Top Pros And Cons in Creating an App For Your Hotel
If you’re the owner of a hotel, you must have noticed the usual customers you have. Is it true that they spend at least 30% of their holiday on their phones? Probably, because they want to remember the holiday forever, so they take photos and they share them with friends back home. So… if your customer has such a strong presence in the mobile world, why shouldn’t you be there to welcome them to their holiday?
A beautiful, simple, elegant app that can help them with booking and info about the hotel, as well as tips about what they should visit around, is sure to bring you more customers in time. If you’re not yet convinced, let’s take a look at a few pros and cons I’ve gathered up about why you should or should not create an app for your hotel.
1. Booking has never been easier
The modern traveler will definitely look up hotels on their phone. If you have an app, they can easily download it and with one and two clicks book a room with you. This will not only make you happy, but the customer himself/herself because he resolved his booking problem in a few seconds.
2. The bond between you and your customer has never been stronger
An app leaves you tons of space to give customers tens of features that are both helpful, and will make them feel like home. For example, you can create a push notification with 10 minutes before room cleaning comes. That gives your customer enough time to prepare to leave the room, or to refuse the room cleaning right at that moment. It’s quite spectacular how many more interesting features like this one you can include in your hotel’s app.
3. You can even collect data on your user
A lot of things happen on a hotel’s app: the customer can book a room, can specify if he/she wants room service, if he/she wants a spa appointment and so on. These are all helpful data in better understanding your customer and what they enjoy. You can use this data by connecting it to PMS (or CRM) and you will be able to make the best marketing strategy for your newly found customer characteristics.
1. Websites are statistically more searched than apps
At least that is what ComScore found out: the amount of people downloading hotel apps are only half of the people that search the websites in a search engine. That is how the customer behavior has become through years: the customer got used to search for a website, and is not yet as open to apps. It is also cheaper to create a website, and more of a necessity for your hotel to be booked.
2. Sadly, people almost never download independent hotel apps
Because they just don’t have the space! People have a lot of different apps on their phone, from games to social media, and they might not find a benefit in downloading your app if they have to delete another app. Honestly, there’s nothing you can do about this con, it is only the customer’s choice. Even if they know their stay will probably improve by downloading the app, the attachment they feel to other apps might get in the way.
Most hotel apps out there are specialized in frequent customers, those who love the hotel and come back every year. They are given personalized offers and bonus points for each stay – so they’re more compelled to download it.
3. It’s a complex and expensive process
To create a hotel app is not as easy as creating any other app. This app requires not only the basic app development steps as all apps do (design, content, coding and testing) but also syncing it with your main system. Booking cannot be done without this syncing, nor a lot of other things like booking a spa appointment, ordering room service and so on.
There are app development companies out there that specialize in formats especially for this issue, but honestly, if you do decide to try them out, it won’t look as personalized as you would like your hotel’s app to look. Nobody wants their app to look like all the other competitor apps out there, right?
So, if you want to create your own app from scratch, take in consideration that it will cost quite a lot and the process will take a long time.
Having a complex, functional app that gives the customer the opportunity of ordering everything they need through their phone is the dream. A lot of customers would appreciate it, and in time, the bookings will surely become numerous. But in reality, the process is expensive, and people are maybe not yet ready for downloading apps, they prefer a well-designed website.