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Finished paper 2


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Finished paper 2

  1. 1. Mobile Applications Trends Assessment University of Wisconsin StoutKate Smuda, Kyle Steinberger, and Patrick Tierney October 3, 2012
  2. 2. Mobile Applications October 3, 2012 The Business Side of Technology – Section 1 Technology has become the trademark of today‘s society and as it continues to expandinto bigger and better things, it is beginning to provide numerous possibilities in the businessworld. Mobile phones have turned from a luxury into a necessity, and with the abilities to beconnected to the web at all times it has allowed you to control your life while being constantly onthe move. In 2007 the first iPhone was released by Apple, and in 2008 the launch of the Appstore was released. Android followed suit in 2008 releasing their first phone that could access theAndroid Marketplace. Over the last 4 years development of these apps and marketplaces hastaken over the mobile phone industry, and the amount of things you can accomplish on yourphone now is simply amazing. When apple launched its App-storeit had roughly 500 apps, andaccording, ―Apple reached the 100,000 app mark first, a little more than ayear after launch, in November 2009.‖ he later states, ―As of now, the Market (Android) hasabout 400,000 apps while iOS (Apple) has nearly 550,000.‖ (Rowlinski) In 4 years, the app storehas hit over half a million apps, and it continues to grow more and more with the development ofnew technology providing faster and easier access to information people care about. So how dothese apps and app stores relate to businesses? With the continuing expansion of the app storemarketplace, it is becoming the standard norm to have an app that provides access to the wantsand needs of the businesses consumers. provided in an article a survey done byAlexa and Flurry Analytics that compared time spent on U.S Mobile Apps vs. Web Consumptionin minutes per day. The study concluded that in June 2010, the average use for web browsingwas 64 minutes and use of mobile apps was 43 minutes. About 2 years later in December 2011,the average use for web browsing was 72 minutes compared to mobile apps which jumped to 94minutes. This trend shows you that while internet browsing is still a large part in mobile phones,the advancements in mobile apps is sweeping over our nation. For a business to be able toproduce an app and have their company constantly on the mind of potential customers is a hugeadvantage among their competition. Other app benefits that relate to businesses are pushnotifications, being native, provide a positive user experience, and allow you to view theanalytics involving your app. (Fitzgerald) Push notifications are popup message or updates thatalert the user of the phone when something new is available. These provide an inside track to theconsumers mind by always reminding them of your company and showing of your latest dealsand specials. Being native means that a data connection isn‘t required to access an app. Forexample, if you‘re flying in an airplane without internet connection, you are still able to open anduse 95% of the app. The user experience is stronger on apps than a mobile website because theapp they are using is built for that certain operating system, and is able to help in more wayshaving access to your phone‘s GPS. What I mean by this, is that if a user wants directions to ahotspot near your hotel, the GPS signal can be picked up and the accurate set of directions can begiven from their exact location. Lastly, there are analytic packages which run the same for anormal website. It allows the business to see overall usage, consumer data, and to show goalconversions which gives the business a true understanding of the use of their app. With the 2
  3. 3. Mobile Applications October 3, 2012amount of potential and upside to developing an app and the increasing amount of consumersusing them, provides an insight as to why mobile apps are taking over the hospitality industry. The trend of the hotel booking app on smartphones has drastically changed the hospitalityindustry. Apps provide travelers with the luxury of planning their entire trip via theirsmartphone. Two companies have thus chosen to capitalize on this trend are Priceline Hotel andCar Negotiator and Expedia. These businesses addressed the trend by emphasizing layouts thatposess a certain amount of attractiveness and simplicity. What both companies lack is trueimagination. Priceline Hotel and Car Negotiator is the most relevant and predominate hotel bookingapp in the industry. They do a great job advertising their product with the always hilariousWilliam Shatner. Also the company manages to stay ahead of the curve by providing outstandingfeatures for their customers. According to USA Today: ―Pricelines iPhone and iPad apps are noteworthy because they now give you three ways to book hotels: You can browse and book stays at published rates; tap to place a bid using Name Your Own Price for discounts of up to 60%; or access the Express Deals feature, in which you know the room rate (up to 45% off) upfront, but only find out which hotel it is after you pay. Express Deals is not yet available in Pricelines Android app. In the fun and gimmick department, you can filter your hotel search by stars, guest scores from verified patrons, and perks such as free Internet service and airport shuttle. You also can spin a wheel to set your maximum price for the room.