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Globalization and social mobility made contemporary tempo of life impossible without travels (either vacations or business trips), thus hospitality industry is constantly growing and developing, turning into one of the most profitable market fields. In 2017, the industry revenue worldwide constituted more than 570 billion dollars.
Technological boom together with smart segment intrusion reformed tourism industry. Modern businesses tend to incorporate mobile market ensuring faster and easier customer attraction and retaining. This leads to hotel booking app phenomenon emergency and expansion.
In this post, OpenGeeksLab will discuss how to make a hotel booking app, points of interest while designing hotel mobile app, its must-have features, etc. illustrated with own experience. Besides, we will disclose our success secrets and share future perspectives.
Contemporary hospitality industry expands, forming new separate sectors based on mergers or divergences of different already existing fields. These new niches represent valuable chances for business newcomers to find their place in the sun. Online tourism belongs to such aeries welcoming innovative startups and fresh ideas.
Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) occupy more and more space on market, having revenue growth from about 470 billion dollars in 2014 to 756 billion dollars projected by 2019 ends. According to Criteo’s research, almost half of these agencies make bets on mobile market segment. Being busy with other things people tend to use hotel reservation app while solving vacation problems – statistic shows that 80% of last moment decisions are made through phones.
There are certain key factors app developers for hotels should consider. The main being application specification (the precise goal always works better than obscure desire to get all in one), target audience (business travelers, families, singles, etc.), distribution channels (web/mobile versions, promotion, social media), budget, etc. Besides, there are some advantages and disadvantages to be disclosed. An application in the hospitality brunch gives undoubtful benefits such as expanded cliental base, revenue growth due to additional sale point, advanced analytics leading to easy service improvement, faster service supply/information processing, brand loyalty, etc. Still, pitfalls like strong competition, complicated management process, payment issues, etc. should be kept in mind.
Most famous hotel booking applications are Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Marriott Rewards, Hilton Honors, Hotels.com, Expedia, Trip.com, etc.
Simple registration form ensures positive user experience. Having only name, password and email needed, people are inclined to use application, because of its fast and easy-to-use terms.
Profile functions, including personal data storage and preference settings, are also valuable. With profile info set once, customers get better performance during whole usage period.
Recommendations, designed by special algorithm, help people making usage intuitive. Based on preferences, personal info, geolocation offers claim being relevant and efficient, reducing search time.
Messaging feature ensures peculiar treatment via direct communication with manager/administrator, or proper fast support in case of emergency.
Payment gateway incorporated into the program itself once again contributes to its productivity and performance. It ensures clients getting their services reserved without time-consuming third-party involvement.
Providing feedback system with ratings or commentaries is handy for users hesitating about staying in unknown place. Before making final decision, customers can look through others experiences and evaluation, considering all pros and cons of the place.
Notifications are helpful in reminding or additional information supply. They can contain check-in or check-out data, inform about weather in the destination place, offer interesting activities or places worth visiting nearby, or promote new functions, specific offers, sales, etc.
Search ensures quick access to any information in minimum time, thus elaborated filter system is vital in hotel search app for users to get exactly what they want without time waste and excessive effort.
Not only general information about places, but also additional descriptions, details, peculiarities, media (accommodation photos, videos, promos), etc. are welcomed by customers.
List of favorites represents a nice option for those travelers who like plan their journeys long before the settled time. They can add offers they liked to personal list, compare them, track differences and make changes optimizing their trips to perfection.
Map integration becomes helpful very often when traveling. Tourists are protected from being lost or taking wrong direction, having customized map at hand.
Language and currency adjustment depending upon user’s location play a big part in time management. A tourist should not make calculations or looking for translating, spending the valuable hours productively.
Forecasts for transportation fare and room’s price make user experience more pleasant as well. With hotel price tracker app function, travelers can rely on a specific algorithm to secure them from unpleasant surprises such as cash limitation or overspending.
