Develop the Best Hotel App for You & Your Guests

How can you create a mobile hotel app that meets all your needs?

So you’ve finally decided to take that big step. You’ve decided to proceed with developing a mobile hotel app for your hospitality brand or group in order to take advantage of the many benefits of mobile guest engagement.

The next step is determining how to ensure that you’re going to develop the best hotel app for your organization and your guests. Here are some tips to help you create the best mobile app for a hotel or hospitality business.

Choose the Right Hotel App Developer

It’s hard to stress enough how much the right partner can make a difference in the process of developing a hotel app. If there was a book titled “How to Develop a Hotel App,” this point would probably be chapter one.

Most hoteliers are not app developers and have limited knowledge of the requirements. Therefore, it’s important to surround yourself with experts who know what they’re doing, and who have hopefully gone through the steps before.

Developing a mobile app for hospitality can be entirely different than creating an app for any other industry. Find a third-party hotel app developer or build an internal team that can address your specific needs and answer your questions to give you the confidence you need that you’re creating the best hotel app possible.

Get Input from Multiple Departments

To make the best mobile hotel app, you’ve got to involve the whole team: Sales & Marketing, Hotel IT, Operations, etc. The best hotel apps serve multiple purposes for every aspect of a hospitality business. You aren’t investing money in hospitality app development to end up with something that will just sit in the app stores with your logo on it.

Set meetings to discuss the app development in advance and to gather feedback, set goals and define roles. Who will be responsible for managing what aspects of the development process? For example, who will gather all of the images necessary? Who will upload digital menu content? Who will proofread the copy?

Being extremely organized and getting all hands on deck is a major part of ensuring maximum engagement with all members of hotel management and staff.

Give Yourself Room to Grow

You’ve read all the latest hospitality technology trend headlines, and you want it all. Despite the stars in your eyes, you need to think logically about the scope of the project, your immediate needs, your timeline, and your resources. Have an honest conversation with the team developing your hotel app and get the details on these points.

Oftentimes, a lot more effort goes into certain hotel app features than you would expect. Hotel system integrations are required for specific functionality, such as hotel mobile key to allow guests to use smartphones to open hotel room doors, and these can be time-consuming because of the necessity to coordinate activity between multiple third-party hospitality technology vendors.

Also, keep in mind that your own internal team will be responsible for providing much of the content for the app because they’ll know best what the app should say and which visuals should be used. You will have to manage the entire app development process because no one knows what you want better than you do.

Make sure that even if you’re not going to launch your mobile hospitality app with every single bell and whistle you’ve fantasized about, you’ll be able to scale up as time goes on. You want an app that you can update and expand in the future as you come to learn and understand mobile technology for hotels more completely.

Think Dollar Signs

Mobile hotel apps can be a great source of additional revenue. Generating revenue through hotel technology is of great interest to most hoteliers, and it’s obvious you’d like to think you’ll be able to generate ROI from a hotel app.

But just how do you generate revenue through a hotel app?

There are numerous ways actually, and you have to decide which are best for your hospitality business.

Allowing mobile hotel reservation booking is a primary way to increase revenue with a hotel app. InterContinental Hotels reported increases in mobile room bookings of 1000 percent following the launch of the hotel brand app. Other possible tactics include:

  • Direct marketing and advertising via mobile
  • Allowing mobile in-room dining orders
  • Enabling reservation booking at spas and restaurants

To learn more about how you can create the best mobile app for your hotel, contact us to schedule a demo with a member of our team.