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Category Archives: Travel & Hospitality technology

Next Gen Hospitality

The world is noticing a phenomenal growth in adoption of tablets and smartphones. For any business, mobile presence is becoming as critical as Internet presence. Travellers are rapidly moving into this mobile age and it is becoming critical for hospitality industry to engage their guests on this new platform and add value to their mobile experience!

According to the TripAdvisor Travel Trends 2012 report, 44% of all travelers will be using their mobile phone as a travel resource in 2012. Deloitte Hospitality Trend 2015 ranks mobile adoption as one of its top 10 game changers in the industry!

Hospitality industry has understood that this is the need of the day. But the biggest question is that, how to leverage this ever growing technology?

The answer is an app that would enable hotels to fully leverage mobile technology by creating their presence on mobile platform as well as offer a revolutionary guest experience.

The app can run on tablets and smartphones like iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, Android phones, Windows phones and other popular platforms. A branded app of the hotel can be downloaded from the respective app stores, significantly increasing hotel’s brand value. The app can be used by hotels to showcase hotel information, amenities, pictures and videos. It can improve marketing, branding, advertising, cross-selling and impulse buying.

A hotel app can revolutionize the way guests interact, view and consume services. Hotels can expose their amenities and services in high quality multimedia formats with stunning images and videos, thereby increasing exposure and usage of hotel services. Guest can access details of all offered services, make service requests, and can also place orders directly from the mobile device. Language, accent, wait time on phone and miscommunication are no longer a barrier for guests to access and enjoy hotel services to the fullest.

With such apps, hotels can present live and up to date information to their guests. Hotels can change the content, menu, images, videos, on the fly. Hotels will never have to face an embarrassment of saying “Sorry, that item (or service) is not available at this time”. Any special events or new offers can easily be added to the app.

Keeping in mind the ever changing nature or technology, it may be a disservice to hotels if they develop their app independently. Changes in platforms, technology, and social networks can lead to increased involvement and costs in developing and upgrading mobile apps. The solution to this problem is use apps developed by professional software companies. There are a handful of software companies that specialize is hospitality apps. Utilizing the services of such companies greatly reduces the time to launch an app and also lowers the overall cost of ownership of the software.

Many leading hotels are already using such apps and have reported an amazing ROI due to an increase in RevPAR ranging from 10-25%. They have reported increases in room service bills, restaurant bills, direct marketing revenues, Internet revenues, cross-selling and up-selling. Some of the benefits that a hotel receives, which will increase hotel’s RevPAR, are Customer Satisfaction and Engagement, Targeted Advertising, Greater Brand Value, Shopping – Merchandise, Local Bookings, Increase Profitability by Cross-Selling, Increase Employees / Operations Efficiency, Reduce Operational / Manpower Costs and a Competitive Edge.

Many consulting firms have predicted that within a few years, most major hotels will have their own mobile apps. Now its up to hotels to decide, whether they want to have the first mover advantage.

 

 

Mobile Technology Revolutionizing Hospitality industry…

The world is noticing a phenomenal growth in adoption of tablet and smartphone devices. For any business, mobile presence is becoming as critical as Internet presence. The traveller community is  rapidly moving into this digital age and it is becoming critical for hospitality industry to engage their guests on this new platform and add value to their mobile experience!

According to the TripAdvisor Travel Trends 2012 report, 44% of all travelers will be using their mobile phone as a travel resource in 2012. Deloitte Hospitality Trend 2015 ranks mobile adoption as one of its top 10 game changers in the industry!

Hospitality industry has understood that this is the need of the day. But the biggest question is that, how to leverage this ever-growing technology?

The answer is a “Hotel App” that would enable Hotels to fully leverage mobile technology by creating their presence on mobile platform as well as offer a revolutionary guest experience.

The Hotel App can run on tablets and smartphones like iPads, iPhones, Android Tabs, Android phones, Windows phones, etc. A branded app of the hotel can be downloaded from the respective app stores, significantly increasing hotel’s brand value. The app can be used by hotels to showcase hotel information, amenities, pictures, videos, and other details. It can improve marketing, branding, advertising, cross-selling and impulse buying.

A Hotel App can revolutionize the way guests interact, view and consume services. Hotels can expose their amenities and services in high quality multimedia formats with stunning images and videos, which results in an increased exposure and usage. Guest can access details of all offered services, make service requests, and can also place orders directly from the mobile device. Language, accent, wait time on phone, miscommunication, etc. are no longer a barrier for guests to access and enjoy hotel services to the fullest.

With such apps, hotels always present live and up to date information to their guests. Hotels can change the content, menu, images, videos, etc on the fly. The hotel will never have to face an embarrassment of saying “Sorry, that item (or service) is not available at this time”. Any special events or new offers can easily be added to the app.

Keeping in mind the ever-changing nature or technology, it may be a disservice to hotels if they develop their app independently. Changes in platforms, technology, social networks, etc. can lead to increased involvement and costs in developing and upgrading mobile apps. The solution to this problem is use apps developed by professional software companies. There are a handful of software companies that specialize is hospitality apps. Utilizing the services of such companies greatly reduces the time to launch an app and also lowers the overall cost of ownership of the software.

