Why Mobile Check-In is a Necessity in the Age of Social Distancing

With the meteoric rise of contactless delivery and contactless payments, expect contactless check-in to become a key differentiator for hotels across the world.

In the midst of unprecedented uncertainty for many industries, one word has become a near-magical beacon to consumers that companies are taking health concerns seriously and are safe to interact with: contactless.

The restaurant industry is the best example. As a response to national restaurant closures and social distancing measures in early March, Postmates rolled out contactless delivery to all 4,200 cities they serve globally, with other delivery services like UberEats and GrubHub soon following behind with contactless strategies of their own. Individual restaurants and large chains alike are doing the same. When choosing between two restaurants, one that offers contactless delivery and one that doesn’t, the choice for consumers is clear. Safety first—and companies that can deliver it are gaining more than just business; they’re also gaining consumer trust.

The same phenomenon is sweeping grocery stores, as Instacart and AmazonFresh offer contactless delivery of grocery and store supplies. In many areas, delivery slots are filled almost as soon as they open, with supply unable to match demand. But it’s not just contactless delivery seeing a rise. When the country re-opens, ApplePay and Visa are also expecting a boom of contactless payments.

Overall, the more companies can reduce physical contact between them and their customers, the better. For hotels and resorts, that poses quite a challenge. Traditionally, one-to-one human contact has been the backbone of hospitality. A smiling face greeting guests at reception or delivering food to their door could be a difference-maker for satisfaction and reviews. But now, guests will be more concerned with safety than a warm welcome.

Last week, we highlighted five predictions from industry leaders about where hospitality is heading in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Three out of the five predictions centered around how hotels can make guests feel safe through technology and distancing strategies.

In the face of consumer demand and possible regulations for safety, limited contact will become a front-and-center piece of hospitality business strategies going forward. Technology like mobile check-in and mobile key, once regarded as luxury purchases, will become increasingly necessary for hotels and resorts of all sizes. Contactless check-in displays a clear commitment to guest safety, one that guests will trust to permeate every part of their stay.

As a result, expect contactless check-in to be a clear differentiator for booking, especially in the first few months of travel after stay-at-home orders are lifted. Eventually, it will likely be a standard option for guests at every property. Hotels that have measures already in place—or that start implementing them now—will see a greater share of bookings than those who do not.

Beyond limiting staff and guest contact, mobile check-in technology has clear benefits for hoteliers. Find out more from the mobile check-in one sheet.

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Mobile Check-In

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