Hotels are where we allow our expectations to rise to the brand and or the occasion so we are far more likely to engage with technology or embrace it to enhance your experience. So as you may expect iBeacons are being tested by hotels and restaurants all over the world. A quick summary:
- The James Hotel in the US are using them for check-in/out, room service, maps and of course keyless entry.
- Virgin Atlantic are using it in there upper-class lounge for offers and features to waiting travellers.
- Starwood Hotels are piloting keyless entry.
Marriott Hotels and resorts are piloting in 14 locations offering “local perks” to guests which include offers of complimentary drinks when you apps the bar, a discounted SPA voucher as you relax by the pool as well as restaurant offers results have been better than they expected.
The Mook Group (high end restaurants in Germany) are tracking customer time spent, food ordered and they can climb from “Guest” to “Addicted Connoisseur” and receive rewards like fast track entrance and complimentary welcome drink and importantly welcomed by name.
So the ROI for Hotels?
- Loyalty making customers feel part of the family will increase customer spends and repeat visits
- Increased spend with targeted offers, invite all the customers that like French wine to the French night or people who order pasta to a pasta making master class hosted by the chef
- Automated services like check-in/checkout can save staff time and allow them to be better deployed in service delivery and revenue generating opportunities for the hotel.
- Impulse: the hotel or restaurant has extra capacity you can push out a real time offer / last minute offer and again the key is targeted by profiling and behaviour you invite the ones most likely to respond not just blanket offers
- The future? The next stage for hotels is personalisation, the hotel would know I am only a mile away or just parking and send someone out to meet me at my car to take my bags this certainly in the luxury and upscale part of the market but this is a key for the market the technology/automation allows personalisation as a far lower cost per customer.
iBeacons are here to stay as is our attachment to smart phones and the coming wave of wearables so there is first mover advantage to be had but which hotel group will do the land grab?