Contactless Options for Retail, Hospitality, and Travel
Know your Options and Benefits (Plus Tips!)

As we all return to this new normal, we now have stringent priorities and considerations before setting foot into any location. This applies to everyone at this point: workers, students, travelers, and even homemakers.

Travel and Hotel Bookings

While restrictions are being lifted on different travel destinations, and tourists become more eager to explore.  We all crave the things that connect us to locations and places we love.  So how can we as marketers, tour operators, event holders or people in travel space focus on the key things that will help us connect but also provide new ways for contactless engagement

Expedia conducted research, and it shows that 9 out of 10 travelers will base their decisions on a destination’s health and hygienic protocols.

To avoid any possible transfer of disease, we start to highly consider contactless transactions.

  • For travelers, contactless visitor sign-in and check-in are now essential. Mobile applications and progressive web apps are the most sought-after solutions relevant to this need. Consumers can now freely check-in pre-arrival, giving them the luxury to sign up from the comfort of their own phones and providing new ways to access facilities.
  • Destinations and hotels have also introduced Staff-to-guest chat. This feature is highly utilized by hotels as it allows their staff to respond timely to guest’s inquiries and requests through text message and video conference. No need to request manually at the front desk or call-in for assistance.
  • Digital room keys or Mobile Keys are also made available to provide convenience in entering or leaving their respective rooms. With integrated hotel apps, guests can simply tap their mobile phones with the help of Bluetooth or NFC integrations.

Things are happening so fast leaving the hotel and travel industry in a rush to make quick decisions about getting touchless technology. ‘Seamless’ is good but now, ‘Contactless’ makes a lot more sense to travelers, especially when it comes to safety and security.

What do Travel industry and Hoteliers get out of this technology?

  1. Improves Guest and Visitor satisfaction and Ratings – the rise of contactless technology has definitely given guests the power to control their stay and distance themselves as much as possible. Mobile Apps and PWAs are on demand communication devices. Simform’s most recent research shows that about 204 billion apps were downloaded in 2019. Providing easy ways to engage and rate and review in mobile will help you fine tune services.
  2. Increase Staff efficiency – Contactless technology has definitely boosted staff proficiency since basic tasks like guest check-in are now completed by the guests ahead of time. This allows staff to keep up with their workflow and pursue other tasks like answering calls, etc. This also reduces any potential risky in-person contact, protecting both guests and staff.

Tips for a Better Contactless Experience in Hotels and Travel Destinations

  1. Provide your guests or travelers important links ahead of time – this include check in details or map details/wayfinding.
  2. Provide essential Safety instructions – ensure to send pre-arrival safety instructions especially to travelers who have special needs, kids or senior citizens.
  3. Internally conduct Upskill trainings for your staff and associate so they can lead the way for your visitors. By providing them appropriate tools, they can assist and respond to your guest’s need comfortably and confidently.

Retail

As with all industries retail is going through huge transformations, between online and brick and mortar options and services.  As stores begin to reopen, what are the measures taken by retailers to consistently provide quality services with less-to-no physical contact?

  • e-Commerce. This has been going on for years but since everything has been fast-tracked, retailers now have to consider additional contactless options for the safety of both customers and staff.
    • Customers are able to place their orders in the comfort of their home and browse through the retailer’s site/catalog. Checkout options are completed online, and the goods get delivered right into your doorsteps.
    • Provide easy ways to use mobile while shopping in store, this helps all customers and even older customers to look at ways to use coupons etc. so they can start to take advantage of ease of use and ways to decrease human contact.
  • Curbside Pickup. Consumers can now browse through a retailer’s site and place their orders online while picking up their orders in the store’s parking lot. This allow more automated solution and provides some human contact.  The key is to train and arm your staff with ways to engage and use technology to help that person picking up.
  • Check-out Free. A simple process of walking in and out of the store without having to interact with cashiers, whatsoever. Consumers can now browse through in-store items and check item availability through their mobile phones by simply scanning QR Codes. Consumers can pick their items, bag the products themselves, and pay electronically before they head out to exit.

While there are tons of options for mobile online payments, here are some Integrations with contactless payment facilities that make in-store ordering easy and convenient. Some of the well-known options are Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Braintree, and more.   If you are looking at new ways to implement contactless solutions, feel free to reach out we have a 5 step process that can help you identify solutions that are easy to implement inside of your current investments and products.

How Retailers Benefit out of this new Contactless Technology?

  1. Better Customer information –Retailers will be able to capture exact records along with basic information such as name, address, purchases and preferred payment methods. Mass marketing will no longer work during the new normal due to different preferences and in this case, retailers will be able to learn more about what they want, when they want it. In relation to this, the second one would be:
  2. Know What your Customers Current Preferences – Due to contactless shopping and the rise of mobile and eCommerce, customer’s information is freely stored in the retailer’s database. This allows retailers to provide custom experience every time they shop back. The ability of the retailer to provide coupons and discounts relevant to their shopping history will totally be a game changer. This touch extending your customer relationship and promotes your brand across current and potential customers.
  3. Drive More Revenue – Retailers can utilize new tools and software through repurposed staff and use this to empower customer’s safety while shopping. With the increase usage of online shopping, definitely investing on tools that can simplify transactions and provide customers the assurance to shop back are top priorities on the retail side.

Tips for a Better Contactless Experience in the Retail Industry

  1. Inventory Transparency and Agility – allow your customers to see real-time availability of your products to avoid misleading. This also helps your team to fulfill orders in a timely manner without having to worry about shortage on supply, etc.
  2. Offer contactless options for returns – This is a common issue that retailers face on a daily basis but letting your customer return items and proceed with contactless refunds would be an efficient option. Curbside pickup or drop-off can be a good option in this category.
  3. Open Online feedback channels to mitigate unsatisfactory experiences and improve any current solution that does not work well with customers of different age, tech savviness, etc.

If you are looking for additional information on how to implement some of these tools even through your existing products and investments send us an email at [email protected] or call us at 833-300-6664.  We will be happy to share and provide you pricing and information to help you make the best decision for your organization.

Doug Ralston
President and CEO
OmniExperience
[email protected]