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Genre Hotels plays catch-up by unlocking doors for mobile check-in

Genre Hotels is the latest hospitality marketer to embark on integrating a mobile check-in platform, enabling travelers to bypass the front desk and receive relevant offers on their smartphones, proving that upgrade promotions can be catchy at the last minute.

The hotel brand is teaming up with GuestDriven’s Express platform to power the service, which will be personalized to each unique property. Mobile check-in is becoming a must-have for major chains, as time-strapped and weary travelers seek ways to cut down the amount of time spent in the lobby and increase time spent in their rooms or enjoying the hotel’s amenities.

“It’s important for Genre Hotel members to offer their guests mobile check-in abilities because according to L2 Inc. Digital IQ Index for Luxury Hotels, 73 percent of guests want the ability to check-in through their mobile devices,” said Kim Adams, marketing coordinator at GuestDriven, New York.

“Guest expectations are changing, but hotels do not need to reinvent the wheel when they can use a provider like GuestDriven who provides the tools for hotels to run mobile check-in under their own brand.”

More revenue opportunities
While mobile check-in is primarily designed to augment the guest experience and offer more convenience for travelers as well as hotel staff, it also opens more doors for driving revenue higher.

For example, if a consumer nearing his or her hotel is checking in via a mobile device and receives several timely offers for a room upgrade, he or she may be more likely to accept the promotion as a result of being close to premises.

The guest may walk into the hotel lobby and become impressed by the atmosphere or amenities, which could also help cement a last-minute room upgrade. It would be a smart move for hotel marketers to provide additional loyalty points for consumers who leverage mobile check-in, with an added bonus for those who purchase an offer while doing so.

“Hotels need to be looking to all technologies available that can help them enhance the entire guest experience by making things easier or more seamless,” said Steffan Berelowitz, vice president of digital platforms at Travel Tripper, New York. “In the digital age this extends far beyond the guests’ actual time at the hotel — this starts from the booking and check-in process and extends to the post-stay review and sharing of the experience on social media.”

Genre Hotels has discovered that mobile engagement resulted in a 40 percent conversion rate on deals provided during mobile check-in.

The first Genre Hotel member to roll out the Express platform was Portland’s Jupiter Hotel.

“When using GuestDriven Express to allow guests to begin their check-in process online in advance, the front desk encounter becomes more of an interactional rather than a transactional conversation,” GuestDriven’s Ms. Adams said. “The guest details have all been verified ahead of time, and they have also had the opportunity to customize and enhance their stay by being presented with a selection of offers and upgrades.

“Hotels can sell perishable inventory to guests who want to access (75 percent of them according to L2) special offers and other opportunities to make their stay more enjoyable, comfortable or special.”

Mobile’s growing influence
Mobile is becoming increasingly married into the travel sector, with a slew of major hotel brands tapping it as a way of making guests’ stays more convenient and personalized.

In January, as Hilton Worldwide rolled out its digital check-in function to more than 4,100 of its properties around the globe, more than one-third of guests were found embracing the ability to use their mobile device to skip lobby lines (see story).

Mobile room keys are also gaining traction in the hospitality sector, as consumers respond positively to the ability of bypassing physical room keys and using their smartphone instead to unlock hotel rooms.

Genre Hotels could bolster its use of the Express platform even more by enabling guests to make room requests and ask for special amenities upon checking in.

“At this point the Express check-in is very focused on information verification, offers and upgrades,” Ms. Adams said. “We are currently exploring ways the mobile pre-check-in can further enhance the stay, such as open-ended questions on other comforts or requests.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York