Business Traveler Customer Journey
The common barriers to using hotel apps among business travelers largely center around inconvenience and a lack of features that they want from those apps. Some common uses of hotel apps among business travelers include check-in/out and account management.
A. Five Common Barriers to Using Hotel Apps on a Business Trip
- The lack of usability or related limitations of a hotel app is a common barrier to using a hotel app on a business trip. When business travelers book hotel rooms on their mobile devices, speed and simplicity are paramount to them. Research from Google found that "69% of business travelers say limitations or usability issues on mobile are the biggest reasons they book on a different device."
- A common barrier to using hotel apps on a business trip is the lack of a mobile check-in/out function. According to JTB Business Travel, "[m]ost business travelers want to stay at hotels where they can use an app to check in and check out — and hotels brands are responding to that desire. . . These new technologies aren’t just appreciated, they are now expected by most business travelers."
- The inconvenient downloading of a hotel app is a common barrier to using hotel apps on a business trip among "bluxury" (business luxury) travelers (also called "bleisure" (business leisure)) travelers. In fact, "[e]xperts think the biggest hurdle to using mobile apps is the inconvenience of downloading it, especially in indie hotels."
- Another common barrier to using hotel apps on a business trip among one-time customers is their desire to not "clutter up their devices with unnecessary applications" compared to repeat customers. That reality is reflected by the fact that "business travelers typically have [just] 3.1 travel apps" and that category includes more than just hotel apps.
- The stand-alone nature of a hotel (or other travel-related) app is a common barrier to using single-purpose travel apps (e.g. hotel apps) on a business trip. That's because "57% of travelers want a single app for all of their travel planning and booking needs" instead of one app for a single purpose (e.g. hotel-only app).
B. Common Uses of Hotel Apps Among Business Travelers
- The most-common uses of hotel apps among business travelers is a tie between "check[ing] the status of a reservation" and "manag[ing] their rewards points or account" as 43% of them do so for each.
- Business travelers commonly use hotel apps to "book a hotel stay" as 39% of them do so.
- Mobile check-in is another common use of hotel apps among business travelers, as a survey found that 25% of them did such during their previous hotel stay on a business trip. The use of hotel apps for mobile check-in is especially popular among Gen X and millennial business travelers, as those generations "do so at a much higher rate than baby boomers" (percentage not stated). That app usage is further illustrated by the fact that twenty-two percent of business travelers listed mobile or online check-in and check-out among the top three hotel tech innovations for travel that they have the most interest in.
- Overall, hotel apps are commonly used among business travelers. For example, research found that 61% "of business travelers have downloaded at least one of the seven major hotel chains’ apps on their smartphone" within the previous year of when they were surveyed.
- Furthermore, 54% of those business travelers surveyed downloaded two or more of the aforementioned hotel apps, while 25% of them downloaded three or more of those hotel apps. The aforementioned research found that those business travelers are mainly satisfied with hotel apps.
Your Research Team Applied the Following Strategy:
We began our research by looking for articles about how business travelers use hotel apps. In so doing, some sources we consulted were media sources such as U.S. News and World Report and travel industry sources such as Hotel Management. As an additional strategy, we looked for statistics about business travelers' usages of hotel apps. We did so because we though that such data might reveal common barriers to using hotel apps among business travelers, which it did. Not a single source that we reviewed outright stated the "most-common barriers" to using hotel apps among business travelers. Thus, we determined the barriers included above as among the "most-common" ones based on the supporting data, whether qualitative or quantitative, provided for each through extrapolation.