Many leading hotels are already using such Apps and have reported an amazing ROI due to an increase in RevPAR ranging from 10-25%. They have reported increases in room service bills, restaurant bills, direct marketing revenues, Internet revenues, cross-selling, etc. Some of the benefits that a hotel receives, which will increase hotel’s RevPAR, are Customer Satisfaction and Engagement, Targeted Advertising, Greater Brand Value, Shopping – Merchandise, Local Bookings, Increase Profitability by Cross-Selling, Increase Employees / Operations Efficiency, Reduce Operational / Manpower Costs, Competitive Edge.

Many consulting firms have predicted that within a few years, most major hotels will have their own mobile apps. Now its up to hotels to decide, whether they want to have the first mover advantage.

 

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Conversion Management ~ Converting Website Visitors into Buyers

Currently, marketers are desperate about increasing their website traffic as much as possible through different means. They are crazy about SEO, SEM, keywords, rankings, etc. and are investing huge in “optimizing” their website for Search Engines like Google, yahoo, etc. for getting top ranking. Increased website traffic seems to be the only objective.

But, is the traffic acquisition enough?
SEO and SEM are still important, but is this enough for successful ecommerce?
What about converting visitors into buyers or the “look-to-book”?

Today more and more of big players are starting to make “conversion optimization” a priority. And from there, are starting to get really smart, targeted and personal with their websites. This method is helping to not only acquire consumers, but to keep them coming back for more. These solutions aren’t making SEO/SEM experts and web analytics gurus obsolete, they are simply the missing piece of the customer experience puzzle, and giving all marketers the greatest bang for their buck.

While conversion management is ramping up to be the next must-have technology (just like SEO/SEM), many brands have yet to shift their time, budget and plans to a conversion management program. It’s not always easy to convince decision makers about the benefits of new technologies, but here are three basic reasons why this can immediately impact your business:

1. Technology is Smarter than You

Let’s face it, you know your website better than anyone. You may think it’s ugly and desperately in need of a revamp. Or maybe, your think your website is a rock star— it has after all received multiple “Best Design” accolades and awards. Either way, subjective opinions have no place in your website strategy—if it hasn’t been tested, there is always room to improve.

Remember a little thing called focus groups? Back in the Mad Men era, these were heavily relied on by consumer brands to understand how their customer thinks, what they react to, what they like, what they don’t like, etc. Today, we still need to understand these consumer insights, but focus groups just aren’t scalable, (or smart), when your traffic efforts are driving thousands, if not millions, of unique visitors per month. Are you going to sit them all down in a room and survey them? No. But your website is the perfect place to discover what people like and don’t like—from buttons, to products, to tone and copy—through A/B and multivariate testing. How your customer proceeds through a search or check-out phase on your site is just as important and the product merchandising plan or their brand perceptions.

The best way to gather insights and start making site improvements with testing is the iterative approach: laying out a plan of what you want to test, why and when; discovering the results and implement the changes over time. Changes as simple as button copy and color in the shopping cart raise purchases by 3-5% in a month’s time. Every site is different, but every site has opportunity.

2. Search Marketing and Web Analytics Need You

Going forward, there is no point in purchasing keywords to drive traffic to an inefficient landing page or website. If it doesn’t convert, it’s not justifying budget spend. Driving traffic to your website isn’t the end goal anymore – Increasing revenue on your website is. And in today’s noisy, competitive market, it’s becoming a more precarious process driving a visitor to your site, capture their attention and convert them into customers. The great news is, all the hard work that your search optimization teams have done over the past few years will provide insights that will help drive and improve your conversion strategies. They have targeted certain types of visitors and customers, products, campaigns, keywords. They have data on what is working and what hasn’t. So it’s time to team up to make everyone’s marketing efforts a successful return on investment.

Testing and targeting once the visitor is at your site is a win-win-win for search, analytics and revenue. When a website is optimized for the customer, most effective content and design elements are used throughout the site, the cost of acquisition through search marketing is driven down, and it becomes easier to convert website visitors into customers. With the excess funds from search marketing budgets available, marketers have the ability to pay for additional keywords and drive more traffic to the site.

3. You Need Recurring Revenues

Testing and optimizing your site is going to provide a better site experience for the majority of your visitors. But after that, it’s time to get really slick by enhancing each individual’s experience with personalized, relevant content. Every individual that your visits the site has a different profile— and every time they visit, you learn more and more about them—what page layouts, tone/copy, buttons, etc. they covert best with, what products they search, what they have purchased, what traffic sources they come from, the list goes on.

With personalization, you’ll be able to not only serve them tailored content in real-time, but predict what they will want next and serve them up offers that they are likely to buy. Not only do these solutions allow you to collect and analyze more in-depth visitor data, but it will help turn them into loyal, recurring customers if the content, offers and experience fit the individual’s needs and wants.

 

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