App vs Website: Why Hotel Guest Apps Are Better For Customer Engagement

Most hotel chains rely on websites to attract visitors and convert prospects. But in an oversaturated market, hospitality brands need to rethink their customer engagement strategy to stand out. Mobile apps offer that competitive edge and they're gradually becoming the standard in B2C industries.

According to an eMarketer study, users spend around 4 hours on their phones daily, and over 80% of the time is spent in apps. People love to browse apps over websites because of their speed, reliability, and ease of use. You’re ceding ground to competitors if you haven’t yet incorporated an app into your guest journey. Here are 6 ways a mobile guest app can convert better than a website in 2022.

Better Personalization

The hospitality industry is built around luxurious experiences and it only makes sense to use branded apps to take the experience to the next level. Mobile apps offer more personalized content, UI, and offers. They are also more accessible, unlike websites that rely on specific browser configurations.

Mobile apps can be built from the ground up to leverage hundreds of data points to customize new features. This means smoother bookings, easier upsells and a more invested user base that can also be used as an ad revenue channel.

Stronger data storage

Cart abandonment is a major issue in e-commerce and hotels struggle with similar challenges. Tourists often develop cold feet while putting their credit card information on websites and they eventually back out. This way, you not only lose revenue but also the trust of customers.

Apps address this challenge by storing sensitive data in secure vaults. Apart from CC data, you can use industry-grade security to store user data, app settings, and media. This is more seamless than the clumsy UX of websites.

More dedicated usage

When new features are added, codes often slow down websites. But if you want to offer a standout experience, your digital point of contact cannot be anything short of impressive. Apps allow you to include new features, all the while streamlining user flow. This works great if you introduce bespoke services such as valet customization, mobile keys, or in-room chat over time. It's simply not possible to use a website at every point of the guest’s journey but an app can have features ready for dedicated usage.

Better interactivity

App developers have more freedom to build apps, which means you can enjoy a better quality of engagement. The UX of apps is fine-tuned for users to make the most of their stays which also helps in brand loyalty. On top of that, the global pandemic has pushed hotels to embrace a contactless business model, which relies on smartphones and tablets. From digital payments and QR codes to virtual tours and offline mode, mobile-specific features are built to retain more customers.

Push notifications

Speaking of customer retention, apps triumph over websites in one aspect: push notifications. Hotels and airlines use emails, socials, and mobile notifications to target, retarget and convert users. Among these, push notifications have a higher conversion rate because they're instant, simple, and incredibly personal. Since mobile apps are a goldmine of user data, you can refine your notification strategy to improve engagements. Even though it's possible to send notifications from web apps, they're severely limited in comparison to mobile apps.

Improved visualization

With mobile apps, hotels can elevate their visual content. Users can access and upload better-quality photos and videos, while staff can offer personalized services over virtual meetings. This not only increases trust but also helps word of mouth spread faster. Moreover, you can rebrand your company with a new visual language and apps can be the launchpad.

Mobile apps, at the end of the day, allow you to extend your services beyond the physical premises. You can integrate e-commerce for in-app purchases, delight customers with coupons, and make gathering testimonials a seamless process.

As the pandemic has shown, an intuitive and contactless experience is the top priority for new guests and mobile apps allow you to stay top of mind with your customer base.

To learn how mobile guest apps can digitalize your hotel services, check out MyCONECT’s suite of products.