We focus on smartphones throughout the day. The world around us has changed the very nature of how we interact, including the way we do business.
In terms of travel and hospitality, mobile has completely changed the way it works, even for the consumer. And by raising expectations for mobile interaction, consumers have become more demanding with the types of services at their fingertips.
Here are some statistics that will help you know how far the mobile industry is going:
TripAdvisor is the most popular mobile app in the travel industry, with over 230 million downloads and 150 million active users.
Mobile travel bookings increased by 1700 percent between 2011 and 2015, from 1 percent to 18 percent of online revenue.
40% of travel sales came from mobile phones in 2017, which is expected to reach 50% in 2021.
88% of leisure travelers will switch to another application or website if it does not meet your needs
Travel planning does not take more than 50% of travelers planning their trip – and 60% will make their next trip from their mobile device.
Three boarding passes will be issued by 2019
66% prefer non-rewarding restaurants, and 78% will use the mobile app for discounts.
The bottom line is to stay mobile here. In fact, it will only become more important in the daily life of the consumer, so it is essential to accommodate the majority of mobile hospitality.
The hospitality industry invests heavily in online marketing (about $ 6 billion in 2016) to give you an idea, and uses it to convert customers and drive. However, using online paid ads only means that online engagement is losing its appeal.
More and more companies are rethinking their strategy and trying to embed mobile experience at every stage of the travel experience – from research to travel research and staying at the hotel.
The role of mobile phones in the research phase
Earlier, your research trip did not necessarily include surfing. The travel agent will call you after a short online search and give you the confidence to get the "package" discount.
These days, travelers are proud of their research skills and expertise, while providing the best deals for them. And it takes a lot of their research to a social media site, such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram and user-reviewed platforms such as TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet.
This means you need to turn on your existing customers to share your journey online. Check-ins, reviews, photo sharing, personalized hashtags, and blogging are popular strategies for inviting contributions.
But don't leave it to the guests. The hotel should also participate in the creation and distribution of high quality content. Focus on the factors that make your potential consumers think "These guys seem to know what they are doing when they travel, so I'll check them out!"Don't forget to optimize your phone's reading content, because searching on computers is so old. Also, get together with experts, specialists and agents to enrich your content and give it credibility.
When creating valuable content, be sure to find it on Google. Have a strong SEO strategy to get the best search results. Also, get a list of Google businesses for your hotel, and maintain NAP (name, address and phone number) consistency on platforms like Yelp, Yahoo, Foursquare and TripAdvisor.
Virtual gateway is even better. Guests can access this service on their mobile, view your hotel equipment, view local attractions, or even upgrade. You need to use the power of video to make online visits more convenient.
Until the arrival of the reservation
There is always a time left to book your hotel when you arrive. The term is rarely used by the company, but even if you think about it, you can reach your guest and provide value-added services.
Communicate with your guests on their cellphone, but without the junk. Provide valuable information about the town, visit tourist opportunities, and report hotel facts. And if they like something, let them reserve their seats using smartphones.
You can also delete the check-in line and other procedures with the help of the mobile application. Guests can choose their rooms, choose add-ons and seamlessly check in to stay in control. This will not only get your employees off to other aspects of the business, but also get brownie points for being proactive.
Hotel portal and stay
People would ignore your lobby because there is no interest, other than seating and silent silence. You can change it and use this space to really interact with your guests, using mobile.
SoftBank's Human Robot Pepper is one of those innovations that really caught my eye. This robot is a great way to deliver customer-focused services, as well as affiliate services and programs.
Pepper can be programmed to chat with customers, provide questions and directions – it's a feature like Amazon's Alexa. With Pepper, though, he's dancing with a robot, looking around, playing music, lighting, blush, and even a cool selfie before taking his walkers.
Pepper can also capture email addresses and phone numbers, and can be scheduled to send customers links to your mobile applications, loyalty program and other things to stay in front of the hotel and send. With Pepper, you can capture the data you need to create a truly personalized experience for your guests two the reason why hotels are now mobile-friendly.
Finally, your application
Maybe you would ask, when we get here, we cover everything else. We won't try to convince you why you need an app, but knowing that having a mobile site is not enough. The apps themselves take customer engagement to the next level, and due to industry competition, you should take full advantage of your mobile advantage.
The ideal application should have the following characteristics:
Ergonomic, intuitive user interface design
Careful selection of key features
Cross-platform compatibility (iOS, Android, etc.)
Proper booking options
News – Local and industry related
Analytics on the back
Image gallery / virtual tour
Integration of the loyalty program
Flight information, weather updates, dynamism
Social media sharing questions
As technology becomes more personalized and mobile, your commitment to the hospitality industry will not be far behind. Despite the big suggestions, think about setting some (or not all) of them to see the momentum you receive in your engagement. Personal experience is the best teacher.
All that said and done, your commitment to mobile really allows you to interact with your guests, in a more personalized and proactive way, through stunning brand images. It also allows you to climb above the competitive edge, which is an advantage for me!