Covid-19 spelled bad news for the hospitality industry as the world came to a standstill and lockdowns were imposed. As people had to stay home to curb virus spread, the hospital industry suffered as restrictions and travel bans became the new reality. UK hospitality estimated revenue drop of 97% in the industry initially due to the pandemic’s crippling effect on the economy. Experts estimate that it can take another year before UK retailers in the hospitality industry can expect to witness growth similar to that in 2019 before the pandemic started. However, as restrictions and travel bans are lifted, UK retailers can be more hopeful as the hospitality industry can rise again.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak rolled out a new package that includes abolishing stamp duties, VAT reduction to 5% from 20%, ‘eat out to help out’ plan, and a hiring scheme. This can help boost the UK’s hospitality sector as demand from consumers will increase and jobs will be protected as a result. The hospitality sector can get back on its feet if people are encouraged to spend and the key here is ‘people’. If UK retailers understand people and their spending behavior, then they can take strategic steps to ensure they are catering to the right audience. Data is the foundation required to understand how a business is currently doing and what it can do to further improve itself.
There are way too many benefits of data that retailers should know about. Here are some ways in which data can help the hospitality industry rise from the ashes.
Recognizing consumers is the first way in which data can help UK retailers. Data enables segmentation which can help categorize different consumers such as by demographics, age, and shopping habits. The pandemic has changed how businesses serve customers because retailers are expected to provide the basics such as ensuring contact-less delivery among others. When retailers are aware of the different consumers, they can focus on giving them a personalized experience which can yield better results. For example, retailers can use marketing strategies to cater to the various customers.
Data can help get information about where the customer demand lies. Understanding demand is vital because it helps retailers recognize what customers want. From the start of the pandemic, consumer demand has shifted drastically. And retailers need to understand how. Big data can help answer that question for retailers so they can spend more time and resources to ensure there isn’t any shortage in supply. Getting into the nitty-gritty of demand can help retailers build strategies to acquire new customers. During these times, retaining existing customers and acquiring new ones is equally important for growth.
Build A Solid Price Strategy
Pricing analysis is possible with data. Retailers need to tread carefully to build pricing strategies that won’t be too steep for customers but still be beneficial for their business. There is a fine line that shouldn’t be crossed. In the absence of data, the most profitable pricing strategy is impossible to figure out. Data can help with the various aspects of pricing analysis that cannot be ignored as the world slowly gets back to the new normal. For example, the best price of a hotel room is the price that customers are willing to pay and the price at which the hotel can still earn a profit. With pricing analysis, this balance can be achieved when a price intelligence software is used.
A report suggests that businesses are three times more likely to improve their decision-making when they have data at hand. Decisions are at the root of actions taken by businesses. Without data, retailers might rely on non-trustworthy methods such as their intuition. As the pandemic is still wreaking havoc across the world, UK retailers in the hospitality industry must use data as a way to make all decisions if they want to make smart ones. For instance, data can help determine if new people need to be hired or if new skills should be taught to existing employees. Data can help plan for the long term and it can help make short term adjustments.
The hospitality industry is one of the worst-hit from the pandemic and retailers need to know what they are up against now that bans and restrictions are being lifted off. Are there new players in the market or are retailers up against the strong competition? Without the use of data analytics, retailers cannot get a firm understanding of their competition and how they can surpass their competition. Data can be used to keep a tab on competition and their strategies. This can help retailers either focus on what makes them unique or monitor how the competition is responding to the situation. Data can help get a clearer picture of all competition so retailers can improve themselves and stand out.
Improved Business Activities
Running a business is complex and throws a pandemic in the mix and things can get out of hand. But data can come to the rescue because it can help improve various business aspects. While getting the right business intelligence tools can seem costly to businesses, it is worth it in the end because the benefits outweigh the expenses involved. Take the case of Marriott which uses big data analytics to provide exceptional service to its customers. Since it was one of the leaders to adopt digitization in its chain, Marriott continues to shine and grow post-lockdown. Marriott has admitted that big data has helped it become efficient and improve its operations.
Although there are numerous advantages of big data, pricing analysis can be tricky without a comprehensive tool. If Covid-19 has taught retailers one thing related to pricing, then it is to use price intelligence software which can make a big difference in ensuring the safety of brand reputation and retention of profit margins. The pandemic is far from over but making wise decisions from now onwards can impact businesses in the months and years to come.