A MOBILE ONLY 10/03/12 WORLD William Judge and Rachel Larson
A Mobile Only WorldThe relationship between the hospitality industry and the mobile industry is a special relationship. Asexplained by author Vanessa Horwell in the article Mobile Technology: How to Reach Your GuestsWhere They Are, a special relationship historically defined is one that combines deep political,economic, and cultural values of close allies. While the mobile industry and the travel industry do notnecessarily share the same political values, Horwell states it is becoming clear that a “specialrelationship” exists between these two partners for economic and cultural reasons. Why? Becauseguests are rapidly adopting the mobile applications for a variety of uses specific to travel and theyexpect hotels to accommodate them in the use of these applications.The rapidly expanding mobile technology is built for on the go movement and communications which ifused effectively by hotels, can enhance the gust experience thereby increasing guest loyalty andincreasing hotel revenues. Within the hospitality industry these technological changes are beingreferred to by some as a “revolution”. The potential scope of this revolution is huge. It is not just whatguests are currently doing with smartphone applications in the hospitality industry, but the anticipatedgrowth of M-commerce or mobile commerce by consumers in retail shopping and even online auctions.According to Horwell, research indicates that in 2012 alone that eBay predicts mobile commerce sales toreach $8billion in mobile commerce retail and this double what they did in 2011.Airlines too have seen significant increases in the number of passengers that use mobile technology.Mobile booking just like mobile commerce is trending up. Horwell reports that in 2011 mobile bookingstood at $2.6 billion and by 2013 was predicted to reach $8 billion. To attract these travelers, southwestairlines launched an add campaign to make those travelers who use iPhones aware that they can nowuse their phones to see flight status updates, check in, make care reservations and there is link to offerfurther rewards in the form of discounts. In addition, Horwell further reports Southwest now offers afree app downloadable from iTunes that includes international flight check-in with a mobile boardingpass thus creating an entire mobile experience.The impact of this data is clear. If travelers are using their mobile phones to purchase clothes, orderfood and book airline tickets they are clearly ready and eager to use them on business and leisure trips.This is especially exciting news for hotels because the larger hotel environment, both off-site and on-site, includes the purchasing and use aspects consumers have already been using in the restaurant,airline and retail industries. In addition, Horwell’s research shows that more than half the mobilebookings (52%) will be done directly through the branded hotels and not through travel agencies. Sonow it is becoming clear why the hospitality industry and the mobile industry have a special relationship.To get the most benefit out of their special relationship, hoteliers need to get over their fears withregard to implementation costs, IT staffing and data security risks, Horwell advises. In addition tobooking, mobile technology is influencing other aspects of the hotel experience such as contactlesspayment methods and keyless electronic doors. With mobile technology guests can access mobilecheck-out, make witless dining reservations or even purchase tickets for day trip excursions. Also, incombination with the hotels Wi-Fi network, mobile technology can enhance the guests in roomentertainment experiences with movies and music. Imagine using your phone like a GPS system thatwould provide virtual map for guests to find their way within hotels or their app advised them of daily
A Mobile Only Worlddeals at hotel venues. Undoubtedly the opportunities for increasing revenue while enhancing theguests experience are almost limitless. Clearly, the special relationship between the mobile industry andthe hospitality industry is one that has a bright future to be appreciated by all.In today’s world, it is quite likely that a person who owns a cellphone has some form of a smart phone.Phones without internet access are almost nonexistent. Many businesses have already startedpreparing for a mobile only world by creating applications that make it easier for guests to reserve seatson an airplane, a table at a restaurant, or a room at a hotel. Today people are trying to do everything atonce and having a cell phone that makes things more accessible is a necessity.As of July, Holiday Inn has integrated a new technology into two of their hotels that make it possible forguests to access just about anything with their phones. According to Kit Eaton’s article titled Your Phoneas a Door Key, this new application makes everything from using your phone as the room key, expresscheck in and out, hotel services, and complete control over the lighting, TV, and AC in the rooms,possible. This is a great addition to the hospitality industry. Vacationers can spend more time having funand less time waiting in lines or on hold. The only thing that could prevent this application from takingoff is that it is only being offered to VIP guests. (Eaton, 2012) Other businesses are in the process ofgetting this kind of technology and plan on offering it to everyone. With Holiday Inn excluding theirother guests they risk losing them.Joe Bush’s article, TGI Friday’s Adds Tabbedout’s Mobil-Payment App, discusses how the restaurantchain TGI Fridays has integrated a new application called Tabbedout into their already existingapplication. This application gives the customer the opportunity for a faster and easier way to pay theirbill. Now a guest doesn’t have to sit and wait for the waitress to bring their bill to them. With the clickof a button, the bill can be paid and the customer can leave. Guests are also able to split the bill withoutthe assistance of the wait staff and can even add a tip. This application will be a big help on busy nights;one less trip to the table means that the wait staff can spend more time helping other customers. Out ofthe 600 TGI Friday’s locations, half of them are company owned; only the company owned restaurantsoffer the tabbedout application. (Bush, 2012) In the future this might create confusion and frustrationamong guests. Other restaurants are testing out the application as well. If TGI Fridays doesn’t merge therest of their restaurants soon, they could fall behind.In a mobile only world the retail industry would be wise to start integrating this kind of application intheir stores. Checking customers out would become much easier and faster, leaving more time for theretailers to assist other customers. Stores wouldn’t need as much staff working at one time and thecustomers wouldn’t have to wait in long lines to pay for their merchandise. This would be especiallyhelpful during the busy seasons, such as Black Friday.The medical field could also benefit from implementing this new technology. It would save a lot of timeand money if an application was created so that patients could coordinate the scheduling ofappointments and check in and out with their phones. The application could let the doctors and nursesknow right then and there that their patient is waiting and the hospitals wouldn’t need as manyreceptionists.
