For the past two years, beacons have provided an opportunity for retailers to message shoppers and track consumers’ habits with two-way BlueTooth devices.
According to Business Insider’s BI Intelligence, beacons will drive more than $4 billion worth of retail sales in the he United States this year, with that amount increasing to $40 billion in 2016.
But do beacons really provide hoteliers with the ability to grow revenue while also pleasing the guest with new offers? According to this recent Hospitality Net article, the answer is “yes.”
It certainly seems this type of service, especially when it comes to promotions for spa services and restaurant discounts, would best work with resorts. But it can be complicated for hoteliers. To accomplish this goal, guests would need to download a separate app and activate BlueTooth on their mobile devices for this to effectively work.
In most instances, only the early-adopting, tech-forward guest would be apt to use this type of service. Some guests also may find this type of innovation to be invasive, and could raise privacy concerns.
In addition, the technology needs to be embedded into the existing hotel mobile application on the brand-level. As we all know, there is major competition in the mobile app space, and guests would most likely be unwilling to download another app, especially one from an individual property. The reward would need to be significant for guests to actually download and use the app. For example, a discount for a spa treatment would be nice, but will it be enough for guests to be enticed to use it?
This all remains to be seen, but it does point to the emerging trend in the hotel arena where brands are implementing technology for “technology’s sake.”
We certainly applaud new innovations that ultimately please the guest and translate into long-term loyalty. While the beacons seem very interesting on the surface, we shall see if they actually take off in 2016. We’ll keep you posted.