‖ The mistake that Priceline is making is that they fail to market to a specific demographic.In order to make this trend of using this app efficiently Priceline needs to identify who theirtarget market is and market this app towards them. When the company Facebook started MarkZuckerberg specifically targeted college students ranging from 18-24. Then as popularity grewFacebook began to expand its target market to wider age demographic. Priceline advertises theapp in the commercials with the average looking male in a taxi looking to book a last minutehotel room. The message being sent is essentially anyone can use the app, however they need tospecify exactly who will be using their app. The target market that should be sought after is theaverage businessman/businesswoman who extensively travels and is looking for cheaper deals.While it is important to attract a general well-rounded audience, by appealing to a specificmarket the app would gain much more attention and be much more received. Perhaps Pricelinecould take some notes from their competitor Kayak. Kayak has taken all of their features from their website and allocated them to their app.The features this app provides are compare flight, hotel and car rental deals, track your flightstatus, view and manage your trip itinerary, look up baggage fees, access airline numbers andairport information. The Kayak app essentially makes traveling organized and efficient.According to USA Today ―Kayaks app, which offers hotels, flights, cars and flight-tracking, has been downloadedmore than 17 million times‖. The only criticism that can be emphasized is that the app iscluttered with advertisements. For 99 cents users can download Kayak Pro which in a essence 3
  4. 4. Mobile Applications October 3, 2012de-clutters all the advertisements. Kayak should have taken the same approach in advertising thatYoutube made. The advertisements within Youtube are short 30 second segments that the usercan usually skip within the first five seconds. Not only does this satisfy the advertisingcompany‘s desire to reach a market right away it allows the customer to feel ‗in- control‖ and notharassed by constant advertising. Both Expedia and Kayak can take what Starbucks and Chipotlehave done with their apps. Starbucks has reached great success with the launch of their app and payment plan. Oneof the features in this app is allowing customers to upload money onto their mobile phones,which can then translate into a barcode that the register can scan. The customer literally needs toonly go to the store swipe his phone and pick up his order. Starbucks‘ took a chance and createda completely new concept for the customers. In a sense this type of imagination is whatcompanies need to grasp. Since the creation of the app Starbucks mobile payments now accountfor two percent of all sales. According to ―The mobile payment options also promise a profit boost for Starbucks. By letting itscustomers make purchases with their smartphones, Starbucks manages to pay fewer fees—whichsometimes top 2 percent—on credit-card transaction‖. Chipotle has also made strides in theirmobile apps features. Simplicity at times is key when creating a mobile app. Chipotle uses the most simpletemplates they can in order to satisfy their customers. One needs to simply just put in his/herlocation and then order from the store‘s menu. The application then texts you when the order isdone. Direct contact can help establish a relationship with the customer. Bernie Mullen, a Hospitality professor at UW Stout, offered to be interviewed on mobileapplications. He has witnessed this progression first hand in both the University studies and thehospitality field. Professor Mullen started his career working as a Tax Accountant, controller,general manager for many different hotels, a VP in hotel operations, his current job as aninstructor, and finally managing partner. How will mobile applications impact the business landscape? Mobile apps are juststarting to emerge in the hotel booking environment. It creates a whole different set of standardoperating procedures SOPs for the hotel. Some hotels have become so enclosed with technologythat there is really no need for any customer service personnel to be present, says ProfessorMullen. ―One of my friends called me up one night saying there is no one here at the hotel!‖ Hehad checked into a hotel that was all technology based. The booking of the room was done froma mobile device; he never had to check in at a front desk. There was just a machine that took hisinformation and gave him his card. We get so enclosed of technology now a days that we don‘tseem to notice when there is no human present. The hospitality business has become so involvedwith faster bookings right from your handheld it‘s almost scary to see what is happening to thehuman connection. How will hotel applications change moving forward? Professor Mullen started off sayingthe new apps are going to greatly change the way hotel will fill up on rooms. This also willcreate problems in how to keep rooms. Many people like using applications or online booking 4
