Despite over two-thirds of consumers using their mobile phone to research, book and pay for services related to travel, apps produced by hotel brands are falling behind, with 81 per cent of consumers either unaware that they exist, or feeling they lack functionality.
The figures come from a survey by mobile order and payment specialist QikServe, which found that although there was demand for useful hotel apps, many existing apps from large hotel brands were failing to integrate the functions that consumers expected.
Among the features that respondents were interested in seeing were pre-ordering at hotel bars and restaurants, and ordering food and drinks to rooms or other areas of the hotel such as poolside, in addition to standard features like making bookings, checking in and out, and accessing general hotel information.
"These responses were from a group that is happily using apps for flight boarding passes, researching timetables, booking restaurants and so on, so this is a lost opportunity for the hotel sector, particularly as much of the functionality demanded by travelers relates to revenue generation opportunities for hotels," said Daniel Rodgers, CEO of QikServe. "And nearly half the respondents were keen on using apps to receive special offers and manage loyalty accounts, which would provide ongoing marketing opportunities for hotels.
"Many hotels have made significant investments in developing mobile apps, so in some cases this lack of knowledge may be just down to poor promotion, but low adoption could also be because apps aren't covering the range of functionality for them to become habit-forming for guests, or that they aren't integrated well.
"The consequences of getting it wrong will be damaging to the hotel brand and result in lost customers – especially Millennials or Generation Z, many of whom expect a high level of mobile service from the brands they choose to use."
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