Marketplace Displays Help Hotels Tap the On-Demand Trend Without Expensive Tech


Cash Convenience is king in the current economy. Consumers increasingly want products and services now, and that drive, with the help of technology, has led to the creation of the on-demand economy. You don’t have to look far to find examples of companies feeding these demands: Amazon drone delivery, Instacart, DoorDash, Uber, Lyft, Eat24, and so on.

Millennials created the on-demand market and now people in every demographic look for and expect convenience built into their buying experiences both online and in person.

If you run an independent or small chain hotel, tapping into the typically high-tech on-demand convenience trend can seem overwhelming. Tech is expensive to develop and often requires large investments and teams to work through the noise to produce something – a gadget, an app, a loyalty program – that your guests will value. For large chains, sometimes the feedback loop or tech is meant to serve the large scale need vs. the local demand, which can be a miss.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Hotels of all kinds can go low-tech to answer the on-demand call by creating attractive marketplace displays stocked with items that guests of all ages will love. You’ll create value by providing the convenience your guests are looking for, and you’ll differentiate yourself from the competition in the process.


merchandising-display.jpgPictured: marketplace display with wood and metal wire baskets with galvanized metal bucket and cup accent pieces

Marketplace Displays Help Hotels Tap into Trends

Hoteliers can target three trends with marketplace displays:

  • On-demand economy
  • Increased snack occasions
  • Urban industrial dŽcor themes

On-demand can be as simple as anticipating your guests’ wants and needs, and finding a convenient way to provide them. Marketplace displays put goods right in front of your guests. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that. However, to get the most value out of your displays, you’ll want to ensure they’re stocked with desired items.

Pictured: metal wire baskets, wood and metal risers with galvanized metal accent pieces 

Snacking occasions are on the rise, according to a report by NPD Group:

Morning snacks represent 23 percent of foodservice snack visits and evening 30 percent.

Those dayparts are typically the busiest for hotels. This means hotels have an opportunity to tap into more than half of snacking occasions during peak foot traffic time. Offering snacks, especially fresh, fairly healthy options, at marketplace displays in hotel lobbies creates extra value for guests. You’re giving them what they want, when they want it, in a location that couldn’t be more convenient: their hotel lobby.

Pictured: wooden boxes with metal accents, metal wire holder for cups and napkins, and galvanized metal cup accent piece

Hotels that thoughtfully source which snacks they offer through marketplace displays can provide even more value to their guests because it shows they’re paying attention to the small things.

  • Instead of highly processed, pre-packaged food, look for ways to offer fresh options like partnering with a local bakery
  • If there’s an oven onsite, hotels can freshly bake granola, cookies, brownies, pastries, or breads, even if the dough or batter is made offsite
  • Find ways to work fruit and nuts into snacks like granola bars, muffins, bagels, and trail mixes so guests have high-protein options, which are popular right now according to The Washington Post‘s food trends of 2017

Finally, to round out your marketplace display, consider the fashionable urban industrial style. It’s minimalist, which helps your offerings stand out. Raw materials like metal, wood, brick, and concrete, either real or mimicked, often comprise the look. Urban industrial is a smart style for hotel marketplace displays because you can dress it up or down to fit a range of styles. And it’s eye-catching, so your guests will definitely take notice.

Pictured: beverage displays on wooden risers with metal accents

Take Your Marketplace Offerings Beyond the Trends to Add More Convenience for Guests

The good news is that hotels don’t have to stop at offering snacks in the lobby. Use the same display pieces throughout the property to provide even more guest convenience and upgraded aesthetics:

  • Dress up breakfast buffets and catering spreads by smartly displaying napkins, silverware, creamer, sugar, jams, butters, and so on
  • Use trays in meeting rooms to set out a selection of phone or laptop chargers as these items are often forgotten or lost
  • Offer late-night milk and cookies in the breakfast or concierge areas
  • Provide last-minute souvenirs
  • Create a complimentary beverage station with cold water and hot coffee in a lounge area, meeting room, or near the breakfast area and keep it filled with fresh beverages 24/7

These are all subtle, low-tech touches hotels can offer at little expense that will win excellent online reviews because anyone in the service industry knows it’s the small things that mean the most to guests. And the better your online reviews are, the more business your property can win.  

Pictured: Stackable wooden bread boxes with acrylic doors, wooden display boxes with metal accents

Ready to Kickstart Your Convenience Offerings?

With these trends in mind, G.E.T. developed a versatile line of marketplace displays and accessories. The pieces are intended to work together in form and function. You can mix and match textures, sizes, and shapes to create on-trend displays in the lobby and presentations in meeting rooms, dining areas, and more.

Visit their inspirational photo gallery to get ideas that you can easily recreate at your properties. They also let you try items through their handy online ordering for samples

Pictured: 3-tier stands with mix of wooden and metal wire baskets, weathered wooden display trays and risers

Once your marketplaces are setup with sought-after snacks and other convenient amenities, we know you’ll enjoy surprising and delighting your guests by building in more convenience to their stays. You’ll also enjoy earning repeat business, great online reviews, and earning more money over time.

If you found this useful and interesting, we recommend reading up on how making a few changes to your breakfast buffet can help you increase your bottom line in “1 Tip to Help Hotels Earn Better Online Reviews.”



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