Hotels need to do better at reaching guests finds report
Hotel brands are seeing lower satisfaction rates from their mobile efforts according to EyeforTravel’s new report, likely as a result of not being able to reach guests' smartphones as effectively as other verticals
As part of EyeforTravel and SAP's new Driving Intelligent, Interconnected Mobile Engagement Throughout the Travel Journey report, an industry survey asked whether mobile messaging services were effective at driving satisfaction amongst customers. While 72% of hospitality and accommodation brands said that their messaging services were effective, a much higher 90% of respondents from other travel industry verticals reported success through messaging.
The research finds that although hotel brands are good at pushing booking confirmations and welcome/check-in messages to travelers, they fall behind when it comes to more complex and data-reliant messages. Hospitality brands are using push notification at half the rate of the rest of the sample (35.3% versus 16.7%), despite 31% of accommodation companies having an app, and are way behind for upsell notifications, with just 32.3% of messaging-capable hospitality brands sending personalized upsell messages versus 51.2% for the remaining respondents. They therefore have less ability to become useful to the consumer and implant themselves with travelers as a trusted source of local information.
Hospitality brands low deployment of push-notifications is illustrative of this mismatch, as push notifications were found by the survey to be by far the most effective form of in-app advertising. Push notifications were chosen as the most effective form by 44% of respondents, followed by display banners at 25%, videos at 15%, native display at 14% and interstitial at 3%. Therefore, without these capabilities, hotels cannot communicate
Hospitality and accommodation companies therefore need to build up their technological capabilities in order to reach out to consumers wherever they are with relevant and targeted messages.
"Brands need to be present where the customer is present, rather than forcing people to pick the channels or means or tools that the brands want them to use," says Rohit Tripathi, general manager and head of products, SAP Digital Interconnect. "Today, if your customer is residing in social channels such as Facebook Messenger or WeChat, then build bridges into these mediums."
Amro Khoudeir, global director of digital & distribution, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, notes that they have deployed several tools to better cater to guests on mobile: "Before arrival we send our guests an invitation to check-in. The guest provides us with all their details and they get their barcode on the day of arrival, scan and receive a key and to go straight to their room. Post-booking, there's an opportunity to start identifying guests who come in to the hotel through geolocation or beacons. We do some geolocation marketing and social marketing and are expanding this to more hotels in 2018."
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EyeforTravel is an online travel intelligence provider to hotels, airlines, online travel agents, cruise, car hire firms and more. Established in 1997 by Tim Gunstone, right at the inception of online travel, the group offers a diverse product portfolio including industry analysis, insights, research, webinars, reports and conferences. From major hotel brands to new startups, EyeforTravel helps its 80,000 strong customer base make better decisions, build better brands, close the most lucrative deals and ultimately sell more of their product.
For more information visit www.eyefortravel.com.