Now is the time for the hospitality sector to embrace mobile guest solutions, as the U.S. is steadily moving up the mobility utilization chain. According to a new survey, American guests are interacting the business through mobile devices at an advanced rate — although there is still for improvement.
According to the survey, U.S. guests still have an unwillingness to share personal data and a low level of trust with online businesses. The study showcased the top nations with the most consumers using mobile devices for interacting with brands, which were China (51 percent), Korea (50 percent) and India (49 percent).
The survey of 2,239 adult smartphone users was conducted online in mid-2013 across 14 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, the UK, and the United States. The survey looked at consumer preferences and tendencies with regard to mobile, online and in-person interactions with retailers, banks, government agencies, healthcare providers, and insurers.
Although not a surprise to some, France (12 percent), Japan (15 percent) and the United States (16 percent) were the countries with the lowest percentage of those interacting with business through mobile devices.
However, this is changing rapidly, especially in the hospitality sector. As we have previously covered, more people in the U.S. are accessing their mobile devices for everything from searching for and booking a hotel room to ordering room service and local “experiences” via their smartphones.
Hoteliers need to prepare their mobile app plans now to stay ahead of the curve. The U.S. and Europe may be catching up with other nations, but as technology becomes increasingly secure, and more people interact with businesses on their mobile devices, this will change.
This trend also falls on the heels of the growth of SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile), which is the use of location-based services for effectively marketing to guests through smartphones. In addition, Expedia anticipates that the current number of bookings via mobile devices currently about 16 million, will double by 2016.
While this study shows that the U.S. lags behind when it comes to consumers interacting with brands through mobile devices, the hospitality sector is a unique arena and mobility is the new frontier that is already upon us.