Extensive Cornell analysis shows real impact of hotel loyalty program
by Peter Glanville
Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration has released a compelling study measuring the direct impact of the Stash Rewards loyalty program on hotels, one of the first detailed studies showing how a loyalty program affects actual loyalty.
The main limitation is the focus on the third-party Stash Rewards program, as it does not offer conclusions related to the performance of existing hotel chains’ loyalty programs. Nonetheless, the study details just how independent chains can benefit from a third-party program – and Stash Rewards is, according to the company, the largest program for independent hotels in the United States.
The study considered two separate hotel groups: one of is a regional group with over a dozen properties with an ADR of $73 and the other is a more upscale, with an ADR of $261 across more than dozen properties. By using a statistical procedure known as “coarsened exact matching,” the study authors ensured that each data point is matched with a similar one for comparison purposes.
This means that each member was matched with a non-member, with the matched pairs occurring between guests that had the most comparable spending patterns in the 365 day period before enrolling in the loyalty program. One of the matches then enrolled in the program, while the other remained a non-member, allowing the behavior to be compared to see how spending was affected in the 365 day period post-enrollment.
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