Messengers or official aps
Most of you are very likely to use mobile apps to search for last minute travel offers, to book tickets or hotel rooms. How many of such apps do you have on your phone? Definitely, at least five. And if your favorite hotel releases a separate app, will you download it as well? And later, will you update it, re-install it, watch out for new upcoming features and so on?
WeChat has made it simple: your account is the key to easy hotel booking. There are several advantages for this messenger’s users, such as discounts, coupons, and nice bonuses. You don’t believe in that?
WeChat: both for hotels and for the guests
Obviously, in our daily turmoil the ease of using a hotel booking application is very handy. Especially when you can go through all the options, discounts, bonus services and read some actual comments.
Some hotels provide WeChat users with exclusive rights to choose a top-notch room at a low price, arrange a free transfer from the airport, have a late check-out or pay for the room using the app.
WeChat offers advantages for businesses too. A very convenient option that lets you create an official account in the chat app and take orders right there. Free marketing, an opportunity to solve upcoming conflicts fast, and improving your image by means of word of mouth are also worth mentioning. There is a Shake function in WeChat to do that with, it can connect you with any other user. Friendship with your customers ensures you a second sale.
Remember that registration to accept payments is very convenient both for messenger users and for businesses – you just have to apply for WeChat API Payments. There is also a rumour about possible release of club cards; these are separate accounts for money transactions to pay for hotel services.
Are WeChat and hotel business doing well?
Reps of China Lodging Group (Huazhu) hotel group say that from the total number of sales last year 40% came from mobile apps, and only 0.4% specifically from WeChat. The messenger team hopes to increase sales up to 3% by 2017.
The hotel group has spotted another disadvantage – the limit of characters when typing a message to customers and a restriction on some promotion instruments.
For now, it is hard to tell whether the outcome of this WeChat project will improve. But so far, there is no other app to compare it with.