7 Ways to Use AR/VR to Improve Guest Engagement

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7 Ways to Use AR/VR to Improve Guest Engagement

By Alexey Kutsenko, head of digital marketing, DDI Development Company - 07/17/2019

Hospitality is an evolving industry that is becoming more digital thanks to the new technologies appearing on the market. According to the statistics, it’s expected that the retail automation market value in the hospitality industry will reach 5.73 billion U.S. dollars by 2027. This is the very reason to think about implementing new technologies to remain competitive. Here we will overview and show you how such solutions as AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are going to reshape the hospitality industry and help you to engage your guests better.

Augmented and Virtual Reality: What Is It?

Before we go into the discussion of the benefits of AR and VR solutions in the hospitality sector, let’s define what is Augmented and Virtual Reality. The digital technologies have a lot of similarities, but there are some crucial differences.

Let’s start with VR. It’s a technology that creates a digital environment with 360-degree video around the user. The VR allows you to experience and interact with a 3D world that is created by computers and isn't real.

AR, however, adds information and/or graphics over the real environment that you can see with the help of your phone or tablet via the special mobile app. So, virtual reality technologies change the environment totally while augmented reality just enhances real-world surroundings.

Why Should You Focus on AR/VR Technology in the Hospitality Industry?

Now, having defined how these two technologies operate, there is another question we must answer: Why should your hotel focus on implementing AR/VR technologies? Quite simply: It will improve your consumers’ experience. Using these up-to-date technologies will not only improve the services you are selling and offering, but will also show them to your consumers to a more tangible and real way.

VR/AR technologies provide the guests with the ability to teleport to the location and explore the hotels, their rooms as well as surrounding areas. Also, the solutions can provide all the info about the service the consumers have a tendency to specify before buying as well as on arrival.

There are lots of ways to use these two technologies in the industry for improving guest engagement. Here we are going to review the 7 ways to use them to refine the guest experience and, as a result, increase the revenue of your business.

  1. Virtual Booking Processes
    AR/VR solutions will soon make it possible for consumers to survey the many different rooms your property offers and get important information about them before booking: like the size of the room, price, features, etc. Thus, you improve their experience, because they know what they will get beforehand.
  2. Virtual Hotel Tours
    One of the most obvious reasons for using VR and AR technologies is: virtual hotel tours. With these tours, guests can explore the hotel and destination using 360-degree video. It’s a way travelers are helped to imagine their stay prior to buying and when done properly can help encourage bookings.
  3. Interactive Hotel Rooms
    Interactive elements within hotel rooms can also improve the guest experience. For instance, using AR technology guests could get information about the room such as famous celebrities who stayed there, historical facts about the hotel, information about the artwork on the wall, and more.
  4. Virtual Travel Experiences
    AR and VR solutions also provide your guests with a chance to look – before they book – at the nearby landmarks, historical sights, restaurants, and museums that are near to your hotel. This helps them to plan their daily itineraries and provides incentives for them to book at your hotel.  
  5. Beacon Technology
    Another potentially invaluable technology solution in the hospitality business is beacon technology. The tech is already used in some hotels and the popularity of it is expected to grow. You can use beacons to share needed information with guests such as: 
    a map of the hotel and the surrounding area with information about local sights;
    a virtual key to lock or unlock the door of their room using their phone or tablet;
    an advertisement for a free drink or appetizer at the hotel restaurant, etc.
  6. Gamification
    Hotels always try to make guest vacations more enjoyable and entertaining with amenities such the hotel spa and pool. But hotels could also offer guests both AR and VR games, providing headsets and mobile apps for guests to use while on property. They can be tailored for children or adults and could even offer rewards, such as a free drink or appetizer at the hotel restaurant for completing a level or completing the game.
  7. Convenient Translation Capabilities
    Providing many of these AR/VR services in a variety of languages is one way hotels can break down the language barrier and market to a wider variety of consumer groups. Being able to tour a hotel room or property, view nearby sites and attractions, and play games – all in a guest's native language, could make the difference in whether they book or not.

Bottom line

AR and VR offer huge potential within the hospitality industry. Adding these solutions to your website and/or mobile app can improve your guest engagement in important ways.

 

About the Author

Alexey Kutsenko is the head of digital marketing of DDI Development Company. He is experienced in the development of the marketing strategy for companies in different industries. He knows how to do the right marketing and watches all current marketing trends. Follow Alexey on Linkedin.