A Case for Investing in Technology During the Design and Development Process
Considering investing in technology during the design process of a new hotel property can only promote innovative ideation, allow hotel brands to expand on their experience, and save on installation costs
By Robert Stevenson, CEO of KEYPR
The discussion about technology has changed immensely over the past several years, and hoteliers worldwide have received the message: all guests, millennial, gen z, or otherwise, want mobile tech included in their experience. While the main conversation is about adjusting to consumer needs, there's a more prescient matter on the table for properties in development: considering technology in the design stages to stay ahead.
There are easy solutions for the future-proofing dilemma that hoteliers are facing, it takes finding the best tools for the property. There are now emerging platforms in the technology marketplace that can provide guests with instant control over their experience: mobile check-in, keyless entry, streaming music, and reservation management available through an accompanying app. If hoteliers install an in-room tablet component that marries all of the things, the user desires are met for a seamless visit. The additional perk of hospitality platforms is that they do all of the above, while providing the hotel numerous behind-the-scenes capabilities to manage operations, and stay ahead of guests' needs.
It's far more cost-effective to consider technology in the development stages of a new property than to make changes down the road. As it stands, more than 50% of hotels are making guestroom technology upgrades a priority, so why shouldn't this aspect of the guest experience be factored at the design-level of development? According to HT's 2016 Lodging Technology Study, 54% of hotels are devoting more of their spends on technology to match escalating guest expectations. If tech specs are factored into the construction as a proactive measure, the costs are far significantly lower than knocking into completed walls, dealing with lock upgrades, or the associated costs that go into redoing Internet and in-room controls infrastructure. Playing with these aspects in advance invites more creativity and can save money in the short term.
Once technology factors are integrated, new levels of guest experience can be optimized. The physical flow of mobile check-in, the casual sleekness of in-room design with the tablet- these subtle tweaks epitomize how people are defining and value luxury. Additionally, there's money on the table when considering that technology can provide upsell points tied to geolocation or time of day, or analyzing the guest's experience for potential recovery should any hiccups occur while they're still on the property. The LBMA 2017 Global Transitions Trends Report found that 25% of marketing budgets are spent on location-based marketing, and over 50% of brands are using location data to target their customer base. There are literally 10s of millions in ad revenue up for grabs if hotels use localization and customer targeting with in-room tablets to connect guests with local culture- neighborhood dining, must-see events, and finding various hidden gems.
Considering investing in technology during the design process of a new hotel property can only promote innovative ideation, allow hotel brands to expand on their experience, and save on installation costs. With the rise of Airbnb and the litany of problems that come with its scattershot approach to "quality," the designers behind tomorrow's hotels have an opportunity to elevate the brand experience by factoring in how users engage with tech.
Vice President of Marketing and Customer Success
KEYPR® is a cloud-based guest experience and management platform for hotels, casinos and luxury residences. The platform delivers a personalized, friction-free guest experience while creating new operational efficiencies and driving additional revenue opportunities for property owners and operators. Guests can access a directory of services, including dining, entertainment, third-party content and more through an in-room tablet and custom mobile app. The app also allows guests to bypass the front desk via the KEYPR® digital key. Additionally, owners and managers gain valuable insight through the integrated dashboard (GEMS®) and intuitive tools that provide visibility into guest needs before, during and after their stay—all while easily monitoring operational KPIs across multiple properties. For further information, visit https://www.keypr.com.