Emerging Trends of 'Adaptive Web' versus Dedicated Native Applications

By Duane Hepditch President & CEO, Guestfolio | March 18, 2012

Most people within the hotel industry understand the dynamics of a hotel's structural foundation. The foundation is the footprint, which defines it's frame, façade and overall appearance. As the building is developed each stage is less adaptable than the last based on that initial restricted foundation. When you build your hotel you think long-term about how people will move through it, interact with it and with each other.

Building your digital foundation, however, is a wholly different exercise. Your web space is defined by its transience, often replaced within a year or two as new opportunities or features are presented. In the web space your application needs to be responsive to all users accessing it as you simply can't predict when people will access your information and on what platform they will do so.

Mobile browsing is expected to outpace desktop-based access within three to five years. People are accessing the web via smart phones, tables, desktops, laptops, game consols and their TV's. Your architecture needs to support all of these outputs and even take into consideration how people will browse your content either by mouse, fingers, keypads, game controllers and touch interfaces. We're faced with a greater number of devices, input modes, and browsers than ever before. Building a foundation that will support these devices is critical to your guest engagement and your bottom line.

Can we really afford to commit to supporting each new device with its own custom experience and application? At some point, this starts to feel like a zero sum game. But how can we-and our designs-respond to this ever-changing game?

Enter Responsive Web

Responsive web design is a relatively new web development technique in which the layout of a website changes according to the size of the screen it is being viewed on. This means that the one website can be optimised for mobiles, tablets and full-sized monitors (and whatever else might be coming in the near future).

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.