A Mobile Only WorldThe business landscape will look very different, because a mobile only world will change everything.Going green will be much easier for businesses to do, saving paper by e-mailing or texting guests theirreceipts, confirmations, and bills will save a lot of trees. Within the last couple of years, 6 million homeswere equipped with a technology making it possible for the home owners to monitor their energy costand usage. Cars are also being built with the capability of turning into a Wi-Fi hotspot. The wayeducation professionals teach, market researchers collect data on consumers, and the way people shopand buy things will change drastically with a mobile only era. Smartphones will start behaving more likelaptops in the coming years; this could potentially make laptops and computers a thing of the past.Applications and smartphones have already made some things obsolete like the GPS. Other things like;websites, credit cards, and even carrying a wallet could become obsolete in a world that does everythingwith their phones.The mobile only era will definitely change with every release of a new and better phone or application.Phones with new features and capabilities are being released at a rapid pace. People will be able to dojust about everything with their smartphones in the coming years. Apple is a great example of how fastproducts with new features are being released. They just introduced the new IPhone 5, similar to theIPhone 4S which was released a little over a year ago. The IPhone 5 has a different look and newfeatures including a new dock connector, making it easier for users to plug their phones into thecharger. It didn’t take Apple long to come up with an even btter product. Apple is already working onthe next product to blow consumers away with. Mike Saylor the author of the book The Mobile Wave:How Mobile Intelligence will Change Everything and CEO of MicroStrategy predicts that in 5 years therewill be more tablets than smartphones. He argues that tablets will be everywhere; hotel rooms,elevators, planes, and much more. If this prediction comes true, and smartphones start becoming morelike tablets; it could greatly change or even end the mobile only world.Businesses are going to need to continue to stay connected with their customers. Realizing that asmartphone is their customer’s lifeline and utilizing that to the best of their ability is what businesses aregoing to need to do to stay with the trend. If businesses haven’t already they need to start by mobilizingtheir websites. If a website isn’t accessible from a mobile device, who knows how many opportunitieshave been missed because users couldn’t get onto the site. According to the Vice President of MobileEnterprise, Bob Sutor’s, article Beyond the Device: The Next Era of Mobile Computing, businesses needto think about more than the mobile device itself. Sutor suggests that businesses start with a completemobile platform. In order to plan new mobile opportunities, businesses need to understand what theyhave in their mobile infrastructure already and then go from there. As long as businesses keepresponding to their customers wants and needs with applications and services that make getting theproduct or service faster and better, they won’t fall behind.
A Mobile Only WorldBibliographyBush, J. (2012, March 1). TGI Fridays Adds Tabbedouts Mobile-Payment App. Retrieved September 25,2012, from Paymentsource.com: http://www.paymentssource.com/news/TGI-Fridays-Adds-Tabbedouts-Mobile-Payment-App-3010526-1.htmlEaton, K. (2012, July 25). Your Mobile Phone As a Door Key. Retrieved September 23, 2012, fromFastcompany.com: http://www.fastcompany.com/1843696/your-mobile-phone-door-keyHorwell, V. (n.d.). Mobile Technology: How to Reach Your Guests Where They Are. Retrieved 10 03,2012, from hotelexecutive.com: http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/3054/mobile-technology-how-to-reach-your-guests-where-they-areMullich, J. (2011). 10 industies that wireless will change. Retrieved 09 27, 2012, from Wireless World:http://online.wsj.com/ad/article/wirelessworld-industriesSutor, B. (2012, 071 12). Beyond the Device : The Next Era of Mobile Computing. Retrieved 09 27, 2012,from Mobile Enterprise: http://mobileenterprise.edgl.com/top-stories/Beyond-the-Device--The-Next-Era-of-Mobile-Computing81153