off advance booking for fear of missing out on last minute deal Hotel reputation tarnished amongst regular guests Fear of guests with reservations demanding lower the lower last minute rates once aware So how can hotel chains ensure last minute bookings are incremental bookings and not cannibalizing their existing customers? The key is to take a ‘No Extras’ or ‘No Frills’ approach to same-day bookings. Also the timing and the language used when promoting same-day bookings is important to communicate the context and relative value of the offer. The messaging should make clear that the same-day room offer is something like the following: - Run of House Rooms only - Small room, no view etc - No ancillaries (Breakfast, WiFi etc.) - No Loyalty Bonus (Ineligible for Loyalty Points) - Very targeted marketing to attract new customers Moreover, same-day bookings can be targeted at very defined and new customer segments using clever targeting, geo-fencing SMS campaigns and opportunistic campaigns to react to unexpected bad weather, bad traffic or other unforeseen situations which may leave people in the need of a last minute room. I will publish another blog post on targeting techniques for same-day bookings soon. Get the full story at Web in Travel