a. Description of the Product
Many people always want to have some time off away from their business duties to explore various regions of the world. Therefore, they devote their time to traveling to various places. However, to have a satisfactory vacation and good experience during it, one should have a good plan. Selecting and booking a right hotel is one of the factors that an individual, who wants to travel across the UAE, must have. Even though there are several good hotels, especially in Dubai, their multitude will possibly confuse an individual who will not know which one to choose. Therefore, Cloud Classics Hotels has simplified everything for customers by developing a software system that can be downloaded by everyone who wishes to travel across the country with the intention of booking the hotel of their choice in a timely manner. This software is user- friendly to everyone who understands technology, which is the reason for targeting consumers between of the 18-50 age bracket. At the same time, this software guarantees security to customers when they use their credit cards while booking a hotel room online. In this regard, customers do not have to worry about their information being leaked to the third party or funds stolen while trying to reserve a hotel and room where they will spend their time during vacation.
Anyone who has downloaded the software either in their phones or computers can use it anytime even in the regions where the internet connection is not stable. Since the customer must view the type of rooms available before making any booking, the software should show the types of rooms available. The regular websites, which people use to conduct online bookings, have accumulated great volumes of data. However, Cloud Hotel Classics has decided to introduce a software to help customers save on spending on traffic and make the booking process easy and fast regardless of their locality. Through this, customers will have the best chance to have a full control of the rooms that they want to reserve for a specific date, time, hour, or even minutes. The good thing about this software is that it also offers various categories of information about the hotel that the client wants to book. For instance, not only does the software contain information about hotel rooms, but it also shows information about the owners, the properties around the amenities, the parking lot, the fun grounds (golf clubs or tennis courts), modes of transportation, and therapists or health services available. Such a unique feature will make this software more competitive on the market once the product is launched.
Cloud Hotel Classics software has a true potential on the market because it is unique and it provides sufficient information that is deemed necessary for the client in addition to hotel room sizes and types. However, it is important to note that when one goes for a vacation in a place such as the UAE, they will have to consider other factors as well (Grand Thornton, 2016). Thus, entertainment, transportation, and available amenities are among the things that people consider before booking a room to spend their vacation or holiday properly. Through this, the company has ensured that there are less rejections or decline rates on the online bookings, initially made by the customers. The true potential of this software is also based on the fact that it can be used by business people. This means that it is not meant for a specific group of individuals such as those who want to go for a holiday, which is the reason for including varied information about a hotel in addition to the rooms offered.
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b. Current Stage of Development
The product is at the concept stage of development, whereby the necessary steps that will be followed to begin its implementation are still under discussion. Thus, it is necessary to have a clear concept on what should be included in the software to make it unique and attractive for customers. Laying a good foundation is also important to ease the process of the start-up and initial operations (Osemwegie, 2015). Some other things to be considered are the costs of the website and the ways, in which it will help in minimizing data consumption by users since the majority of the items presented in the software will include videos and pictures of various hotels and rooms.
c. Targeted Customers and Value Proposition
Cloud Hotel Classics’ target audience are couples and young adults. The reason for such a choice is that these individuals are most likely to use technology to conduct business or for fun. They are also the most curious population that values taste when it comes to spending a vacation or holiday. Therefore, the age group ranges from 18-50 years because these people are also most likely to travel across various parts of the country, which in this case is the UAE, or beyond.
The value proposition for the customer is a chance to conduct an extensive research on the best hotels in the UAE to spend a vacation or holiday. This software minimizes data usage since once it is downloaded, the amount of consumption traffic decreases. At the same time, the client has a chance to view the videos of actual hotels because the software has been made in such a way that it already has video and images enabled (Bruiyan, 2011). Another value proposition is the fact that the software is safe to use, especially in regards to making payments. The potential growth opportunity is using this software to communicate directly with the hotel management through a video call. With this project, the company aims to make the selection and booking process easy for all clients.
I. Industry/Market Analysis
a) Industry and Trends
The main focus of Cloud Hotel Classics will be the hospitality industry since it offers the market for the product under discussion. The company will specialize in the hotel sector, especially room services offered by various hotels in the UAE. The current trends, which are available regarding online booking services, are only offered by various online agents. However, the company intends to differentiate itself by establishing a software that will give its customers a different experience with their online hotel bookings. Online agents have been known to help guide their customers through various websites where they can book hotel rooms online (Grand Thornton, 2016). Customers also pay with their credit cards to facilitate early bookings for the rooms according to their dates of preference and design of the room that they like. It is predicted that in the near future, customers will have a chance to speak directly to the hotel management team while conducting an online booking. Through this, they will make certain that the conditions of the rooms are as advertised. Thus, in case they do not meet customers’ expectations based on the pictures they have viewed online, the company will be obligated to refund their money. Currently, no online hotel booking company accepts refunds (Malik & Chakraborty, 2017). All these facts can be validated through the number of complains that people raise from different websites, offering online hotel bookings.