As far as online travel agencies occupy tourism industry, becoming a competitor to ‘traditional’ business, the last should struggle for preserving the position turning to new means. Huge companies can stand the competition, while smaller ones are suppressed and forced to cooperation with other platforms on non-favorable terms. This leads to profit decrease because clients prefer online ordering to traditional one, while commission rate variants are also limited.
Thus, our client, who has occupied himself with hospitality business quite a long time, decided to change the situation with an easy and convenient solution. He was inspired by the idea of creating an online reservation service compatible with blockchain technologies and tokens to perform transparent direct transactions with minimized fee commission. That was the background preceding GOeureka appearance.
We aimed at big data processing optimization and response time reduction. We worked with four different wholesalers providing services and information. Their own API direct access required time to get response from all participants, to conduct internal data analysis, and then send an answer to user. This time consuming and tiresome procedure needed proper optimization, because we received about 500 requests per second from two different parties. Besides, we aimed at payment system adjustment ensuring smooth blockchain and GO tokens implementation.
To support all the requests we received, we applied big data solution and added forecasting feature. All wholesalers’ data was divided into two parts: ‘static’ and ‘dynamic’. The first one is rarely updated, so we adjusted update time to peak loads, while ‘dynamic’ category is updated immediately without any delays. Such solution made reduction of request time from 70 seconds to 4.6 real.
Project’s database consists of 400 thousand places, accompanied by additional info, like photo/video galleries, accommodations, facilities, etc.
We implemented price forecasting function based on big data, history of price changes, and relevant price multiplied by coefficient. Such an accurate process resulted in 95% of forecast overlap. The final figures were adjusted during reservation process itself.
Micro-services implementation allowed organizing clearly systematized load control able to serve 2-3 million customers.
Profound search system ensures required QPS showcases and highly customized results.
Our platform allowed hosts being directly involved into process. They can work with clients without third-parties and perform room management or reservation on their websites through the system itself. HMR system is responsible for making this process easy and pleasant.
Microservice architecture together with big data analytics made higher performance real. Customers get accurate data from unlimited sources just in 4.6 seconds.
All accounts are synchronized, so users possess whole functionality/data scope either in web or in mobile version.
API enables hosts integrate their own dispersed systems into a single one.
Personal Identity Information, as well as order history, place info, booking details, etc. are stored in unified database, supported by cloud solutions.
Intuitive interface, designed in accordance with modern UI/UX standards, is mobile-/user-friendly.
Relevant information supports current prices/fares updates available.
Smart contracts accompanied by Ethereum blockchain technology are responsible for GO tokens and payment system.
Smart contract used by the platform makes any transaction possible within the program itself.
Elaborated search system allows browse options seamlessly with maximum efficiency, reserving the desired room at once.
There are different payment varieties available: cash/credit card, cryptocurrency (BTC, ETH), Go tokens (GOT).
In-built GO credits can be given as a cashback according to user’s expenses and used afterwards buying services/things.
In case of rate changes, automatized process is responsible for finding the best variant in existing order.
Map integration helps clients in understanding place’s physical location and optimal route building.
Customers’ feedback, rating, GO platform application influence place’s position in the list as well as in search results presentation.
To roll out both mobile and web versions we implemented various strategies, concerning different project aspects. To ensure seamless performance we introduced such backend technologies as Node.js, MongoDB, Elasticsearch, Redis. React was implemented to make intuitive interface and create hotel booking app for smartphones. Cloud technologies are accomplished with Amazon Web Services, while Blockchain stability is supported by Ethereum and Solidity.
Hotel app development required ten specialists to be involved: project manager, frontend/backend developers, software architecture developer, UI/UX designer, QA engineer.
We started our project in December 2018 and it is still a work-in-process. Our client has already launched it in Central and Southeast Asia, but he aims at expanding the scope to global rates. He also aims at airline booking sphere and car rental inclusion. The monetization concerns charging 5% transaction fee while conducting any payments, but GO tokens.
Do not let your lucky ticket float! Analyze the niche, consider top functionality, learn how to create an app for a hotel and contact us to build your perfect booking app for hotel business right now!
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