As the New Year continues and technology develops, accommodation providers must understand what voice search is and how it can help their properties.
The first thing to know is that voice search is on the rise. In fact, 20% of searches through mobile devices come through voice controls, and by 2020, this percentage will increase to 50% in the United States.
Voice control gives you the ability to interface across different platforms, recognize voice commands and support customer service efforts
Capitalizing on emerging technology now will set your property ahead of the game later. To read more about hospitality technology trends in 2019, click here.
Again, the growth of the voice assistant is rapid. The continuous development of technology brings about the optimization of devices. There are many options in the marketplace of voice technology. Examples include Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. These devices are able to use voice to perform searches and accomplish tasks quickly.
Voice search has the potential to grow into the role of a “digital employee” and will be able to complement the work of human employees. This will allow owners and operators to spend more time and attention focused on big-picture tasks.
Voice assistants are going to have an impact on the way businesses interact with technology and collaborate internally. Determining how to deliver the benefits of this new technology across every device, from smart speaker to mobile apps, will be a major factor of success for your operation.
Want more tips and advice? To find out how you can set yourself up for success, read our Owner and Operator Performance Audit.
To read more about IBC Hospitality Technologies and where we are headed in 2019, click here.
In 2019, social media content has to be a priority. Accommodations providers must be aware that Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook can enhance their business.
To find out how IBC Hospitality Technologies can help you improve your social media presence, click here.
Increasing mobile bookings can be a challenge. Did you know that half of travel booking transactions are completed on mobile devices? Accommodation providers find that 40 percent of customers have trouble navigating a companies mobile site. Because of this, it’s important to create a mobile-optimized website.
When you do this, you stay ahead of the game and provide a responsive website that remains the same page by page from the desktop to the mobile site.
Remember, consumers will likely leave your website if they have to take part in unnecessary scrolling or clicking, time-consuming or unrelated upselling opportunities during the transaction, and difficult to find details regarding the properties or booking. As an independent accommodation provider, try and see the product from the guest’s point of view so that you’ll be able to optimize your website.
Increasing mobile bookings online is all about making the process more simplistic and efficient. Limiting the number of steps during the purchase process takes away unnecessary confusion for the customer and shows that your brand is listening. Make sure your brand is search engine optimized. Implement a mobile-friendly internet booking engineFor more information regarding your guest’s booking behavior, click here.
As an accommodation provider, remember to proofread your website and display clear calls to action.This includes a “Click to Call Button.” More than half of travelers would likely contact an accommodation provider if given the capability.
Furthermore, your brand should be SEO optimized (75% of travelers start by using a search engine to book a room and 80% of all online searches begin on Google) and popular keywords should be within your site copy. To read more about why creating relevant content is necessary, visit our Complete Guide to Easy Social Media.
In order to increase your mobile bookings, it’s important to remember that targeting is key, and you have to understand your audience. Research your demographic and go from there.
Generational differences exist and play into how customers book rooms. For instance, 52% of millennial business travelers book on their mobile devices and 60% of mobile hotel bookings happen at the last-minute in the United States.
A Google U.S. traveler study demonstrates certain trends in traveler’s behaviors. Overall mobile bookings in North America and Europe are 28% and 33%, respectively. In Asia, the figure is between 45% and 49%. It’s 53% in the Middle East. Clearly, the tech-savvy generation is familiar with mobile and these factors account for high mobile booking rates. If your audience is mostly millennials, make sure to optimize your content for mobile devices.
In order to succeed at mobile bookings, be aware that travelers could be more confident with the mobile booking process. 55% of travelers feel that the research process is too difficult before booking. Travelers are also worried about finding the best price and want to compare options in one place. As an accommodation provider, it’s up to you to be a resource for your guests, and it’s a great opportunity to strategize ways to present your options and pricing in a way to increase mobile bookings.
To find out more about how IBC Hospitality Technologies and how guests go about booking a room, click here
This year is coming to a close, but 2018 has brought on many exciting opportunities and changes for IBC Hospitality Technologies!
