Mobile apps: hotel challenges and opportunities (1)

With mobile booking on the rise, many hotel managers start inquiring more details about this new marketing channel. What can the return of investment in an app be? Namely, how does it benefit the brand awareness and what is the actual impact on revenue? Finally, what are the key elements that make an app successful?

A few hotels moved fast in picking up the mobile booking opportunity. To bring light to the above mentioned questions, Toubik launched an interview invitation to Hotel Mystique, a discrete resort hotel in Oia (Santorini, Greece).

You launched the mobile app in 2012. Why did you decide to make this step?
Mystique Hotel: We launched the mobile app for our Hotel in May 2012. We took the decision to incorporate a mobile app for our hotel due to the rapid expansion of smartphones and also because we wanted to differentiate our hotel with a unique mobile app.

What percentage of the annual booking revenue would you estimate comes from mobile booking?
MH: Approximately 20-30%.

How are you measuring the impact of the mobile app on your hotel’s brand awareness?
VH: We are currently not measuring the return on brand awareness, but this is definitely something we should start doing !

MH:  By utilizing the following methods:

  • App Store Sales
  • Direct Traffic Tracking
  • New Versus Returning Visitor Tracking
  • SEO Branded Keyword Tracking
  • Branded Tweet Tracking

What should hoteliers expect from a mobile app in terms of return of investment?
MH: Hoteliers will realize that a mobile app is not just another marketing myth – it is a new communication channel. They will realize that a mobile app is a useful tool that will contribute in increasing customer satisfaction, boosting in-hotel sales, maximizing brand awareness and reducing operational costs.

What features of your hotel’s mobile app are being most often used?

MH:

  • In hotel Services (spa, in-room dining, amenities, etc)
  • Social Media Sharing and e-Postcards
  • Feedback
  • Offline concierge information (POIS, map, useful contacts)

What are the three must-have features of any hotel mobile app?

MH: In terms of front end (mobile app)

  • In hotel services
  • Ads Banners
  • Push Notifications

In terms of back end, really strong Business Intelligence capabilities.