Guest Blog: Top 10 Ways Digital Tech is Giving Hotels an Edge
The hotel industry is transforming, and there are many factors driving this change. For starters, as revealed in a report on hotels in the UK by Statista, the industry raked in upwards of £20 billion last year, with occupancy rates at around 79.9%. This is despite the economic effects of lockdowns across the UK, which have dealt massive blows to practically every industry. In the face of these changes, the hotel industry has continued to improve thanks to digital technologies, which have been crucial to its transformation. But how are these technologies helping hotels not just survive, but thrive in the digital era?
1. Greater overall customer outreach
In the age of mobile internet, expanding their reach is arguably the biggest benefit that digital technology affords hotels. 2 billion people worldwide choose to access the web through their phones, and this is expected to rise to 3.7 billion users by 2025. Furthermore, there are now over 1 billion active monthly users on Instagram, one of the main social platforms being currently leveraged by the hotel industry. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that 60% of all Google searches are made using mobile devices, for which the click-through rate for ads is significantly higher than that for desktop ads. Through digital transformation, hotels are becoming more mobile and web-friendly, thereby raising their potential to reach more customers around the world.
2. Improved search engine rankings
Nowadays, it’s easy to create a Google My Business listing for a hotel. This can significantly improve a hotel’s standing in their local area. Furthermore, the resulting online reviews through Google listings give an edge to those who go the extra mile for customers. And as our guide to ranking hotels for Google searches details, showing up in maps and location-based search results can be a good way for hotels to promote new deals and offers as well.
3. Streamlined content curation
Today’s social media companies are constantly creating new ways for both individuals and businesses to take content curation to the next level. The most recent innovation in this vein is Instagram Guides. As indicated in a feature on ‘Instagram Guides for Business’ by Later, the social platform now allows users to create guides for recommended places, products, or previous posts. For hoteliers, this means greater control over how their brand is presented across the web. It also means easier and better opportunities for collaborations with travelling influencers. With Instagram Guides, Stories, and other new content development products in the works, a little social media savvy can go a long way in giving any hotel the promotional edge.
4. Seamless booking
Digital is also paving the way for making the traditionally arduous process of booking much easier for customers. Platforms like HotelEngine are allowing guests around the world to complete this process online. Apart from booking hotel stays, HotelEngine also affords customers the opportunity to purchase specific hotel services beforehand. From rooms to accessing luxury amenities and other offerings, technology has made seamless booking a reality.
5. Contactless payment for services
Another advantage of digital booking is contactless payments. Through e-wallets like PayPal, Amazon Pay, and whatever app or online platform your bank offers, customers can opt to pay for rooms and other services through cashless means. The sheer convenience of this option is another increasingly important factor for customers who want to stay safer in the new normal.
6. Streamlined hospitality services
In relation to making booking rooms and services easier for potential customers, digitisation has also made hotel services much more easily accessible to guests. For instance, Hoist Group’s centralised Content Management System is designed for targeted guest communications. Through the smart televisions in hotel rooms, guests can use this system to purchase unlimited content as well as find relevant information on the hotel’s different services. This eliminates the need to call the hotel desk for amenities, which hastens the way hotels can provide their services.
7. Improved safety and security
Digital technology is also making improvements to the traditional physical room key. Today, hotels can opt for RFID smart locks and mobile keys, which are more secure and lessen overall surface contact for guests and staff alike. Digitised hotel room security solutions also include smart safes, refs, and even minibars that automatically tally consumption.
8. Better overall operations
Guests aren’t the only ones benefitting from this ongoing digital transformation. If services can be streamlined through digital means, so can task management. This can be observed in the many features offered by Serviator, a fully online task management system for streamlining all hotel-related work. This particular platform can be used by hoteliers to streamline fundamental housekeeping, maintenance work, and internal communications. As a result, hotels that leverage this type of platform to gain an edge in terms of responding more efficiently to customer wants and needs.
9. Greater attractiveness to Gen Z customers
Hotels that embrace digitisation and implement it in useful ways are simply more attractive to Gen Zs. While some members of this generation are still under the age of 10, it’s estimated that Gen Z controls 40% of all consumer purchases and influences billions in spending by their parents. Furthermore, with each passing year, more and more consumers from this strongly tech-inclined generation are growing up and setting their sights on hotel stays. And those that employ the right digital tools can easily reach out to this growing and soon-to-be-dominating market full of new consumers.
10. Greater overall adaptability
In conclusion, digital technology is not just giving hotels an edge in the hospitality landscape, but much greater overall adaptability for the future. This is especially crucial right now as the market is so volatile. The post-pandemic era is bound to create an even more competitive landscape for hotels and other players in the world of hospitality. So through the aforementioned use cases for digital technology, by being forward-thinking hotels can gain an edge over their competition.
Exclusively written for hoistgroup.com by Lucy Feron