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Hospitality & Retail Industries Get Personal with Mobile

Rocketeer Karin Wurm attended The Mobile Summit for Hospitality and Retail last week in Las Vegas, which offered incredible insight into the future of mobile in these industries.

Karin said the conference focused on how to best interact with customers, but the following were also key topics:

  • Social
    The ROI of social is really your Return of Influence. The ability to get users engaged is key to expanding the exposure of your brand. In retail, the biggest successes have been by those who use social to listen and give their customers a voice.

  • Connected Guests
    With the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend, guests can use their own technology to interact. They can connect to Wi-Fi, watch Netflix, read the news, order room service and receive deals on restaurants from their tablet or phone. Hospitality companies will be able to keep a more detailed guest profile, which will lead to a more customized experience.

  • Enterprise Applications
    Not only customers will be bringing their own devices into hospitality and retail locations, but the people they interact with will have tablets to access profile information, receive mobile payments on the fly and more. This unstructured environment will cater to the way the customer wants to interact. Passbook and Google Wallet will also become more prevalent.

Here's what some of the companies leading mobile innovations in retail and hospitality had to share:

Hotels.com said travel apps are the second most-downloaded app genre, with mobile travel bookings to exceed eight billion this year. The company said they will continue to push users to interact through Twitter, Facebook and app exclusive specials. 

Shazam announced their new app the day of the event, which makes retail purchases more relevant and readily available to users. In addition to expanding to iPad, the app has the ability to tag commercials, TV shows and movies and will direct users to a source page with information on the artist, a place to purchase the song and additional products. If a movie trailer is tagged, the app will direct the user to Fandango to purchase a movie ticket. Shazam also has the ability to listen to the background without you telling it to, so the user is not responsible for activating it.

Karin believes companies will interact with their customers at a higher level in the future. “Whether through mobile hotel keys, mobile check-in at hotels, mobile check-out in stores, mobile concierge and room service using the device’s location – being able to reach a customer at any time during their trip is a huge advantage,” Karin said. “Not only can users access anything they need from any location with their device, but internal employees can also help customers using internal apps on corporate devices.”

Hotels.com said it best – mobile will be “wherever, whenever the customer needs it”.


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