Mobiles and hospitality: three ways mobile will shape 2017
While it is almost impossible to make accurate forecasts when it comes to the hospitality industry, some things are more certain than others. One is the continued adoption of mobile, which has seen massive growth in Asia and the world over the past few years. These trends are expected to continue for sometime into the future. Here are three areas in which mobile will have a significant impact over the next 12 months.
Slowly but surely, mobile check-in is beginning to creep into the world of hospitality. Airlines have had their mobile check-in’s for years, you can purchase your groceries via self-payment, and it is even possible to attend the theatre and cinema with nothing but your mobile. Despite this, for some reason mobile check-in has evaded most hotels. Local regulation and a reflexive desire for human interaction are the main reasons for this, however a select number of hotels, including Formule 1 Hotels (who have had self-check-in for years), Citizen M hotels and some Starwood properties have moved in this direction. Expect movement from national regulators to allow self/mobile check-in, and more hotels beginning to invest in the technology in 2017
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In most developed cities, it is normal to see the motorcycles and scooters from Uber Eats, or Deliveroo, parked outside of condos and homes. We are even starting to see them parked outside of hotels, as guests prefer to ‘eat local’ for the experience, and convenience of ordering through mobile (and no doubt the preferable price point). This will start to affect hotel room service, and even hotel F&B sales. Hotels should embrace this trend in 2017, rather than try to combat it, by partnering with local food delivery services, or partnering with local F&B establishments to bring local food to their guests.
In 2017, hotels will realise that great service has moved beyond the ability to smile and welcome a guest with a surprise birthday cake. It is now the ability to provide unique local information that would enable the guest to have a memorable local experience – one they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. 78% of Millennials want to learn something new while they travel, they seek experiences that are more authentic and unique, and they would prefer informal, informative service staff over shiny facilities and well drilled service techniques. Staff training will start to reflect this, with more use of mobile learning thanks to its flexibility and ability to train employees anytime, anywhere.
While some aspects of the ‘mobile revolution’ may affect hotels in a negative way (the growing market for ordering out, for example), the key to maximising it’s benefits is to adapt your business and adopt to mobile. Smartphones are already the major way we organise our lives, and investing in ways which hotels can align themselves to this trend will make life easier for guests, and result in better service – and revenue.
Source: ehotelier Website