Can you remember the last time you booked a hotel without the use of your smartphone? How about the last time you ordered food without an app? It is not surprising if you have not. Most of us have taken to using our smartphones for almost everything from entertainment and leisure to utility purposes.
The hospitality industry is experiencing a similar situation. Mobile applications in the restaurant and hospitality sector is already an established domain. The current trend in the use of applications to book hotels has experienced a rise, with 70% of travelers opting to book from their smartphones. But this rise in online booking is mostly through online travel aggregators like Trivago, Expedia, and TripAdvisor to name just a few.
Hotels and restaurants are yet to cash in on the benefits of brand mobile application development.
Online Travel Aggregators vs Hotels: Enough Room?
Leading hotel brands and online travel aggregators have coexisted for quite a few years. However, with various online travel aggregators spending on marketing their own brand, hotels are now faced with the need to venture into the online domain as well. This shift has brought about a major disruption in the direct online booking ratio. The advent of technology gradually led to tougher competition and growth of the OTA sector.
What started with a 4-5% margin of online reservations through OTAs has turned into 51% over the course of a couple of decades. Online travel aggregators have now turned towards the prospect of owning rooms rather than simply acting as a mediator.
Besides the inevitable encroachment in the hospitality business space, hotels also have to pay a percentage of the reservation price to the OTAs. With various OTAs adopting different business models, hotels have to pay anything between 10% to 30% of the reservation fee. This variance results in hotels witnessing a fall in occupancy rates. Market estimates have stated a competition stake of $125 billion that could shift between the two groups.
The advancements in technology have also contributed to a shift in customer demands. Millennials, who form the bulk of the customer base, are inclined towards online entities rather than offline. With competition gaining gradual pace, it is evident that hotels tend to rely on their online presence. From ‘being online’, now the mission is to be ‘on mobile’. This is where like HokuApps make their mark.
Benefits of Brand Mobile Application Development for Hotels
In the present day, guests are becoming increasingly tech-savvy. Smartphones are a great way for guests to reach out to hotels. However, customer delight has been the predominant focus of the hospitality industry, and this is where the smartphone can play an even bigger role. An app that could put guests in the back seat, certainly promises to be a step in that direction. HokuApps, a mobile application development company, is here to help the hospitality move to the digital realm.
Personalization of Experiences
Mobile applications, while being an excellent mode of providing information to a guest, can also be used to gain valuable insights into customer behavior. Apps allow hotels to cater to their customers’ personal preferences. This, in turn, raises the bar to a whole new level! In the sense, goodwill of the business is enhanced.
These personalized experiences help the hotel build stronger customer relationships. For example, a customer may check in to a hotel and, through appropriate analytics being made available to staff, be offered the beverage of their choice. This no doubt would leave a great impression on the guest.
Availability of Amenities
By partnering with HokuApps, a mobile app development company, and deploying a mobile app, hotels and restaurants can enhance a guest’s experience through features that are specific to locations. These can range anywhere from local things to do, to weather forecasts, and even curated guides to local attractions. Major players in the hospitality sector have already begun leveraging this aspect. A leading hotel chain has implemented a one-touch solution that allows guests to ask questions and get in touch with the hotel’s support team.
Improved Brand Loyalty
Apart from personalized services at their fingertips, customers are able to leverage a mobile application to provide valuable feedback. Allowing a customer to provide feedback during their stay lets the hotel take care of future negative feedback. An online presence, especially an app created by the best mobile app development companies can help create brand awareness and the ensuing service quality can help garner customers’ brand loyalty.
Improved Service with Unique App Features
The above arguments present the obvious need for mobile applications development for hotels. But what does it take to make an app that leaves an impression? Some of the most successful apps are set aside for their competition due to the unique features they offer. The same holds true for mobile brand apps.
Features on such an app are by and large governed by parent hotel’s business model. Nonetheless, taking a few features into consideration can add to the quality of service being provided.
The Layout of Rooms
It is of utmost importance that your guest is familiar with the hotel even before they have stepped foot into the establishment. One way to let guests get accustomed to this is through room layouts. This not only allows the guest to move freely about but also lets them select their accommodation according to their taste.
In-house Shopping Experience
This kind of a service is already present in the brick and mortar form of hotels all across the globe. Hotels can leverage an in-house e-commerce platform to let guests shop directly from their rooms and have it delivered there itself.
Review and Feedback
As discussed earlier, opinions and feedback from the backbone of a good service. The ideal hotel app should, therefore, place this option right at the fingertips of their guests.
Hotel apps should be integrated with third-party communication channels such as social media or push notification. Such a feature allows the hotel to always be in touch with their guests through their app. On the flip side, the hotel can quickly and efficiently address any queries put across by guests.
One of the quickest ways to achieve the much-required attention to survive amidst the steep competition is through providing app-exclusive discounts. Establishing partnerships with restaurants and tourist attractions can help offer services such as promotional offers.
Mobile App Development: Start Developing Your App Today
Undertaking a partnership with a mobile application development company that fits the specific needs of an enterprise can seem like a daunting task. However, with the help of Custom Mobile Application Development that offered by HokuApps significantly reduces time and labor. HokuApps MAD platform implements a low-code model that allows you to develop, integrate, and deploy an app at 10 times the speed.