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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. The industry revenue worldwide is projected to reach 211.54 billion U.S. dollars by 2026.
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 our own hotel booking app development experience. Besides, we will disclose our success secrets and share future perspectives of hotel booking apps.
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 to 756 billion dollars over the past five years. 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 hotel booking 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 during hotel app development. 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 processes, payment issues, etc. should be kept in mind.
Let’s take a closer look at some fundamental KPIs.
There are three main types of apps for hotel booking presented on the market. Depending on your business objectives, you can choose between OTAs, hotel aggregators and hotel chain apps:
These online platforms provide users with multiple booking options: stays, flights, cars.
Most famous hotel booking applications in this segment include Expedia, Trip.com, KAYAK, Hopper and more.
These apps for hotel booking aggregate hotel data across the globe. Users can reach out hotels’ details on a single interface.
Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Hotels.com belong to this type.
These apps for hotel booking are designed exclusively for individual hotel or hotel chain needs and allow travelers to book a room in the specific hotel or inside the particular hotel chain.
Marriott Rewards, Hilton Honors, the Ritz-Carlton are renowned hotel booking apps in this category.
Before jumping into hotel app development, decide where a service is available to be downloaded from. You can distribute your hotel booking application worldwide or run it on a specific region/territory. It is a good idea to try a local market at the starting line as it can help you save time and money, test the service and see how it functions. If all goes well, then scale up to the next level.
To conquer the hospitality industry, choose your brand’s positioning and offer users the unique value proposition. Here are some promising niche models you can adopt while hotel app development:
Last minute bookings are trending, especially in today’s COVID-19 reality. So far, travelers tend to book travel and hotel deals at a moment’s notice, not well in advance.
Booking.com, HotelTonight, Jetsetter, Hotels.com, lastminute.com are among famous representatives of such kind hotel booking apps.
Cheap accomodation is a win-win option while hotel app development, especially for Gen Y and Gen Z as they usually don’t care where to stay for a night or more on a trip.
Apps for hotel booking targeted at budget travelling are represented by Kayak, Priceline, momondo, Hotwire, trivago, CheapHotels.com.
Co-living spaces, pioneered by Airbnb hotel booking application years ago, now have become the new normal. This business model assumes that each renter has their own bedroom, while the living area, kitchen, and sometimes the bathroom, are shared.
Such services allow travellers to find free or inexpensive lodging. Couchsurfing and BeWelcome are hotel booking apps that make this happen. As for 2020. Couchsurfing alone has 14 million travelers in more than 200 000 cities around worldwide.
This solution is a perfect match for people who need a room for one night. Such apps for hotel booking as HotelTonight, Expedia offer travelers one-day bookings, usually at a lower price.
As you can see, despite the abundance of hotel app development options, there is always a place for creating something one of a kind.
Admin panel is a must while hotel app development to manage a mobile/web application smoothly and keep track of vital data. To do that, you need a carefully thought-out, custom software solution aimed at your service targets.
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Before stepping into hotel booking app development, you need to single out functions your platform must provide to cover your business needs and peculiarities. Here are some basic features you should consider:
1. Easy Registration
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.
2. User Profile
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.
4. In-Built Chat
Messaging feature ensures peculiar treatment via direct communication with manager/administrator, or proper fast support in case of emergency.
5. In-Built Payments
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.
7. Push Notifications
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.
8. Search & Filters
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.
9. Detailed Info
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.
11. Location & Navigation
Map integration becomes helpful very often when traveling. Tourists are protected from being lost or taking wrong direction, having customized map at hand.
12. Automatic Language & Currency Setting
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.
13. Expense Forecasting
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.
1. Micro-Services & Big Data
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.
3. API Integration
API enables hosts integrate their own dispersed systems into a single one.
4. Personal Data Storage
Personal Identity Information, as well as order history, place info, booking details, etc. are stored in unified database, supported by cloud solutions.
5. Mobile-Friendly Interface
Intuitive interface, designed in accordance with modern UI/UX standards, is mobile-/user-friendly.
Relevant information supports current prices/fares updates available.
7. Smart Contracts & Blockchain Technology
Smart contracts accompanied by Ethereum blockchain technology are responsible for GO tokens and payment system.
8. Smart Financial Statements
Smart contract used by the platform makes any transaction possible within the program itself.
9. Advanced Search & Instant Booking
Elaborated search system allows browse options seamlessly with maximum efficiency, reserving the desired room at once.
10. Payment Gateway
There are different payment varieties available: cash/credit card, cryptocurrency (BTC, ETH), Go tokens (GOT).
11. In-Built Rewards
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.
13. Google Maps
Map integration helps clients in understanding place’s physical location and optimal route building.
14. Feedback System & Reviews
Customers’ feedback, rating, GO platform application influence place’s position in the list as well as in search results presentation.
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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.
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.
Analyze the hotel booking app development 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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