People prefer one app for all hotels rather than a clutter of branded hotel apps
According to survey by Hilton, only about 7% of hotel guests use hotel branded apps and keep them on their devices. In other words, all the time, money and effort which hotels invest into developing their own branded applications result in a tiny number of guests actually using them, and even less guests keeping them on their phones. There is a simple reason why this is happening.
People who travel a lot say that cluttering their phones with numerous branded apps is the last thing they want. These apps use up the phone’s storage, drain the battery life and make navigating through the cluttered phone annoying and unnecessarily time-consuming. Not too mention it is plain confusing. Imagine having fifteen Facebook-like apps or twenty different instagrams on your tablet? No one wants that. So what is it that people actually want?
The answer is that people prefer single, unified applications which serve single purposes. Real life examples show us a clear trend. Facebook for connecting with friends and family, twitter for instantly sharing experiences, trip advisor for looking up destination review, instagram for posting pictures, weather app for checking weather etc etc. I think by now you see where I’m going with this. The trend is also noticeable if you take a look at lists of keywords which people type in app stores, when searching for applications. Apart from a handful of branded names (facebook, google, twitter etc), users mainly type in meaningful words directly connected to what they want the app to do, Weather, flights, planning, reading, games etc. The lesson here is that the transparent and meaningful app names are important. Names with brands in them cause ambiguity and uncertainty as to what the app actually does.
The love for single, universal apps is visible across all generations. The millennials are already used to such status quo. They are born in the digital era of easily accessible internet and mobile technologies. They want fast online access wherever they go so they reach for quickest and most universal online platforms which meet their expectations. This generation also prefers apps which can provide them with easy ways of sharing their experiences among families and friends. The older generations also look for certain traits in applications. In our survey we have asked 40 and 50 year olds about what do they look for in the app. Over 90% have responded easy to use, clear, uncluttered and straightforward. 85% of surveyed said that they would rather have one app for planning holidays rather than individual apps from various hotels. The main argument given against individual branded app was irritation and annoyance to learn new app for each hotel they would visit. Nearly all of respondents valued familiarity of an application and would not like to feel irritated by unfamiliarity of downloading new app every time they go to a new hotel.