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Global Study: Millennials Mobile Use Reshaping Hospitality Industry

OHOSPNew report from Oracle Hospitality – Millennials and Hospitality: The Redefinition of Service – highlights the ways in which hospitality operators need to adapt their services to meet the individual needs of millennials.

More than 9,000 millennials from around the world discussed their use of technology in hotels, restaurants, bars and coffee shops in a groundbreaking survey that quantifies the impact mobile devices are having on hospitality.

Demonstrating, in some cases, that mobile use is pervasive and reshaping the industry, key findings from Millennials and Hospitality: The Redefinition of Service include: 39% have already ordered delivery or take-out using their smartphones, and 20% have used a mobile device to check-in at a hotel.

“Mobile is very much here and happening in hospitality,” said Ray Carlin, Vice President of Solution and Strategy Management at Oracle Hospitality, which commissioned the global study. The results underscore how technology is altering consumer expectation and presenting hospitality operators with an unprecedented opportunity to win millennials’ business.

“It will require a redefinition of service – one that offers millennials tremendous choice, speed and personalization based on their individual preferences,” Carlin said. “Providing such tailored service not only means accommodating consumers’ use of smartphones, but for operators to leverage their own mobile devices to better serve them.”

Among the report’s other major findings:
Loyalty is a priority for food and beverage: 52% of millennials want to use their mobile devices to take advantage of loyalty programs offered by restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Millennials want to be acknowledged, with personalized rewards that reflect their individual preferences. For the operator, this offers huge potential in collecting invaluable data about customer behavior and delivering targeted promotions to drive order value and revenues.

Hotels face a mobile frontier: Make no mistake – millennials in every country are already using their mobile devices to conduct core functions with hotels. Among the findings: 20% had checked into a hotel using their mobile, while 46% had booked a hotel room through similar means. Only 12% had ordered room service by smartphone, yet room service was the number one request when millennials were asked how else technology could improve their stay.

Gaps exist between desire and ability: In several instances, millennials’ desire for mobile-driven activities and their actual experience using them varied significantly. For example, only 29% of U.S. millennials reported already having paid with a mobile device, but 44% expressed a desire to do so – suggesting an opportunity to grow business by meeting demand.

Geography makes a difference: Many similarities exist among millennials around the world, but behavior and preferences also vary greatly by geography and culture. Japanese millennials, for example, were surprisingly less likely to use their smartphones in hotels or restaurants – only 19% wanted to pay for food or drink by mobile device.

Voices need to be heard: When evaluating hospitality employers’ use of technology, more than one third (36%) of millennials who had worked in the industry said that there was much room for improvement. Interestingly, only 15% said their employers solicited their suggestions for improving technology use.

Not all mobile devices are equal: Millennials, no surprise, can’t part ways with their smartphones – 87% of survey respondents said they use one daily. The Apple Watch is already being used by 10% of UK millennials. But other devices are used less than perhaps expected: only 37% reported using iPads and tablets daily.

Carlin continued: “The other significant finding is that the demand for ordering and paying by smartphone is not universal – there are plenty of millennials that still want personal service when they’re in a hotel or a restaurant. Our job is to help operators adapt and define how technology supports a personalized, flexible service offering.”
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The report is available at www.oracle.com/hospitality-millennials

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