Make no mistake, the mobile app market is blisteringly competitive. The battle for downloads is as fierce as the battle for reservations. Even when your hotel’s mobile app has won a place on your user’s smartphone, having them interact with it regularly and keep it on their device is almost as tricky as getting them to select it from the thousands of other hotel apps crowding the App Store and Google Play.
Some stats suggest that 90% of all mobile apps downloaded are not opened after 30 days, with 75% ignored after just 24 hours.
Other studies show that 70% of travellers will use two apps at most, with even the most frequent travellers downloading a max of three apps and using just two of the trio.
So, what can you do to ensure the money you invest in mobile app development keeps your hotel reservation system software busy with reservations, rather than left to gather virtual dust on a smartphone or tablet device? One innovation report has attempted to identify just what sets the successful app apart.
The ‘Digital Keys to Hotel App Success’ says that one of the pillars of a successful app is frequent updates. For hoteliers, this information is crucial and means that the value of retaining mobile app development services for periodic app development should not be underestimated. According to its research, a positive relationship exists between how often a travel app is updated and its ranking in the App Store.
Interestingly, the report suggests that there is also a credible correlation between the age of the app and its App Store rank. Therefore, it makes more sense to continually invest in the update of an existing app rather than shelve an app that doesn’t have an immediate onslaught of downloads. With age being crucial to ranking, hotels which were quick to invest in mobile app development are likely to enjoy more success more easily than those launching brand new apps.
Two of the top travel apps in the App Store come from Hilton and Marriott International. The report finds that both apps are updated an average of 13 times per year, or just over once per calendar month. If you are guilty of letting your app slide past this timeframe, or conducting only infrequent updates, creating a regular roll-out schedule for new features and versions could help to improve both user engagement and App Store rank. This in turn leads to more visibility – a benefit which should then lead to a spike in demand on your hotel reservation system software.
Other useful insights from the report include ensuring your hotel app is optimised to function well across multiple devices. This will help to ensure reach and functionality. Additional features above and beyond the expected link to your hotel booking engine also come highly recommended – consider things like translation, lists of recommended dining and entertainment spots nearby, weather updates and excursions.