On December 11, 2018, IBC Hospitality Technologies announced we had been acquired by OBASA Hospitality, the parent company to a collection of global hospitality technology and services brands.
“I am excited to join and bring IBC Hospitality Technologies into the OBASA Hospitality group of companies,” says IBC founder Pam Barnhill. “This brings IBC additional support and resources to further IBC’s mission of staying on top of industry trends, and then take advantage of them by implementing robust but easy to use technologies.” Read more here.
In 2018, we invited our customers to participate in a wide variety of webinars. In our Webinar Series, we worked with great companies that are continuously doing exciting things within the hospitality industry.
IBC Hospitality Technologies features an open API with multi-currency functionality and PCI compliance. The IBC technology suite of products consists of:
In our ongoing effort to be the best partner to our customers, we too partner with the industry’s best companies and associations to ensure we are continually learning and passing along that knowledge and those opportunities to you.
MyKey is an industry-leading corporate housing technology product serving insurance companies, corporate travel planners, relocation companies, the entertainment industry, and individuals seeking accommodations.
It features only vetted inventory and focuses on ensuring partners have duty of care in place as safety and security take a greater role in decision-making when it comes to furnished accommodations.
Accommodation providers must be vetted in order to have their inventory featured on the platform. In addition, MyKey suppliers have the opportunity to undergo an in person 83-point inspection to earn the special “MasterKey Endorsed” certification.
MyKey will implement an advisory board of key clients in 2019 to stay on top of key needs and wants from its customer base, and will be creating a bidding tool for opportunities.
In 2019, greater process and automation will create more potential opportunities for MyKey suppliers.
MKA is a global all accommodation association that also has placed tremendous focus on safety and duty of care. Alliance members have access to more educational opportunities and resources, advocacy and discounts. Members also have access to IBC technologies as MKA has selected IBC as its technology provider of choice.
The Alliance is always seeking to expand its benefits to its members by bringing in a larger and more diverse group of accommodation owners and operators. One of the greatest benefits of the Alliance is the ability to learn from and benchmark against other members. In addition, the Alliance is overseen by an advisory board of industry experts and educators to ensure the direct of the alliance continually brings value to its members.
Members are vetted and promoted as such, and are featured on MyKey.com, where they have opportunities to win additional business, and have access to the Alliance’s more than 6,000 members to find suppliers in markets around the globe.
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Convenient Technology Integrations (more on the way) with leading travel providers make IBC a single stop for all your travel needs. Even add optional cancellation protection to your stay. With IBC, traveling local is easy.
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2019 is bringing many exciting trends to the forefront.Safety and Security This will be more important than ever. For business travelers, safety precautions will be especially necessary. This entails having a duty of care plan and making sure that employees know what to do in case of an emergency.
People will look for accommodations outside of the typical brand hotel offering, ground-level experiences will be more appealing over penthouse amenities, and travelers will add days on to a business trip in order to explore a new city.
There will be increased competition resulting from OTAs (online travel agencies). Hoteliers will be able to combat this through a robust metasearch plan, lower CPA (cost per acquisition) through direct bookings, and remaining aware of how important it is to keep property information up to date in your CRS platform.
It is becoming more important than ever. Instagram Stories are one area to consider focusing on. YouTube stories are the latest iteration of this trend and can be key for those with 10,000+ subscribers to their YouTube channel. Post short, engaging videos. You only have about 8 seconds to hook the viewer! Highlight “insta-worthy” experiences in memorable places, and remind your guests to check in to your location on their social networks of choice. You can even offer special perks or discounts when users check in on social. Yes, photos are nice to look at but what else do you have to offer?
Voice search is becoming a prominent tool in the hospitality industry. More brands are using it. Hospitality companies are incorporating it into sales, marketing and guest services. Voice assistance is moving rapidly toward conversational interactions. This includes speaking “I need a hotel in New York” vs typing “hotels in New York.” This shift in search engine dynamics will give companies a reason to invest in a long-tail keyword PPC (pay per click) strategy.
Here’s to 2019! We appreciate the opportunity to work with independent hoteliers and partner in their success.