Digitalization in the Hotel Industry: Seamless, Contactless, and Connected
This is a guest post from Dr. Özgür Zan, Managing Director at WeBee.
It’s no secret that the hospitality industry has been going through a rough patch. Even as COVID-19 lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions begin to ease, people remain concerned about the potential risks of physical touch. Although digitalization has been a trend for a couple of years, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of contactless solutions in the hospitality industry, especially among hoteliers.
According to Hospitality Technology research:
- 73% of travelers expect the hotel where they stay to have positive reviews and high ratings
- 63% say that the hotel must contact them before their stay
- 59% want to make contactless payments
- 57% want to check in and out through a mobile device
- 54% want to make future reservations from a mobile device
- 54% want to unlock their room using their mobile device
- 53% want to check in and out through a contactless solution
- 50% want personalized service based on their purchase history
I have seen these trends take hold first hand as the Managing Director at WeBee, a guest engagement platform based in Turkey that creates a digital bridge between hoteliers and guests to maximize guest satisfaction. Hoteliers hope to simplify their lives by digitizing their communication, marketing, and hotel staff workflow. Our mobile apps focus on the engagement of hotel guests at all phases of the guest journey.
AWS Is an Agile Partner
To design and build accessible, seamless, fluid, fast, convenient, and easy-to-integrate user experiences, we need an agile and accessible partner. Our collaboration with AWS has made it possible for us to create a guest engagement platform that helps hoteliers maximize their profits and deliver value to their guests.
At WeBee, we currently use AWS Lambda, Amazon Cognito, Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS), and Amazon DynamoDB and are always looking to take advantage of the next bit technology innovation AWS has to offer.
We use Amazon SNS in our workflow to push mobile notifications on Apple and Android, reliably deliver messages, and ensure messages are deduplicated.
With the help of serverless architecture and AWS Lambda, we can scale our system more easily. Our Lambda functions are loosely coupled and, through integration with EventBridge, triggered only when specified conditions at met.
Many hotels have their own infrastructure. We make API integrations with some of our customers, but due to the differences between hotels and their data flow, we wouldn’t be able to maintain the code in a traditional architecture. AWS Lambda makes it possible for our workload-aware, cluster-scaling logic to run smoothly even when traffic loads are heavy.
Amazon Cognito has simplified and secured our authentication flow. Each of our hotel clients has its own user pool. Depending on the needs of the hotel, we customize some user pool workflows with Lambda triggers. For example, in some hotels, we run a post-confirmation trigger to sync a new registered user to the hotel’s user base. This approach offers flexibility and security with less maintenance and effort.
Thanks to the performance of Amazon DynamoDB, our mobile app delivers a flawless user experience. We needed a fast, reliable, easy to scale database with low costs. We also prefer a schemaless database because many columns are only needed for some conditions. The data models might vary between hotels, but we still operate all hotels on the same tables. DynamoDB also saves us time and effort: no provisioning or maintenance and automatic backups.
Technology Increases Traveler Confidence
People don’t go online anymore. People live online. And this change in behavior has split the customer journey into hundreds of tiny moments. We built our product with this in mind and, well before the pandemic, we were working on creating a digital bridge between hoteliers and guests. Guest engagement platforms like WeBee put hoteliers in the right place at the right time: when guests make decisions about purchasing a service, ordering food, or leaving a review of their experience.
According to a Censuswide survey, more than four in five travelers say that technology would increase their confidence in traveling in the next 12 months. For social distancing, guests are now demanding what our solutions offer: more contactless experiences like touchless check-in and checkout, room service food and beverage orders, keyless room entry, mobile payment, and more. These digitalized changes help hoteliers gain the trust of their guests through engagement before, during, and after their stay. With the help of the right platform, guests receive an outstanding, personalized experience and hoteliers receive a digitized communication, marketing, and hotel staff workflow, one that converts big data to smart data. While no one can predict the future, we’re excited to, with the help of AWS, help travel and hospitality companies build for whatever comes next.
Learn more about how AWS is helping transform the travel and hospitality industry at aws.com/travel.