Cin-Yee Director of Sales & Marketing EMEA for HiMirror.
In recent years, there has steady shift from a ‘one size fits all approach’ within the hospitality industry towards a more customisable offering. On booking a hotel, guests are presented with a base price which they can then add specific food and drink packages, giving the guest more control over their holiday.
This shift has been well received, with recent research from Epsilon revealing that 87% of consumers are much more/somewhat more likely to do business with a travel website or apps offering personalised experiences. However, this is just the start. Personalisation in the hospitality industry can go so much further than simply a token gesture at the start of someone’s holiday. It can be utilised throughout their stay and provide the hotels with essential insight into their clientele.
More and more people are seeing personalisation as essential rather than optional, as it is available in every walk of life. From a tailored music playlist on your phone to customised beauty recommendations at your local make-up counter, consumers have accepted hyper- personalisation is the future. So how can this trend be rolled out in the hospitality industry?
When a guest arrives, hotels can create a personalised experience in the guest’s room, by introducing smart gadgets, which can help a hotel get to know their guests better. Products such as smart mirrors and screens can be customised to showcase the hotel & offering. A great use of this is to promote a hotel & spa amenities. By connecting the smart mirror to the spa, guests will be able to browse the treatments available and book from the comfort of their room. Brands, such as the HiMirror, also offer skin analysis which could be done prior to the appointment and shared with the beautician, so that they can customise the products used to get the best results.
By making these add-ons available to the guests at the click of a button from the comfort of their own room, they are more likely to explore the wider services, rather than go out of their way to seek out this information. The data gathered will also allow brands to offer tailored packages to the guest when they return, giving them a competitive edge over third- party booking platforms, while also showing great customer service, which will ultimately help gain brand loyalty.
These smart products provide an additional touchpoint with the guest, by allowing personalised daily messages and reminders to be delivered. Many also boast features such as Spotify, daily weather readings and alarms, alongside call functions, which means they can quickly contact reception if they need anything.
It will also help hotels adapt to wider trends within the industry, such as wellness. Recent research from the Global Wellness Institute predicts that this part of the tourism industry will reach nearly $1trillion on a global scale by the year 2020, and personalisation can help hotels become involved in this major shift. They can offer in-room workouts and tailored gym packages that tap into specific wellness related goals such as weight loss, sleep improvement or stress management.
By establishing a well-connected IT system that unifies all the hotel systems and data points into one place, hotels will be able to understand a guests journey across all touchpoints, something which is extremely beneficial for chains looking to ensure a consistent service is being delivered across all of their hotels.
Personalisation is certainly a trend that is here for the long-term and offers hotels a great opportunity to gain even more insight into their guests, as well as a competitive edge over other brands. The opportunities are never-ending, but it is important that hotels take the time to make sure they have the necessary IT systems in place to make this process as seamless for the guest as possible.