Love it. Buy it: New eCommerce platform creates retail channel allowing brands in hotels and resorts
Marking a travel industry first, a new eCommerce platform will partner consumer lifestyle brands with a network of hotels and resorts, enabling guests to buy products they encounter at the click of a button, while allowing hotels to earn incremental income from every transaction.
Launched this month, ‘LiBi’, which stands for ‘Love it, Buy It’, serves to add extra value for hotels, guests and consumer brands by blending rich immersive product experiences with instant retail reality – tapping into the holiday mindset in an environment where guests have the ‘me time’ space to embrace a new shopping occasion.
Ranging from mattresses and beds to art and design, food and drink to consumer tech, and even sports and wellbeing items, guests can choose to purchase practically every element of their stay.
For instance, guests could buy items that they like in their hotel room, their lodge or cabin, something they’ve spotted while they’re eating or drinking or visiting the spa, something that’s caught their eye whilst listening to music, or practising yoga. LiBi’s offering seeks to allow guests to purchase those objects that they’ve formed a connection with, creating long-lasting memories, and thereby helping to forge a bond between trip, product and brand.
Through QR code access, guests can browse the range of items they have encountered during a hotel stay. For example, if a guest loves the hotel’s comfortable mattresses, they can simply scan the corresponding code and purchase online.
LiBi’s eCommerce platform means every hotel partner benefits from its own bespoke page that functions as a virtual boutique for all shoppable items. The commercial transactions flow through LiBi’s drop-ship home delivery model, meaning hotels and resorts won’t need to hold any inventory – the items will be delivered directly to the guests’ home without any requirements from the hospitality venue.
Initial brand partners to sign up include Hypnos (mattresses), Comfort Zone (spa brands), Red Dog Glass Design, Pulseroll, Edmunds Cocktails, and Cotivision, alongside other notable local artists and producers.
Brands featured on the LiBi platform can also package unique experiences, backstories and offers that can’t be accessed through other channels, delivering an additional VIP retail experience. These could include virtual tours, ‘meet the makers’ content, live events, exclusive offers and more.
Discussing the launch, LiBi co-founder, Suzanne Mahoney, said: “Most of us have admired items in hotels before – be that comfy beds, eye-catching artworks or the feel good products in the spa. LiBi seeks to make those things that stand out easily accessible for guests to buy. By simply scanning a QR code, guests can then read up on the item and choose to buy the item for their own home, should they wish to.”
Suzanne continued: “Having spent a career in travel retail, the founding team know and understand the challenges the retail world faces around customer loyalty, the quest for ever-better customer experiences, and the challenge of the flight to the digital world that can limit that cut-through value. Opportunities to experience physical products are shrinking as shopping moves online – but the hospitality industry offers huge potential for brands to tell their stories and reach their consumers.”
Suzanne expanded: “LiBi is a platform for brands and hotels to tell deeper stories behind products, choices, and their values. It sells to guests who have the luxury of being in a ‘me time’ retail mindset whilst being best placed to try, enjoy and experience brands and products at their own pace.”
She added: “Time pressures still abound in life, and that includes shopping time, so LiBi fits in well with busy lives, changed habits, and the smart partnerships consumers love, whereas hotels can benefit in terms of repeat visits and memory association.”
Suzanne continued: “We see the future of travel retail differently, where quality purchases and brand relationships of choice are forged with thought and meaning behind them. It’s the ultimate ‘try before you buy’ model that is missing in our flight to digital shopping habits, and is hosted in the best of relaxed, free from stress locations – yet with all the benefits of a to-the-door delivery service for the buyer or as a gift.”
She concluded: “Hotel partners gain incremental revenue through commission on every sale, with no additional workloads for staff and teams. LiBi data, gathered across its partner estate, will provide regular insight into how, where and when guests like to buy, across a range of national brands, local brands and brands with purpose.”
The company’s ambition is to collaborate with a range of boutique hotels and holiday resorts in early 2022 to bring a wide range of categories and luxury brands to guests.