Direct bookings remain a gold standard for hoteliers, but too often, a guest’s online booking journey is fragmented due to the multitude of booking systems a hotel needs to best service its different departments. 

For boutique and luxury hotels, this is particularly problematic: fragmented customer journeys can lead guests to book with OTAs and reduce the chance of a hotel forming a direct relationship with the guest. Hotels have the ability to develop that relationship by surfacing the wider product offering and capture more direct bookings without causing frustration. 

Nestled in the Worcestershire (UK) countryside, The Elms Hotel & Spa turned to onejourney by Journey Hospitality to provide its guests with a unified digital ecommerce experience. Influenced by learnings from high-end online retailers, onejourney has helped The Elms embrace ecommerce principles and more than double its revenue. 

Why onejourney for guests?

Like many hotels, The Elms relies on a wide technology stack, with different booking systems for different areas of the business. This left the hotel unable to offer full-service online booking. Rooms took precedence, with manual interventions needed by short-staffed operational teams to confirm spa treatments, dining reservations and other itinerary elements. 

Mark Bevan, Managing Director of The Elms, wanted to provide the hotel’s customers with a more effective digital experience, including empowering guests to shape their own stays with self-selected add-ons, as well as more easily book the room category they wanted. 

With post-pandemic pressures on budgets and staff shortages, Bevan turned to onejourney, a solution that would seamlessly integrate with the hotel’s existing tech stack, assist with wider operational challenges around staffing (freeing his team from administrative tasks), and be digitally intuitive for guests – and staff – to use.

Multi-product hotel bookings in a single cart

The Elms implemented onejourney in June 2022. The world’s first unified ecommerce platform for hotels, onejourney aggregates The Elms’ products and services into live bookable inventory, allowing guests to book rooms, spa, dining and more in one seamless online transaction – multiple items in one basket, with one checkout. 

Created following careful study of the wider ecommerce landscape, onejourney enables hoteliers to think more like retailers, removing barriers to purchase for guests and providing staff a wide range of reports and business insights, whilst synchronising booking data with a hotel’s existing PMS and outlet booking systems. 

onejourney pulls data from each of The Elms’ booking systems, with availability presented online in real-time. The platform wraps around existing technology, meaning no changes were necessary to the hotel’s back-end systems, PMS or website CMS. It works with the hotel’s existing website and brand identity, and is fully responsive for mobile use, providing a seamless digital booking journey for guests. 

Bevan said: “Since launching with onejourney, we’ve improved our online conversion and increased our average order value.  Working with onejourney reduces my labour costs, increases my revenue and increases my direct bookings, therefore reducing commissions. Over a third of our orders are now multi-product, driving greater direct revenue. onejourney has been a game changer for us.”

Highlights for The Elms include: 

> 108% increase YOY in room revenue – more than double

> Over 20% increase in average order value

> 34% of all orders contain multiple products

> 59% of bookings now made on a mobile device

> Provides operational efficiencies, reducing staff paper work

> Easy implementation with just weeks to install and results delivered immediately

Danielle Walker, Finance Manager, added: “The multi-product basket is fantastic because it upsells some products our customers may not have known we offer.”

Zoe Merriman, Spa Director, confirms: “Customers find it easier to add on, and progress their stay into something even bigger and better.” 

Expanding sellable hotel items

Following the initial success with onejourney, The Elms has recently rolled out the platform’s retail module, providing an additional revenue stream. This facilitates the online selling of spa retail products and other branded items, encouraging The Elms’ guests to enjoy a taste of the renowned hotel and spa at home. 

The operational efficiencies are also shaping the way the hotel’s team interact with guests, with reception and other guest-facing roles excited to be able to reduce their administrative workload and focus on spending more time with guests on-site. 

Provided by Journey Hospitality, onejourney is live in 101 four- and five-star luxury hotels and resorts around the world, with an additional 27 scheduled for onboarding in 2022. 

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