Consumers are depending on their mobile phones more and more for information. While it is important to capitalize on this by optimizing your website for mobile with a responsive design, it extends further than that. iBeacon technology is the next stage for mobile use in hotels, and to jump on board now would give your property an early adopter advantage.
What is it?
iBeacons work on Bluetooth low-energy frequency, and can receive signals up to 20-30 yards. When a mobile phone comes in range of the beacon, they “shake hands” until the phone moves out of that beacon’s range. During this hand shake, the beacon can flag up offers or messages in real time for your guest on their phone.
How can hotels utilize this?
- Collect Data: By tracking your guests’ walking flow behavior, you can map how long they stay in the lobby, restaurant, spa, bar, or gift shop. With this data you can recognize inefficiencies in your floor plan, signage, or product placement and make changes to increase your ancillary revenue.
- Offer Perks: Marriott is currently using mobile to launch their LocalPerks program, which will send offers to guests for room upgrades, discounts at the spa or restaurant, and real-time relevant announcements. Guests can voluntarily download their app, which allows them to gain these benefits, while the hotel gains the data.
- Technology Leadership: iBeacon technology will eventually allow hotels to create partnerships with nearby restaurants, shops, transportation services, and local events to expand the network and offer the guest more opportunities to receive benefits.
Why do it?
By offering this voluntary service, you give guests the opportunity to receive special offers, which 35% of consumers believe is the highest priority of mobile technology (based on a Big Hospitality report). This creates more loyalty for your brand because you demonstrate you have the best interest of the guest in mind. Once you extend to partners in your neighborhood, the guest will still reward you with their loyalty because the restaurant (or other business) coupon came from your app. Beyond the enhanced guest experience, the real-time information you can gather will allow you to cut out inefficiencies around your property common areas and give you a better idea of how to serve guests in the best way possible.
If you’re a concierge, no need to worry or resist! A mobile app with iBeacon technology is not meant to replace you, it is meant to supplement the concierge service and in the end, give guests a better overall experience.
How are you using mobile to enhance the guest experience?