Personalization and technology are evolving in the hotel industry — from keyless rooms to virtual reality

Personalization and technology are evolving in the hotel industry — from keyless rooms to virtual reality

Thanks to technology, the days of clunky hotel keys are long gone. Mobile check-in and keyless room entry have revolutionized checking in to hotels. Both Mandarin Oriental Hotels and Aloft Hotels were early adopters of this technology, allowing guests to bypass the traditional in-person check-in desk process and go straight to their rooms using their smartphones.

Not only is this more convenient for guests, but hotel smartphone apps also help hotels increase revenue by making it easier for guests to purchase items and access services. Miscellaneous purchases in shops and restaurants increased as guests use their smartphones as a key, making it convenient to complete any shopping or dining experience. And let's be real, who doesn't love to indulge in a little retail therapy while on vacation? Check out this graphic on how travellers prefer to pay for services:

Table showing how travelers in select countries prefer to pay for accommodations.

Source: SiteMinder

Mobile check-in and keyless room entry isn't the only way hotels are using technology to improve customer experience. Have you ever been disappointed by a hotel room because the stock photo didn't accurately reflect the size of the room? Thanks to virtual reality (VR) technology, that's becoming a thing of the past. Marriott International and Oculus VR introduced "VRoom Service" in 2016 — a VR viewing experience that allows potential guests to virtually explore and experience different hotel rooms and suites before they book a stay. Guests can gain a better understanding of the hotel's amenities and services, leading to a more informed decision. This means no more surprises upon arrival, and no more disappointment when the room doesn't live up to your expectations.

Virtual reality isn't just for exploring hotel rooms. It's also being used to create a more immersive and personalized experience for guests. Hilton’s chatbot Connie is an AI-powered robot that can assist guests with tasks such as booking reservations, providing information about the hotel and its amenities, and answering frequently asked questions. Another example is Marriott’s loyalty program — Marriott Bonvoy uses Adobe Analytics to understand guest preferences and behavior, allowing the hotel to make personalized recommendations and offers to guests.

And let's not forget about cleaning and sanitization. With the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, hotels are using technology to ensure guest safety and peace of mind. In 2018, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) introduced the IHG Way of Clean a program that uses ultraviolet light technology to clean and sanitize guest rooms — another example of how hotels are using technology to create a cleaner and safer environment for guests.

Hotels will continue to evolve and use technology even more extensively to improve customer experience. Adobe solutions like Adobe Experience Cloud can help hotels to better understand customer needs and preferences and provide personalized experiences. For example, hotels can use Adobe solutions to analyze customer data and make personalized recommendations for nearby restaurants or activities based on the guest's previous stays or preferences. This means that hotels can create a truly personalized experience for every guest in real time, making their stay even more enjoyable and memorable.

One way to do this is by utilizing Adobe Experience Manager to better understand customer needs and preferences to provide personalized experiences. And as we know, personalization is key to improving customer experience. According to Adobe, 70% of a content developer’s time is spent on non-core work, managing manual tasks in disparate systems across roles. This is a significant amount of time that could be spent on creating unique and valuable experiences for guests. Additionally, 21% of creatives identified bottlenecks throughout the content process as a challenge to creating effective experiences, and 31% of creatives and marketers say their top challenge is the inability to share assets with multiple stakeholders.

Adobe Experience Cloud offers a solution to these challenges by providing a comprehensive platform for content creation, management, and delivery.

Personalize the future of the hotel industry

Technology has played a significant role in improving customer experience in hotels. From mobile check-in and keyless room entry to virtual reality tours, data analytics, and AI-powered robots, hotels are using technology to create a unique and valuable experience for guests. And as technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative ways hotels are using technology to improve customer experience.

So the next time you check into a hotel, don't be surprised if you're greeted with a VR tour of your room or a personalized recommendation from an AI-powered robot. Because with technology, the possibilities are endless.

If you’re ready to find out more, get in touch with Adobe Professional Services experts. We can improve your customer experience through future-proof improvements to the systems, strategies, and technologies your business uses every day. You can also check out this case study to learn how Adobe empowered Marriott International to better understand its customers through data.

Bodo Uiga is a seasoned digital marketing professional with a focus on the hospitality industry. He implements state-of-the-art strategies to drive revenue, enhance user experiences, and achieve high customer satisfaction. He has extensive experience working with clients in both Europe and North America, and he’s known for his ability to guide teams to success and conduct business in diverse global contexts.