Hotel apps is nothing new for modern travelers. Moreover, usage of hotel apps is becoming a common thing to most of the tourists. Surely, it is still lower than Brand website traffic, but slowly takes over it. As a result, 76% of smartphone travelers choose apps for comfortable usage, while 13% of them stop using websites due to poor experience.
Surely, Brand website creates good online presence, but soon it would be hardly enough to be noticed and stay competitive to others. Your own hotel app may make a deal. Look at these researches:
- Hotel booking via application rise with over 33% for year-to-year growth.
- 65% tourists reserve a hotel room for the same day via booking apps.
- 30% of bookings are made via mobile devices.
Up to 95% of all hotel visitors have smartphone in their pocket. Hence, bringing hotel mobile app may provide good experience by solving some of their problems. It does not only improve your client’s loyalty but also gives a good chance for hotels to improve their own business.
So, what benefits mobile apps provide for hotels?
- Promote services and products of local partners to get more from each visitor.
- Hotels get in hands one more tool for advertising and marketing duo special alerts to guests and push notifications of special offers.
- Changing and updating offers and content according to requirements and trends help to stay highly competitive to others.
- Staying in direct contact with potential clients helps improve their experience.
- Social media integration provides stronger presence and tracks success of marketing campaigns and sales.
What benefits a guest gets from hotel apps?
- A guest gets quick and easy information about hotel services, its surroundings and any relevant thing he want to know.
- Users stay in touch with any special offers, discounts and promotions of selected hotels.
- The app provides information about any event that can take place in the hotels.
- Comfortable booking may help reserve a room for spontaneous trips.
- Integrated payment system allows users to pay for their actions directly via applications.
What benefits gets an application owner?
The main reason to design and develop any hotel booking app is, obviously, to get profit from it. So, it is all about making money from hotels and their guests that use it. And there are two business models how application owners may monetize it.
Application owner contracts with hotels to get rights over a large number of their rooms with discount duo to wholesale rate. Then these rooms are offered to app users with the average 10-40% margins. Prices for each room and hotel may be highly flexible and change according to travel demands.
A clear example of merchant hotel app is Expedia. It controls a large part of world online travel business (17%) and offers numerous choices in 200 countries worldwide. But only enormous capitals give Expedia enough resources to use merchant model.
The application plays role of middleman and takes on the average 10-20% commission. From each transaction between a user and a hotel that has been done in-app it will make money for the application owner. Such kind of model is less attractive for a hotel because in previous models they might be assured in profit. Moreover, it’s less competitive to merchant’s offers.
Most of hotel booking apps use agency model (Expedia as well). Priceline leads this niche. It does not require huge resources and has almost no risk compared to merchant model. But it provides less profit at the same time. It is a wise choice to use such kind of monetizing if you don’t have millions or are aware of avoiding risk in some places.
This is the third way to make money on own booking hotel app. Owners earn few cents on each user that has been redirected onto hotel websites. No doubt it is less profitable in comparison with the other two models. But it also doesn’t require much money and has no risk to start from.
A clear example is Tripadvisor. Most of profit it gains from advertising models by charging cost-per-click. So, to a small travel agent looking for making some money on his own app it’s, probably, the best model to choose from. However, it will require huge traffic in-app to make money in advertising alone.
Search and Reservation
Obviously, it is the main feature that should be in hotel mobile app. Reservation should be as much user friendly as possible. For the “last minute hotel up” it should be fast as well. Search should be fast and highly customized via various filters like:
- visitors’ reviews filter.
- price rate filter.
- rating filter.
User personal account
Optional features that allow users to create their own account. In the case of making it more comfortable it is highly recommended to get authorized via social media account. In a personal account, a user may have various options such as:
- subscription for news and offers of selected hotels.
- history of past and future reservations.
- application personalization.
Application notifications would keep users in touch with everything they might like. Moreover, keeping users active is highly important for advertising business model. They provide user to choose what they want to track, so not enoing them by useless notifications.
- notifications of best discounts for reservations.
- special offers and deals.
- upcoming events.
Integration of mobile payment gateways in hotel apps will simplify user’s activities. It’s also highly recommended for agency business model as you plan to take a fee for every transaction. Unfortunately, each of payment services API integration require time. Moreover, it needs reliable security measures.
Additional details that may attract users to chose this hotel is preferred. Good hotel pages with wide information will help users to make wise decision. Meantime it would help hotels to advertise themselves in-app among other. Most users look for:
- GPS navigation that helps find hotel by using app.
- gallery with hall and rooms photos.
- locations and travel guides.
- restaurant menus.
Any social options that might make user get likely to share anything via your app is preferred. It will keep them active as well as advertising app among friends in social media. Look for support social share in this case.
- feedbacks and hotel reviews.
- photo and video gallery.
So, what type of hotel apps may be?
- Beforehand booking app. Those are suited to month ahead planned travels for holidays and vacations. Expedia, Priceline and Triviago are good examples.
- Last-minute booking app. It becomes powerful tool to make spontaneous travels comfortable and harmless. HotelTonight, HotelQuickly and Hipmunk are good examples.
Surely, each of app type serves different purpose and provide different solutions to guests. As result hotels receive various benefits.
Beforehand apps for hotel booking
These apps often contain powerful search engine and a large number of search options and filters. It also contains more information about hotel including photo gallery, history, travel guide and other. Hence, such kind of apps more likely for hotel to cooperate while they provide more options to advertise themselves.
You may check best of such kind hotel deal apps for both Android and iOS:
Last minutes hotel apps
Such kind of apps should be quick, easy and require as less time to use as possible. In another way, it would not serve its main purpose – quickly reserve room for same day. But, while quest advantages are oblivious, hotels also get their own benefits from it.
You may check best last minutes hotel deal apps for Android and iOS:
How to make a hotel app
There are many ways that you might like to go in the cause of developing your own booking app. To make it short all choices is on the list:
- Do It Yourself – design and develop your own app from scratch or with help of template, or app builder.
- Hire freelancers – these independent developers would make app you desire from a scratch. In additionally, in measure to save some money and time provide them with a template.
- Outsource it – hire not-Western software developing company to create your hotel booking app. Mostly, hour rates of those company 4-6 time lower than their U.S. or Western Europe competitive.
- Find developer agency – find legal or offshore Western developer company. So, be brave, because it would cost you much.