A benefit of people invariably carrying their smartphones around is the ability to target guests through geo-fencing. Geo-fencing uses a smartphone’s location to determine where a guest is on or off-property and sends them notifications based on where they are. Hotel apps can use geo-fencing to send different messages to guests moving about their properties or to guests who are getting close to the hotel. Geo-fencing can invite people close to arriving at the hotel to make a reservation or even order room service through the app for when they arrive.
When upselling food and beverage products to guests, geo-fencing adds value to the app for both the guest and the hotel. In a large resort that has multiple dining and drinking establishments, geo-fencing can alert guests to options that are geographically close to them. Imagine walking from your room to the pool of a large resort and, without realizing it, nearing one of the resort’s bars. Suddenly, your smartphone buzzes and you receive a push notification for drink specials. You realize that you are close to the bar and decide to stop for a drink. Geo-fencing is an impressive feature because the notifications are relevant to the guest within that location and they are more likely to act on it.
A feature within apps that pleases guests during their visits are detailed menus with photos of the dishes. Because the app can be translated into multiple languages, menus within the app are beneficial for foreign guests who cannot read the printed restaurant menu. The app becomes almost like a translator for a guest who can now confidently order what he or she wants to eat.
EASE & CONVENIENCE
Mobile hotel apps are generators of revenue because they make conventional processes easier and more convenient for guests. As an example, guests would traditionally call housekeeping from their rooms, place the order and wait for their food. With an integrated mobile app, a guest returning from a long day of sightseeing can order room service on their way back to the hotel. It bypasses traditional methods for ordering room service and is a faster, more convenient way of ordering. A hotel app that is integrated with the housekeeping system can offer guests the convenience of ordering room service from their smartphones, and guests don’t necessarily have to be in their rooms at the time they place their orders. Because it is easy and convenient, guests are more likely to order room service; hotels with integrated apps report an 18% increase in room service!