When Apple’s App Store was launch on 10th July 2008, it was touted as a marketplace for games and way to increase functionality on a brand-new platform. Fast forward 10 years and Apps have become an essential part of a business’ identity, finding new ways to differentiate your user experience is essential to standing out in the age of ‘app-solute’ convenience.
Hampton by Hilton, among others, are evolving with the trend by incorporating technologies like IoT connected devices into rooms and integrating traditional services to create a one-stop-shop for anything that their customers may need. As such, they are determining services that in the future, customers will come to expect as standard.
Before you even check in, customers are presented with a choice of rooms and the ability to digitally check in rather than queue at reception. The ability to use an app to unlock your door, utilising new internet connected locks, will also help rid staff and customers of the annoyance of losing keys or cards and having to go to reception to get a replacement. Their lighting and heating systems are also controllable from the app to help provide an integrated experience, and even includes features like in-app room service and ordering extra pillows!
Whilst this certainly offers a slicker, streamlined experience for customers, this allows Hilton to make massive efficiency improvements. This will reduce pressure on staff and give them more time per customer to provider better customer service. Not only ca better customer service be provided but they can also save money on heating and lighting as they can all be controlled centrally, so rooms that aren’t in use don’t waste money.
IKEA have taken a different approach and recognised trends in their customer-base, particularly the uptick in home gaming. They are working to offer gaming-specific, customised products like wrist wrests, that take advantage of 3D printing and AR scanning on customers’ phones to offer a cheap-to-manufacture yet highly-bespoke item that represents value for money to their customers.
Nike has also started to utilise the high-resolution cameras on modern smartphones to scan customers’ feet in order to help them choose the right size shoe. This is a perfect example of how app services can help elevate the standard customer experience.
Apple’s amalgamation of online and physical stores is another example of how demand for digital customer journeys are influencing brick and mortar stores, creating a single customer journey that encompasses both the digital and physical world.
These examples prove that, even though your customers may not traditionally use the internet or an app to interact with your products or services, finding ways to combine a customer’s digital experience with their physical journey will become increasingly important as more competitors do the same.