Mobile technology is taking over the hospitality industry. According to recent statistics, the number of smartphone users worldwide surpassed six billion in 2021. And, along with rising smartphone usage, TechCrunch reports that people are now spending more than 4 hours per day using smartphone apps. These statistics alone should tell you why app adoption is essential to your hotel.
With an effective mobile app, you can get more bookings, send push notifications for incentives and events, and give your guests more access to amenities – all with a simple tap. Plus, when repeat guests already have your app installed on their phones, they’ll be more likely to book with you for future stays.
The best way for hotels to increase app adoption is to deliver a quality app experience. According to a recent study, 80% of consumers are willing to download hotel apps. The right strategy could increase both app adoption and guest loyalty. Here are a few tips to help.
Increase awareness with email campaigns
When guests book with you, you likely have an automated series of pre-arrival email communications that you send to ensure a smooth arrival and check-in. You can use these emails to promote your app with new guests, and you can use your mailing list to promote it to returning guests.
When promoting your app, be sure to keep your messages short and sweet, and don’t let your CTA get buried or lost with a lot of other links. Target your email to inform your guests why they should want to download your app with short-and-sweet messaging about the features and functions they’ll find. Above all else, be sure to provide a prominent CTA button that takes them to the App Store or Google Play (depending on their device) to easily download your app on their device.
Promote your app at check-in and check-out
You also have an opportunity to increase app adoption at check-in and check-out. If a guest arrives who has not checked in online, you can let them know about all the convenient perks available in your app – like virtual check-in and digital key. You can do this through marketing materials available at the front desk and/or by encouraging your staff to inform guests about the app, help them download it, and walk them through key features.
Many guests will be excited to learn about the increased convenience that comes with a mobile app. Take some time to show them how the app helps them access happy hour alerts, special offers on hotel amenities, and other perks.
Offer selective incentives through your app
Speaking of the perks of your app, let’s talk about how to make it even more attractive to your guests. Offering exclusive incentives only available in your app is a great way to get more people to use it. Some options might include:
- Discounted room rates when you book through the app
- Virtual check-in and digital key
- Early-bird notifications of upcoming special events and discounts
- Loyalty incentives for repeat stays
These are just a few of the incentives and offers you could provide exclusively through your app. With so many guests primed to download apps, these details could be what you need to drive them to the App Store.
Increase Your App’s Functionality
With that in mind, you want to improve the chances that your guests will actually use your app, rather than deleting it after check-out or leaving it on their phones but nqever using it again. Keep them engaged by providing an attractive, user-friendly experience. Remember, your guests use mobile apps to make their lives simpler. If your app requires too many steps, or navigating the app is too complex, people will very quickly abandon it. On the other hand, if you provide a one-click experience, your guests will happily use your app throughout their stay.
If you’re adding features to the app, consider which functions will be most helpful for your guests. Some features might include capabilities for ordering room service, digital key, adjusting the thermostat in their room, making reservations at your hotel’s restaurant, and other activities to enhance their stay right from the app.
As you increase your app’s functionality, keep that one-click experience in mind. The simpler the technology, the more app adoption you’ll see. Making it easier to explore the app and access amenities will not only increase adoption, but it could also help you upsell certain services. Better yet, your guests will remember the ease and convenience that you provided with easy mobile access to services and amenities. When you make your app an integral part of an enjoyable stay at your hotel, your guests will likely check back regularly for deals and incentives, even if they’re not immediately planning a trip.
Apply these tips to your app strategy and see how many more users you get in 2022 – and how many new guests become loyal customers. You may be surprised at how much a single mobile app can do for your hotel!
Want to learn how Digital Keys can help improve guest services at your hotel? OpenKey is the leading provider of digital key services. Schedule a demo today to see how you can do more for your guests with Digital Keys.