Mobile Technologies and the Hospitality Industry: Creating a Mobile Strategy
By Michael Kasavana Emeritus NAMA Endowed Professor in Hospitality Business, The School of Hospitality Business MSU | January 01, 2012
When considering mobile technologies, many hospitality managers are not convinced of the potential benefits resulting in enhanced guest engagement, improved customer satisfaction, and increased consumer spending. The common goals of mobile technology implementation are acceleration of guest traffic, heightened interactivity, promotion and sales of goods and services, and gathering of feedback relative to the guest's experience.
Mobile services include special website configurations, fluent marketing campaigns, location-based activities, digital couponing, and point-of-sale settlement. Currently, the fastest growing segment of m-commerce service is mobile payments featuring cashless and cardless payment platforms. If not already in place, hospitality management should consider business payment choices of coin and currency, credit and debit card, and mobile options.
Why a mobile strategy?
According to Mobilize Worldwide, a leading developer of mobile applications for promotional e-campaigns, interactive websites, and related marketing media, there were two-hundred and seventy-one million mobile device service subscribers in the US as of May 2011. This data equates to approximately eighty-two percent (82%) of US adults owning a cell phone of which thirty-one percent (31%) were classified as a smartphone.
According to the company's extensive research, twenty-five percent (25%) of Americans rely on a mobile device to access the Internet, as opposed to a desktop computer, and ninety-five percent (95%) of mobile devices are capable of transporting multimedia messaging service (MMS) and/or short message service (SMS) such as text messages. Interestingly, the data indicates that ninety percent (90%) of text messages are read within three minutes of being delivered. Also discovered was the fact that seventy-nine percent (79%) of smartphone users use their phone for shopping and seventy-four percent (74%) of those shoppers make a purchase as a result of smartphone searching. According to Pew Research, more than half of all mobile phone users rely on their portable device to find information on local hotels, and restaurants. With the steadily increasing volume of mobile network users, now is the time for a hospitality business to go mobile!
A consistent mobile service is dependent on a reliable platform for effective delivery. The two popular technology platforms for applications being iPhone-based and Android-based. The menu of mobile technologies for the hospitality industry typically includes: