Beacon Technology Is Reshaping the Hotel Industry
How it works
IHG (International Hotels Group) has developed a mobile app that allows guests to have a seamless hotel experience. Users will be able to check in and unlock their rooms without ever stopping at the front desk and frequent guests will receive e-vouchers for drinks and appetizers when they enter the hotel bar.
Why it’s brilliant
Frequent travelers know that there is nothing worse than finally getting to your hotel and finding a long line for the front desk. Frequent travelers are also likely to be loyal to a particular hotel chain, and rack up loyalty points on a corporate account. Hotels have over 280 million loyalty program members, and 67% of travelers say rewards programs are a key factor in deciding where to stay. Further, 58% of millennials say they would find an app for hotel loyalty points helpful.
Recognizing rewards members without them needing to whip out their gold card is a huge motivator, especially when the rewards come in the form of free drinks or wifi. iBeacons placed inside the hotel’s lobby and bar will send push notifications with e-vouchers or coupons when they recognize a loyal guest in the vicinity. Near field technology will also allowed registered guests to unlock their hotel rooms from their app, allowing them to check in on their way from the airport and head straight to their room when they arrive.
The IHG app also allows guests to make requests of the hotel staff, perhaps for room service or dry cleaning, without needing to call down to the front desk. For frequent business travelers, the features of the app that save time and hassle are worth it in and of themselves, not to mention the rewards aspect. For IHG the streamlining likely increases profit margins and customer loyalty.
Where it comes from