If Your Hotel Wants to be a Winner, It Needs a Mobile App
A recent study performed by the CWT travel management platform found that travelers who take over five trips per year are 13 percent more likely to book their flights and hotels on a mobile app. In addition, CWT found that experienced travelers who made bookings on their smartphones are more likely to reserve a higher fare and better accommodations. This survey was conducted on March 2019, and it seems to make sense.
An increasing number of people are using their smartphones to take care of all their daily tasks from ordering groceries, to ordering clothing, and especially for making travel reservations. It goes without saying that, in today’s digital world, your hotel needs a mobile app.
Regain a Competitive Advantage
Let’s face it, millennials love their mobile apps – but, so does everyone else. Like many other industries, the travel market is undergoing a rapid digital transformation. The way the travel industry operates, and accommodates guests, is changing along with the evolving technologies that are facilitating this change.
Around thirty years ago, many travelers would make their reservations either by talking to a travel agent or calling hotels directly. If travel was overseas, travel agents were usually involved in the booking process. Today, all you need to do is zip through a couple of taps and you have your reservations created – no need for a human assistant.
As it stands, there are already many hotels catering to the mobile-app-loving crowd. This is a base of customers who have an annual purchasing power of around $200 billion. The secret has been out – mobile apps are the future. In fact, by 2022, mobile app downloads are expected to reach over 260 million.
Guests enjoy the self-service options. If hotels ignore this trend, they will lose their competitive advantage.
In a consumer-led marketplace, almost every traveler is looking for a unique hotel experience. This can be difficult to do if you don’t have any distinct information about each guest. Sure, you might ask them to fill out a voluntary survey when they check in, but how many people will actually take the time to do that?
On the other hand, your app can help your hotel to learn valuable insights about your customer’s behaviors. You can use your app to create loyalty by offering their favorite drinks upon arrival, coupons for tours, special pricing on meals, and more. Yet, in order to offer a customized experience, you need to understand what your guest wants.
With your app, you can follow the guest throughout their booking and travel journey. Then, you could include a loyalty section where they can earn relevant rewards.
Travelers Are Used to Mobile Apps
Decades ago, travelers would prepare for their trips by purchasing expensive guidebooks with maps and descriptions of tour sites at their intended destinations. Today, travelers simply carry their smartphones to access maps, guides, attraction listings, and more. Why load your luggage with heavy books, when all you need is your mobile device?
On their phones, they can map their routes, pay for their ride shares, pay bills, even check-in and check-out of mobile-ready hotels. There isn’t any question that mobile apps have transformed the way people travel and how hotels are interacting with their guests.
Just take a look at all the major hotels implementing self-check-in options today. This is a trend that will continue to grow.
We live in an instant-gratification world. Almost everything you need can be accessed with a tap on a digital screen. In fact, people are so wired to their machines that their attention spans have decreased to eight seconds.
As a result, tech-savvy travelers expect the same types of conveniences when they book a hotel stay. They want the instant response they can get from a mobile app. For instance, take a look at the Marriott hotel app which not only lets customers make reservations, but also allows consumers to request wake-up calls, ask for extra towels, or schedule an airport transfer.
In addition, there are a number of hotels that now offer the ability to order movies, or change the temperature through their customized mobile apps. With all of these types of offerings swaying prospective guests, what are you waiting for?
Market Your Hotel
When consumers have downloaded your hotel app, it means it is always located on the screen of their mobile device. That means instant marketing. Moreover, hotel marketing is a must to ensure competitiveness in this industry. If you don’t have a huge marketing budget for TV and online ads, then a mobile app is a high-quality route you can use to reach your target customer.
Also, you can run promotions on your app which are relevant to your client’s needs and wants. Not to mention, whenever people interact with your app, it is increasing brand awareness.
Facilitate Better Communication
Technology has evolved by leaps and bounds, and the same is true with the options for communication. There was a time when hotels needed to employ a multi-lingual staff to ensure their multi-lingual guests were fully accommodated. Yet, with a translatable mobile app, guests can communicate in their native language.
To illustrate, if a guest sends a message in their native Greek, the hotel will receive it and translate it to your native language. This helps to prevent any misinterpretation of requests. When used correctly, this can improve your guests’ overall experience with your hotel.
Go to any airport, and you’ll notice most travelers are glued to their smartphones. In the booking decisions of most modern travelers, hotel apps are playing a significant role. With this in mind, hotel brands can improve relationships with guests by creating mobile apps which can also offer personalized experiences. Once the app is downloaded, it increases brand awareness and can enhance customer loyalty. If you don’t have a mobile app yet, now is the time to get started. Talk to an app development specialist today to see what is best for your business.