Tag Archives: mobile

Reduce Commerce Friction: Travel and Hospitality

Remove friction from the customer experience, make the sale more likely. We are seeing a trend in travel and hospitality to make transactions and guest experiences hassle-free, higher tech, and less reliant upon hard copies and hard people. Make mobile device use free, experience-enhancing, and rewarding, and incremental revenue-generating for vendors – stay in business.

Travel and hospitality companies that don’t prioritize automation and mobility won’t be here in five years.

You can already see the market for a frictionless, more seamless guest experience in the successful offerings of progressive car rental companies like Silvercarairlines like SurfAirPorter, and Virgin, hotel chains like IHG with the health-themed, wristband-based EVEN Hotels, Marriott with Moxy, etc. Reduce check-in time, reduce waits, reduce error-prone interactions with agents. Move the printed rental contract to the cloud. Take a snooty or busy or bribed human concierge and replace them with an app. Develop culturally sensitive sub-brands focused on different market needs and smarter guest profiling. The obvious fixes abound.
Silvercar homepage screenshot
While I loathe both of these resorts, I should touch on theme parks: Disney and SeaWorld are handling the trend well.
 Disney MagicBand family
Disney World’s MyMagic+ is a billion-dollar tech project that includes hotel and resort-wide WiFi and microchip-embedded wristbands that interact with sensors throughout the park and link to a reservation system to book attractions weeks in advance. Disney’s MagicBands use radio frequency (RF) technology, replacing theme park tickets and hotel room keys with tap and pay technology. MagicBands and Apple Watch (coming early 2015) both remove commerce friction, i.e., the hassle of getting a phone out of a pocket to tap and pay.

SeaWorld’s 7/15/14 app update incorporated a new mobile payments system. Now guests can use the app to pay for gifts, food, and Quick Queue access at the ride instead of paying in advance via desktop or at the front of the park.

SeaWorld iPhone app

But isn’t disconnecting important?

One could argue that the onslaught of offerings like free WiFi and charging stations at amusement parks and resorts only perpetuates the always-on, distracted state of mind from which a true vacation should provide escape, particularly when with family. If you really want a relaxing unplugged escape, however, you shouldn’t be at Disney or SeaWorld. If a parent uses a theme park’s free WiFi and app to decrease time spent waiting in line, to augment reality and amuse the kids, or to enhance the experience by hashtagging an Instagram photo to get a free Lego toy upon exit, everyone wins (guests, park, and brand). Not to mention that having instant communication via mobile can make a family trip more manageable and efficient – as long as you can find a convenient charging station.
What traditional airlines are doing for connectivity – further reading:

 

Fake Online Reviews, Mobile in 2013 and Kindle Fire HD vs. iPad – Episode 11

I. Kindle Fire HD vs. iPad 2 2013 puzzle pieces on smartphone
I am a longtime Apple fan. Listen to my surprising review of my newest device: Kindle Fire HD Tablet. Find out how it measures up against my beloved iPad 2.

II. Mobile in 2013
As we turn the corner into the New Year, we share our predictions for the mobile industry in 2013.

III. Fake Online Reviews

Bogus online reviews are becoming an area of increasing concern as more and more studies reveal just how prevalent they’ve become. We explain how to spot a fake review. Gartner predicts that by 2014, 10-15% of online reviews will be paid for by companies.

Tips on Tap

1. Instaport
How to delete your Instagram account and download your photos: The new Instagram Terms of Use, effective 1/19/13, have many users concerned about how Instagram (and ultimately, its owner, Facebook) can use their photos and data. Whether you want to leave Instagram or not, Instaport is a useful free web app that allows you to download your Instagram photos to a ZIP file. Be prepared for a long wait time during peak hours. Photos will be 612×612 pixels. Export to social networks like Facebook and Flickr is supposedly coming soon.

2. RedLaser
This highly acclaimed app works as a shopping tool that allows you to scan barcodes while shopping to compare costs at nearby locations and online. redlaser.com

3. How to Hide Your Last Name on Foursquare
Effective 1/28/13, Foursquare’s updated privacy policy means that users’ full names will always be displayed. Sometimes Foursquare only shows the first name and last initial, but users found this confusing, according to Foursquare’s announcement email. You can alter your full name in your settings and make your last name an initial (or anything you want).

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Twitstagram, Facebook iOS 6 Privacy Nightmare, and the Internet Down Under – The Digital Dive Podcast Episode 8

This week The Digital Dive Podcast covers new Twitter photo filters, standing desk adventures, and a major privacy issue with Facebook/iOS 6 integration that hit a little too close to home for me. Your favorite digital divers are also thrilled to bring special guest Australian Crime Fiction Publisher Liam Jose on the show. Liam chimes in on Australia’s recent controversial policies regarding Internet censorship.

I. Standing Desk Update – How Melanie used stacks of office supplies to prevent cancer

II. Twitstagram- Twitter to add Instagram-like photo filters in the next few months

III. Australian government tries to censor the Internet

IV. The Facebook / iOS 6 privacy nightmare: We learn the hard way about the amount of information iOS Contacts pulls from Facebook based on mobile number and email address.

Source: Brian Farrington via townhall.com

Special Guest Liam Jose with my co-host Melanie Touchstone

Tips on Tap:

1. Zite: Apple’s #1 iPad news app of 2011 is still pretty great. Zite is “Your Personalized Magazine.” The app automatically learns what kind of articles, blogs, and videos you like and gets smarter as you use it.

2. Instagram spam comments are on the rise. How to delete Instagram comments and report abuse. (Tap the comment button as though you were going to comment. Then tap on the comment. Tap the trash icon that appears to the left.)

3. iOS 6 Ad Tracking: How to Opt Out. By default iOS 6 tracks iPhone and iPad owners’ browsing history to serve advertisements. How adjust your iOS ad tracking settings: Settings –>; General –>; About –>; Advertising. You’ll see Limit Ad Tracking. The default toggle is in the OFF position. That means ad tracking is turned on. If you want to opt out of targeted advertising, switch Limit Ad Tracking to the ON position. Note: Being tracked or not is a personal preference.

Show notes:

  1. The Standing Desk Adventure – Melanie Touchstone. missmelt.com, 11/14/12
  2. Twitter to Add Photo Filters to Compete With Instagram – NYTimes.com, 11/6/12

Can’t get enough of Liam Jose? Check out thecrimefactory.com and follow him on Twitter.

Me and Special Guest Liam Jose in the studio


You can download or stream The Digital Dive at thedigitaldivepodcast.com or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–>; If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review! The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below:
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