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b) Target Market Analysis
The target market analysis, which is currently used to evaluate the business, is employed to see when customers are most likely to conduct online hotel bookings. Thus, the majority of people in the UAE most likely choose to go on vacations and holidays in June, September, and November. Therefore, the company expects an overflow in the number of people downloading the software to aid in their online hotel bookings across the country or abroad. The trend is expected across the entire hotel industry that is more likely to perform better during these months when the people celebrate various holidays such as Eid Al Adha holiday in September and Martyrs’ Day in November (Office Holidays, n.d). The majority of the UAE residents tend to spend their money in good and classic hotels. Thus, the market niche in this case will be the high number of online bookings for such kind of hotels.
Although majority of hotel owners in the UAE have not embraced the concept of online booking yet, it is anticipated that they will slowly change their mind. This will enable organizations, such as Cloud Hotel Classics, to facilitate their booking services by using their software. The latter offers numerous details about hotels, thus giving consumers an opportunity to have a broader knowledge of the services that they are about to purchase. The market size for online hotel bookings using such software as Cloud Hotel Classics is limited. Therefore, there are no major competitors at the moment, but there is potential for growth as more hotel owners acquire knowledge of the importance of online bookings. The company intends to penetrate the market by making online marketing on various platforms, for example, social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (Bruiyan, 2011). These platforms usually have many visitors, but they could potentially become customers. Consequently, by making the software available, the company makes it easy for people to use it during their online hotel bookings when planning for a vacation or holidays.
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c) Customer Profile
In this case, specific customers are young couples who have careers in some business. These individuals are most likely to use online hotel bookings because of their tight schedules. At the same time, those individuals who are older than 40 years are more likely than younger couples to conduct online hotel bookings because of their age since this process does not require much traveling and enables them to save their time. These age groups are more likely to travel with their teenage children who can determine the kind of hotel room that they will reside in, which is also the reason for considering customers who are 18 years of age. However, the company might benefit more from the young couples between the ages of 20-30 years because of their explorative nature. The software will give them an opportunity to explore various options before making a decision, while a 40-year-old individual might probably get bored with the selection process.
d) Competition on the Market
Currently, very few organizations have software products that can be used by customers to conduct online hotel bookings. However, the greatest competition will come from online hotel booking agents who already have an extensive market in the hospitality industry. These agents are known by specific hotels and they have acquired trust from various customers, which means they have already established themselves (Malik & Chakraborty, 2017). Nonetheless, once Cloud Hotel Classics has offered its software that consumes less traffic and contains many details about a room and the hotel that customers want to book, it is expected that the majority of customers will shift their attention to this specific product. Not only is this software fun and easy to use, but it also provides video and image options for the customers to have a clear view of the hotel they are about to book, which will beat the competition on the market.
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II. Product/Service Development
1) Proposed Concept
Cloud Hotel Classics’ software has a unique concept since it enables people to conduct online hotel bookings. This product contains various features, such as search region, where the customer can look for a specific hotel within the locality that they want to visit (Bruiyan, 2011). On the other hand, it is easy to navigate through this software as it has icons for everything such as rooms, parking, hotel services, and entertainment regions. There are also no new windows or frames, thus making it easy for customer to use the website without getting bored. The content in the software is also responsive to every search that is related to hotels in the UAE. At the same time, it contains more than 10 integrations methods of payment, including Visa, PayPal, API, and Payoneer among others. The product will also have various cloud-based applications, such as Google Calendar, that reminds customers about their upcoming event.
2) Project Status
The project is currently at the concept stage. The company expects to begin the start-up stage of developing the software in January 2018, and the development is expected to take a period of six months. Its initial operations will begin in November 2018 when the company focuses in capturing the potential customers who will want to have a vacation or holidays. The expansion process may take place after three years of its operation.
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3) Potential Risks
The potential liability may be experienced during the first years of operation, when the returns may be low, while the government regulates the majority of its operations as a way of protecting consumers. On the other hand, developing software is a costly process, and acquiring information about various hotels will require much energy and transportation for the company to operate successfully as desired.
III. Financial Analysis
The expected capital for starting up the business will be around $50,000. The price is expected to rise in the case of development or if additional features are required. The majority of funds will be spent on developing the software itself and upgrading it. Acquiring an appropriate payment method will also be another expense that the company will have to consider.