Takeaways from our webinar, “Hotels on the Mobile Frontier”

Mobile communication has become ubiquitous—in fact, more than half of all web traffic is now done on mobile. With 60% of travelers unwilling to go on vacation without their mobile device, it’s crucial that hospitality businesses take note and cater to their digital-savvy customers. Ultimately, there will be less risk in adopting new technologies than in falling behind.

In this webinar, learn how mobile is reshaping the hotel guest and staff experience and how hotels can use innovative technologies to stay ahead of the curve. Executives from Travel Tripper, StayNTouch, and CheckMate discuss how mobile is transforming bookings, check-in, and messaging for the hotel industry. Listen to our webinar in full below, or read on for a summary of our key takeaways.

Mobile booking

Speaker: Gautam Lulla – President, Travel Tripper 

 Mobile is the area of the highest growth for hotels. Mobile website traffic is at an all-time high, but mobile direct bookings still need to catch up—currently, although half of all website traffic comes through mobile, only one in five direct bookings is completed on mobile. Hotels will need to improve their own mobile reservations platforms to compete.

In order to better improve their mobile web experience and capture more direct bookings, hotels should first invest in optimizing user experience. The mobile booking flow should be quick and user-friendly with eye-catching imagery, and it should offer features such as scanning credit card details and offering bookings without credit card for same or next day.

Other strategies for increasing direct bookings on mobile include:

  • Investing in mobile-specific marketing strategies like social media and SEO
  • Adapting pricing and revenue strategies specific to mobile, as they tend to be last-minute bookers
  • Offering price points for local travelers nearby searching on mobile

Mobile check-in

Speaker: Jos Schaap – CEO-Founder, StayNTouch

Hotels can use mobile to improve the guest experience from the moment they arrive through options such as mobile check-in/check-out and mobile room keys. Currently 84% of guests would use mobile check-in, and 30-35% of guests who have the option of mobile check-in/check-out are using it.

The key to implementing this successfully is allowing guests to be in control. Give guests the choice of service and let them decide if they want to use mobile completely or not at all. You can provide variety to guests with a variety of needs: full mobile check-in, self-service kiosk or staff member with a tablet, or have a full-service front desk.

Having mobile check-in also allows a guest to receive status updates prior to arrival, adding to the convenience factor. But there’s also more than just that—offering early check-ins and late check-outs on mobile will encourage people to buy, adding additional ancillary revenue.

Mobile messaging

Speaker: Drew Patterson – Co-Founder & CEO, Checkmate

With the growth of mobile, messaging has essentially replaced voice as the main mode of communication in our everyday lives. 78% of consumers wish they could text a business, but only a small portion of hotels offer such a service. It’s a missed opportunity in the hotel space—text messaging has a 98% open rate and 8x the response rate of email.

Messaging has the potential to raise hotels’ service levels and grow loyalty. Hotels would be able to tackle service recovery in the moment through immediate communication with their guest, provide guests with timely and relevant information throughout their stay, and engage guests in a one-on-one dialogue. On top of that messaging allows for a personal record of each guest interaction, which can be used to provide even more memorable service for subsequent stays.

Hotels of the future

How will mobile technologies shape hotels in the future? Some thoughts from all our panelists:

  • More automation tools and a record of messages of guests will allow for greater efficiency and improved ability to connect with customers and deliver great service.
  • Cloud technology will be prevalent, as well as mobile CMS and mobile response—guests will do data entry without realizing it.
  • Getting all customers to receive a room key on their phone is probably a few years out.
  • Mobilizing CRS is an area of great opportunity to create offers, etc.

Want to learn more about mobile trends for hotels? Read our blog series, Moving with Mobile, check out the infographic below, or access our presentation slides here.

Moving with Mobile: A Blog Series

 

mobile-trends-for-hotels-infographic

Gautam Lulla

Gautam Lulla

Gautam is President at Travel Tripper and outspoken expert in hotel technology and distribution. When he's not busy disrupting the status quo, you can find him ripping powder on the slopes. Contact him at gautam@traveltripper.com.

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