The digital transformation in the hospitality sector during coronavirus

The coronavirus crisis has caused a change in tendencies and consuming habits those whom the hospitality industry has had to adapt.

Interview to Marta Fernández Melgarejo (MFM), CMO of Netipbox Technologies by Isabel Fernández, of the magazine “Equipamiento Hostelero” (EH).

EH: What importance does the digital signage have in a hotel establishment?
MFM: The digital transformation has arrived hardly in all industries. The hospitality world is not indifferent to wave of technological changes that come with endless possibilities for the sector’s companies, that has to re-invert daily in this digitalization process to improve the competitiveness and the client experience.

Moving really in a new digitalized hotel space, today means much more that putting a few screens on the walls. The transformation in the technological area and the generational changes have transformed the consumer, that looks for maximum interaction with all the products and services that consumes and demands completely personalized solutions. In this context, the intelligent digital signage start to play an important role in the digital transformation of the hospitality sector, given that it enables us to give information to the consumer with the audio visual capabilities, which are much more attractive for the public, with the possibility of controlling the messages we send at each point, thanks to the connectivity.

EH: How to do you recommend planning the hotels signage project?
MFM: At Netipbox, we work the digitalization project from our omnichannel platform  with an ecosystem of interconnected channels, different points of contacts with the brand that guides them along the Customer Journey. This way, we have an entrance channel or reception, where we will manage the ques check-in and check-out, at the points of information or interactive publicity about the services they offer to entertain during the waiting time that increase the cross-selling, up to a point of personalizing the message thanks to the possibility to compile client information and send personalized messages through gaming, surveys or interactive promotions.

After, we have the channel for spaces or common areas, where we will also hang signage and digital directories that will indicate the rooms location, restaurant, interest areas or even what we call “art in the wall”: from video walls in the lobby’s or corridors, to small screens in the lifts that, by their flexible nature can create temporal exhibitions, turn their walls into a specific environment (WOW effect!) and change the appearance of the space with the desired frequency.

For other common areas like the restaurant, gym, the pool etc... both the occupancy managed, and the product publicity can be managed to increase the cross-selling. The rooms channel is also very interesting, given that it is a very private area, where you can offer from massages, to personalized welcome messages, social network feeds, or the latest news etc... even the YouTube or Netflix video reproduction through the IP channel. Finally, the checkout channel can provide an immediate feedback and points of improvements through surveys done to the clients, either by interactive kiosks or directly sending it to their smartphones.

EH: What type of signage is there for hotels? Which one would you recommend for each space?
MFM: The possibilities of digital signage are unlimited for the hotels establishments: from interactive points of information, passing through digital window shops, self-service auto kiosks, menu boards, structured or anamorphic videowalls or even contents via smartphone; all the devices are capable of serving as a communication and/or interaction between the establishment and the clients, placing them strategically in the lobbies, lifts, rooms, entrances and exits, corridor, conferences room, restaurants and cafeterias, space events etc. Through them, the hotel can send messages that are completely personalized for each and one of their hosts, communicating events, make cross-selling or manage occupancy, through a real time update.

EH: Has the technology been imposed to the sector?
MFM: Until now, the hotel establishments with some digital communication strategy that took advantage of their existent screens (room televisions, lobby monitors or the restaurant etc) were considered as innovators. Then the digital innovation came, the competence started to be up to date and the new players do not conceive a hotel establishment without digital strategy. Hotels should not focus merly on the sale of the room, but to sell personalized experiences to and for their clients. Nowadays, the digitalization in the hotel sector is not an option is a necessity. According to internal data of Netipbox, the digital communication imporves the impact and the engagement of the clients in more than a 300%, recovering their investment (ROI) in less than 12 months.

EH: What signage is mandatory by law?
MFM: By law, the only signage is the one oriented to the prevention and keep the safety, that is to say, the emergency and accessibility. To do so, its necessary that the hotel counts with a good security plan to prevent the fires and evacuation and that all the signage is always visible. But all of this refers to static signage, given that there is no regulation for the digital signage. In relation to the security, the digital signage has a very interesting function that can be very helpful in emergency situations: the capacity to synchronize all the contents and communicate at the same time the security measures, with real time updates, making use of the screens in alarming situations to indicate the emergency exits. In cases of emergency like a fire or dangerous climate conditions, the digital screens of all the complex, by being connected and managed with a central system, can release details about where the hosts need to go, what they have to do, how they can get the resources they need, etc..

EH: What are the latest developments? How has Covid affected these products?
MFM: Most of the sector developments have come in hand with the Covid, and this digitalization advances come to stay. Today, we are at a point, were with the natural dynamics, it would have taken years to achieve, givent hat for most of the sectos the digitlalization has passed to be a priority to become an obligation. For example, at netipbox technologies, we have launched a package of 12 solutions for the digital transformation, to face Covid-19 in physical spaces, especially for the hotel sector, granting this way a safer environment for clients and employees. This solutions package integrates, ready to be installed and with tailored financing, including digital window shops to communicate the security measures, entrance and exit controls, capacity in the different establishments, contactless queue manager, hand sanitizer dispenser with movement sensors and even certified air purifiers to reduce the Covid-19 particles in the air.

See the whole article at: Hotel Equipment


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