It’s a Mobile World, So Get Moving
The future of accommodation technology can be encapsulated in a single word - mobile.
Mobile is already disrupting every level of staff and guest interaction, but at RMS we believe this is only the start of a revolution. While it’s been a relatively slow build, within our business it feels very much like mobile has reached a tipping point. We have seen enormous growth in mobile bookings through 2018.
By July just over 33% of all online accommodation revenue through the RMS system was being transacted via a mobile device, either a smartphone or tablet.
Over the same period desktop usage fell by -18% despite overall online booking volumes increasing by more than 20%, which has been a consistent annual trend.
So why are bookings transitioning to mobile? We believe there are three main factors:
- Ever-increasing consumer mobile usage, especially smartphones (tablets not so much).
- Smartphones are more powerful and the screens larger, making the transaction easier.
- Constant improvement of mobile booking technology – it has been, and will continue to be, a major development focus for RMS.
One obvious take-out is that mobile booking conversion rates are increasing.
Traditionally consumers have been using smartphones and tablets to research their accommodation but booking on a desktop.
Now it’s clear the balance is shifting, and it does seem inevitable that in the online world mobile booking revenue will one day exceed desktop revenue.
But despite recent impressive progress, that shift could take years.
The fact is desktops are still used for two out of every three accommodation transactions through the RMS platform.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Mobile technology is also becoming an increasingly important tool within the workplace.
Hotels are really setting the pace, though Holiday Parks are certainly catching up, especially when it comes to cabins.
One day soon, it will be possible for a guest to do everything – check-in, check-out, lock and unlock the room – on a mobile device using RMS technology without interacting with a staff member.
It sounds somewhat cold – I personally enjoy a warm greeting and the personal touch – but it’s clear some guests would prefer to bypass reception and get straight to their room or cabin.
This leads to greater staffing efficiencies while the deployment of tablets by housekeeping means staff can instantly update the property management system, allowing immediate check-in and increased guest satisfaction.
And at the end of the day, ensuring guests are happy is what the hospitality business is all about.
So, if that means giving them what they want via a mobile device, then it’s time to get moving.