The Buyers' Guide to Mobile Hospitality Solutions

By Michelle Wohl VP of Marketing & Client Services, Revinate | April 19, 2015

If you are evaluating how a mobile app or mobile website can add value to your hotel, there is more to consider than just how it looks or the features that it contains. For a mobile solution to truly be successful, it must be easily integrated into your existing systems, readily adopted by your guests, supported by your staff and built for future innovation. This guide will outline the considerations you should explore as part of your decision-making process.

If you have ever returned to your house after realizing that you left your mobile phone at home, you proved just how valuable your phone has become in your day-to-day life. Now, imagine going on a trip, either for leisure or business, and leaving your mobile device behind. Impossible to imagine, right, because it just wouldn't happen.

We rely on our mobile phones and tablets during travel to do everything from checking in to our flights, to arranging car service, to staying up to date on email, to finding restaurant recommendations, to getting walking directions, to calculating currency conversions and much more. In fact, TripAdvisor reports that 85% of U.S. travelers used their tablets during their time in-destination and nearly half of the polled respondents said their cell phone is an essential part of every journey.

Hotels need to adapt to these trends and ensure that they are providing guests with great mobile experiences across the entire guest lifecycle, pre-stay, on-site and post-stay. When done correctly, mobile can be a critical aspect of guest loyalty as it can power personalized service and surprise and delight perks. And, just as importantly, mobile can help hotels drive more revenue by making purchases and reservations more convenient.

But finding the right partner and building the right mobile solution isn't as simple as hiring a team of developers or selecting a while-labeled solution, as there are many considerations that can affect ROI, guest loyalty and the long-term value of the solution.

In this guide we aim to outline the most important considerations when evaluating a mobile solutions provider for your hotel or brand and provide tools that you can use when interviewing vendors and analyzing solutions.

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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.