  5. 5. Mobile Applications October 3, 2012because of the anonymous factor. When guests change their mind about where they want to staythey used to have to cancel before a period of time by calling the hotel and speaking to the frontdesk. Now a guest can cancel a reservation just as easily as it was to book it in the first place.Also the organization of current reservations needs to change. If a hotel is looking at movingforward on being more technology based they need to make sure they have the clientele and thestaff to work with that, says Mullen. How will businesses create a competitive edge on this trend? Businesses need to be ableto understand that mobile apps are going to be around and continue to keep growing for the hotelmarketing industry. To stay ahead of this trend hotels must adapt to the new apps and keep agood watch on what other hotels are introducing. Once one hotel in the area has becomecomfortable with applications it will be like a ―tipping point‖ the other hotels will act likedominos, says Mullen. To stay ahead of the trend a business owner needs to realize there is goingto be a new trend before the community figures it out. A business then should be able to adapt tothe new changes to create a more efficient environment that applies to the customer. How will mobile apps change customer service? There will always be a need forcustomer service, says Mullen. The way a business goes about presenting the service is open forpossibilities. Nothing can beat human connection in the hospitality industry. With new gadgetsmaking tasks faster and easier it is hard to say how many employees are needed on site. Thetechnology change can be looked at in any business. Mobile apps are being created to giveinformation about any place thinkable, and this will continue to grow. Soon we will have appsthat will help a customer choose an item on a menu instead of actually looking at the paper copy. Professor Mullen has worked with the technology advances in the hotel industry to tryand keep current with the community. A business does not necessarily need to create their ownapplication for their hotel. That will be harder to find. If a hotel just puts their information out toa current app they will experience a rise in visitors. There is always a new gadget or applicationthat will help make everyone‘s lives easier. From my personal experience, staying at a hotel thatdoes not carry Wi-Fi access seems outdated. With this mobile application, hotels need to jumpon this opportunity to create more revenue. Customers will overlook hotels that are not at thisstage yet just because their information will not be stated in the app. The first look at a hotel isno longer about location. It is about ease of information and how to get the lowest price possiblefor the consumer. In conclusion mobile apps are just starting to emerge to the hospitality industry. Theapplication can help find the right hotel and what benefits they have to offer for the consumer.The app is taking the place of a laptop computer to make it more convenient right in yourhandheld. Business owners in the hotel industry are starting to see this change and putting theirinformation out to these applications. We can predict this trend will be popular in the communityfor a very long time. It will continue to expand, businesses that refuse to adapt will experience agreat loss in business. Consumers are interested in ease of access and quick confirmations. 5
  6. 6. Mobile Applications October 3, 2012 Works CitedBELOPOTOSKY, DANIELLE. "IN TRANSIT: Expedia Adds App For Hotel Bookings." New York Times 03 Apr. 2011: 2. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Oct. 2012Dennis, Schaal. "Hotel apps with staying power." USA Today n.d.: MasterFILE Premier. Web. 2 Oct. 2012.Fitzgerald, Brian. "The Myths About Hotel Mobile Apps And Why You Do Need One." OROURKE. N.p., 19 Jun 2012. Web. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. < do-need-oneKharif, Olga. "Starbucks Schools Other Retailers on Mobile Payments." N.p., 23 Aug. 2012. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. < schools-other-retailers-on-mobile-payments>.Mullen, Bernie. Personal interview. 2 Oct. 2012.Rowinski, Dan. "[Infographic] History of Mobile App Stores." ReadWriteWeb. (2012): n. page. Web. 3 Oct. 2012."Three Lessons from the Chipotle IPhone App." - OReilly Radar. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2012. <>.Thornhill, Ted. "Apps have overtaken the Web in popularity according to the latest statistics (actually, theres probably an app to tell you that)." Mail Online. (2012): n. page. Web. 6