How to Embrace Technology That is Shaping Millennial Travel
In our always connected world, Millennials are much savvier when it comes to using tech for travel. Gen-Y grew up immersed in technology and their smartphones have become an extension of who they are – it’s part of their DNA. In fact, on survey found that 80% of Millennials sleep right next to their smartphone. They have used and relied on personal devices their entire lives and as a result have certain expectations regarding mobility and connectivity.
Not surprisingly, when it comes to travel, in lieu of luxurious four-poster beds or decorative pillows and throws, millennials expect more and better technology in order for their hotel stay to be a good one. Traditional marketing techniques and advertising channels that once enticed their parents to book a hotel room no longer work on this generation of consumers. Instead they look to technology and their peers during the planning, travel, and post-stay phases of the their journey.
So, how can hoteliers embrace technology to appeal to this demographic, secure those reservations and meet the stay expectations of the Millennial traveller?
Be Web and Mobile Focused:
More and more millennials use their mobile to make their purchasing decisions turning online to book flights and accommodation. According to a survey – New Horizons IV – by WYSE Travel Confederation, online accounts for a whopping 80% of under-30s travel bookings, while Google cites that two thirds of millennial travelers are comfortable booking an entire trip on a smartphone. So, as mobile booking becomes more ubiquitous, we can expect that number to continue rising.
What all that means is, adopting a mobile-first mindset when it comes to advertising, website efforts and online booking capabilities should be considered an absolute necessity. Millennials are driven by convenience and expect information to be easily accessible, simple to find and function correctly on any device they use – 52% of consumers will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer.
By bolstering your online web presence that is mobile-responsive, provides new marketing and revenue opportunities while also playing a critical role in the customer experience and potentially, customer loyalty.
Be Socially Conscious:
Not only are millennials using mobile devices to plan and book travel, they are also using them to share experiences while traveling. Social media is a prime way in which millennials make themselves heard and are always ready to capture special moments for social media. 78% of them engage with brands on social media while just 47% of older generations do. Not only that, but millennial’s respect and rely on the opinions of their peers, so any shared experiences they are compelled to post on their personal accounts are far more authentic and credible than any magazine ad, sponsored blog post or stock photo. In fact, when planning and researching a trip 89% of this group plan travel activities based on content posted by their peers.
With their consistent use of social media and need for validation and documentation, it’s clear that hotels must provide an unparalleled social experience, significantly supported by meaningful engagement from the hotel. With a well-thought-out social media plan with the millennial traveller in mind hoteliers can successfully attract new custom leading to increased conversions.
Be Self-Service Ready:
While the concept of self-service may, at a glance, seem to contradict the everyday luxuries associated with the hospitality experience (having staff dote on each guest), the guest-driven demand is not at all unfounded. More than 85% of consumers have used a self-service options when they shop, with 73% of consumers saying they prefer self-service technologies, such as self-checkout, over engaging with brand associates.
When it comes to millennials and their stay experience, they have a vested preference for convenient, frictionless experiences. They want more control over their interactions – they want to use their smartphones throughout their stay experience, from self-checking, ordering room service, controlling their room HVAC and lighting, access digital concierge services, make dinner reservations, book a spa treatment, settle payments etc.
By providing self-service technology options hoteliers have an integral opportunity to cater to individual guest needs with ease.
It goes without saying, millennials are forever connected. They have grown up completely surrounded by and adapting to high-tech gadgets. They are also endless explorers thirsty for knowledge, seeking meaningful authentic experiences. By offering an experience that is digital, seamless and convenient, your hotel will stand to establish millennial loyalty that translates into an exciting revenue opportunities, both now and in the future.