We often talk about “digital adaptation” applied to concrete industries, such as hotels and tourism. But, what does it mean to adapt our business to the digital world? The response is not cut and dried. Digital adaptation is the constant evolution of our business to new Internet and user trends. It’s not just adapting, and doing so quickly, but it’s about being proactive, predicting trends, and being the first ones to implement the new digital solutions in our sector.
Hotel marketing is increasingly focused on the Internet. Why? One study by Daily Travel News indicates that at least 50% of hotel reservations will be made on mobile devices in 2017. And the growth in the market leads to an increase in the already intense competition in this sector. Therefore, mobile strategies, personalized remarketing, added-value content for the user, and with targeted keywords are fundamental to capturing attention and awakening interest.
An omnichannel is essential. Our users are connected from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. We also have an advantage over other industries: searching and reserving hotels occurs over a more extensive schedule because people travel both for business and for pleasure.
Responsive web design is a first step, but we have to go further: specific strategies for mobile devices, Retina Display design (for screens with twice the pixel density)...
Cross-channel synchronization is very important: the user should be able to switch from one channel to the other without any problems when continuing a reservation or process that was already begun.
All of this contributes to improving the user’s experience on our website once we have captured their attention. For example, the user can complete any transaction online; there are hotels that permit quick and easy online check-in and check-out.
This can be reinforced with confirmations by text message, email, or even through social networks. Social networks are not merely a promotion and sales tool, they can also be a channel through which to improve customer service.
Hotel guests highly value an app with useful information about the area, including recommendations and even promotions and discounts.
Safety is the third trend that will mark the difference in 2016. Users will abandon the online purchase process if they do not trust the online payment process and our handling of their personal information. Innovative online user identification and verification solutions to prevent fraud will be key to mobile strategies.
In summary, digital adaptation is a continuous process; we could even say it is a strategy in itself, which has demanded a change in the mentality and culture of the hotel industry. Businesses that are able to internalize and systematize this process will have a clear competitive edge.