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Customer Stories How Mt Buller Uses Inntopia Commerce to Sell Every Experience Their Guests Need in One Cart

photo of mt buller resort photo of mt buller resort

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

 May 3, 2024

Just a three hour drive from Melbourne, Mt Buller is one of the most accessible mountain destinations in Australia complemented by over 8,000 beds, an incredible ski resort, and a beautiful village awaiting travelers who make the trip from the coast. What appears to be a single, cohesive destination on the surface, however, is actually a combination of multiple organizations behind the scenes, each interacting with guests in different ways.

For example, the municipality charges a fee to enter the resort and manages taxis and shuttle buses, the ski lift company sells tickets and lessons, and dozens of lodges and hotels in the area offer guests a place to sleep, including many owned by the resort itself. Adding to the complexity, each of those products is managed and sold in separate platforms with separate booking systems. Here’s how Mt Buller’s Sales Manager, Roman Pacak described the challenges of this scenario.

“The guests don’t understand that it’s all controlled by different groups, they see everything as Mt Buller and they don’t want to bounce between so many places and websites as they book and experience their trip. Our focus is on the guest and having one system to bundle and cross sell everything in one transaction was critical.”

Exacerbating this challenge were OTAs like that were becoming both stronger marketing competitors and, due to ever increasing commissions, more expensive partners for a destination like theirs. They needed a way to give their guests a way to book direct and online, but also offer those guests a way to book everything they needed in one place.

Getting Started with Inntopia

Roman had already been with Mt Buller for more than two and a half decades by this point so he knew the destination’s challenges better than almost anyone. He also knew of a system that could help, Inntopia Commerce, and ran point on signing up with Inntopia as well as onboarding the entire destination onto the platform.

Roman knew that Inntopia Commerce could sell live inventory from multiple systems in one booking engine, but he also knew that Mt Buller’s scenario was much more complex than most.

“There were certainly a few growing pains because we were selling products no other Inntopia users had before. Together we’ve worked to get all of our partners on board and everything centralized. Our old central reservation solution was only a call center, Inntopia allowed us to have everything our guests need available both online and in the call center.”

screenshot of mt buller booking engine menu

Today, guests using Mt Buller’s Inntopia Commerce booking engine can book a long list of product types in one transaction including:

  • Resort-Owned Lodging
  • Area Lodging
  • Resort Entry
  • Lift Passes
  • Sightseeing Tickets
  • Snow Sports Lessons
  • Snow Equipment Rentals
  • Via Ferrata
  • Biking
  • Coach Services

Plus many other activities including sled dog tours, hikes, and trampoline parks. Importantly, Mt Buller is also an Inntopia Marketing Cloud user. When I talked with their account manager, Andy Cummins, he mentioned the benefits Mt Buller sees from using both platforms.

“All of Mt Buller’s guest data and transactions from Innopia Commerce flow directly into Inntopia Marketing Cloud so they can view guest profiles, segment guests for marketing, run abandoned cart campaigns, and more. They’ve also taken advantage of the ability to send enhanced booking confirmations to show the guest’s full itinerary in a clean, responsive, on-brand template.”

screenshot of mt buller custom confirmation

This has become especially helpful as Roman and his team have been given the responsibility of promoting the destination as a whole because they have the marketing tools they need to get more potential guests onto their marketing site and into their booking engine.

Customization & Branding

As Roman’s team has taken over marketing for the entire destination, they wanted to be sure the cohesive branding and design they used in their marketing website carried through the booking experience.

“We have really embraced Inntopia Commerce’s ability to add HTML, CSS, and javascript to the booking engine. Our in-house team has put in a lot of work to completely customize the look and feel of the booking flow so it matches the aesthetic of our website and brand. It really looks great.”

screenshot of mt buller booking engine branding

Going forward, they’re hoping to follow this thread even further by integrating Inntopia Commerce booking functionality directly into their marketing website using embedded content or the Inntopia Commerce API. By integrating marketing with ecommerce, their guests will be able to start their shopping experience right at the point of inspiration, rather than have to move off the marketing website and into a booking engine to get started building their itinerary.

One Cart

During our conversation, Roman made a really important point about the tradeoff between using a bunch of specialized booking engines and a booking engine that provides a one-stop experience for the guest.

“Inntopia is really good at selling many products including lodging, but, yes, there are certainly individual systems that might be able to sell a specific product a little better. Our focus, however, was on the guest. And having everything in one booking engine so the guest isn’t jumping back and forth between multiple systems is more than worth it. The result is exactly what we were hoping for.”

Learn more about Mt Buller and see Inntopia Commerce in action:

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Tyler Maynard
SVP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research
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Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions
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