3 mobile trends the hospitality industry needs to use this year

Millennial Hotel Guest

The Leonardo blog wrote an article saying that these days more people own mobile phones than toothbrushes, which although disgusting, may in fact be a fair statement.

One thing that is true is that you probably have more mobile devices or digital technology in your house than you do people most of the time. Unless of course you’ve used those digital and mobile devices to send out an invite to a party, then the ratio may swing slightly the other way.

An interesting statistic from this blog also stated that a lost wallet is likely to be reported in around 26 hours, but someone will report their lost phone in just over an hour’s time.

One thing that’s also true is that the above statement could be copied, cut and pasted into a Tweet in mere seconds to spread the news about how attached we all are to our digital technology. Ironically, this information will be probably be shared from a smartphone, but this is part of the cycle.

More and more companies are having to market themselves in a way that isn’t just suitable for web-based platforms, they have to consider that their marketing needs to be perfect for mobile purposes. The recent years have seen a rise in the amount of companies who now have their own apps for their customers to use, because this translates much better to mobile use.

This is particularly true of travelling in the digital age as most people now book their holidays and hotels through their phone on through mobile apps.

This should definitely have an impact on the marketing strategies that hotel’s use, particularly as this type of booking and mobile usage is on the rise and unlikely to see a decrease, unless something even more useful is invented.

Some things for hotels to look into include:

Building quality content

It’s true that those who are living and working in a digital age – millennials – are keen to absorb as much information as they can and as easily as they can. But, one thing to remember is that it’s better for this information to be of a high quality, than of a high volume.

Content is necessary to success according to the Leonardo blog and it’s hard to argue against this for businesses, and in particular hotels. You need to create and provide information to your target audience and you do this through content.

This includes everything from the newsletters you should be sending out, to the static content that is on your website. Remember of course that it needs to be well thought out, so that it is easily viewed on a smartphone, and potentially a tablet.

Statistics have shown that users of websites are more interested now in the information that is above the fold of the page. This means all of the content that is straight in front of them on the landing page, it’s the information that they don’t have to scroll to find: anything that they have to scroll to is called content that is below the fold.

According to the Nielsen Norman Group, the difference in how users treat information above the fold versus the information below it is a massive 84 per cent. This means that more people are likely to just read the information above the fold, rather than below it.

This is important for webpages in general, but it’s particularly important when you’re thinking about content that you want people to see in a mobile format. Why? Quite simply, when people are using their mobile they’re going to have to do a lot more scrolling, which increases the risk of them not bothering to read information that you believe is vital for them to want to book to stay in your hotel.

High quality above-the-fold content is what you’re looking for, rather than masses of text that is below the fold.

Millennial influence

Millennials actually have a lot more influence and control over the mobile information that they use and receive than they realise. It’s probably likely that you don’t realise just how influential they are either but once you start looking, you’ll see just how much their habits influence mobile travel.

The reality is that the more millennials are using things like mobile apps to find and book holiday and hotels for those holidays, the more people are going to have to innovate to fulfil that demand.

Take for example Airbnb, it seems from the outside just like any other travel agent. However, when you get into it, it’s an app that was created for users to be able to build profiles and meet and rate each other to see if they want to stay in people’s homes, and vice versa.

In some ways it’s a bit like Facebook for travel, in so much that there are the aforementioned profiles that people can make with information about themselves, spearheaded by a profile picture.

This makes the app seem sociable and literally gives a face to the place that is being advertised. Millennials see this and can instantly judge whether this is a person who looks nice, who would be good to rent a house from for a weekend in London, or a week in San Francisco.

One thing that’s really important to remember is that Airbnb is an app, it’s accessible via a laptop or a desktop computer, but it’s most often used in an app format.

This is the market that hotels and others are competing with to offer holidaymakers affordable and decent places to stay.

Millennial travellers want to enjoy their holiday through their mobile

With the format of things like Twitter and Instagram, it’s possible that millennial travellers can document every instance and second of their trip, and quite often this is what they do.

People in the hospitality industry are coming around to the fact that they should be treating every guest in their hotel as if they are a travel writer. Which, they are really, for the reasons stated above.

You don’t always realise it, but you and your hotel are under intense scrutiny from your visitors. It’s worth saying here that the travellers themselves don’t necessarily know this either, but you should be aware that if and when something does go wrong, with their food or their room, if it isn’t handled delicately and correctly, you are going to be at the wrong end of a terrible (and potentially unedited) review.

Millennial Hotel Guest

This is because mobile use affords millennial travellers the luxury of writing an opinion and posting it out into the world where anyone can read it, all in mere seconds.

You don’t know who this person might be or if they have some kind of a lifestyle blog that has an insane amount of followers. Think of the likes of Deliciously Ella and other food writers, these people, more often than not, started their writing on their own blog and it grew in popularity until a book-deal was signed and now they have a following of people who trust in their every word.

The reality of the millennial now is also that they’re likely to have more than one job, so that person who’s asking you about the fabrics you use to upholster your sofas and taking pictures of it with their camera phone could be someone who makes their own textiles and is hoping to sign a contract with you.

Although the above is perhaps somewhat of an exaggeration, you don’t know who you’re talking to, but one thing you can be certain of is that millennials notice just about anything and are ready to take and post notes about things that they love and especially things that they hate.