With the rise of a new kind of guest, today’s mobile shopper represents the intersection of behavior, technology and culture, which is called SoLoMo. As such, hoteliers are faced with a new challenge for attracting and retaining these kinds of travelers.
Many guests are moving toward mobile and social-based platforms for interacting with hotel brands, which has created a new phenomenon: the rise of the ‘invisible traveler.’
This type of guest may never interact with hotel staff. From planning to booking, check-in at the airport to check-in at the hotel, room service and even concierge services, some travelers are already opting for an entirely, human-free travel experience – mainly through their mobile devices.
This comes as no surprise as SoLoMo technologies have enabled travelers to become increasingly independent. Soon enough we will see everything controlled from our mobile devices including the in-room TV, air conditioning, lights and music.
However, with no human contact, how can you ensure that guests have the best hotel experiences possible?
To meet the needs of the ‘invisible traveler,’ we believe hoteliers must ensure a completely Frictionless Guest Experience™. These types of guests need high-touch services, and personalization at their fingertips at all times. Implementing the right technological innovations will be critical in order to create satisfied guests, and in turn, increase the loyalty of this special audience.
This starts with tools that anticipate guests’ needs before they even arrive. In addition, the right tools are needed for gathering data and analytics from actual behaviors and in-experience reporting to better personalize the guests’ journey through the hotel process.
We will continue to see more guests turn into ‘invisible travelers’ over the next 12-18 months. As a result, hoteliers will need to develop the right strategies and solutions geared specifically toward this growing audience of travelers. This will involve new solutions – such as giving away free Wi-Fi and more — for attracting and interacting with these guests via mobile solutions, while taking a completely ‘frictionless’ approach.