What’s the most coveted real estate in the hospitality industry? Well, it’s no longer measured in acres, but pixels. Hotel operators are vying for screen time on guests’ mobile devices, with priority being given to digital platforms that load quickly, offer valuable services and are user-friendly.  

Progressive web apps (PWAs) can meet all these requirements cost-efficiently and with ease. As a hybrid of a website and an app, a PWA brings together the advantages of both.

 So, how are progressive web apps different?

A progressive web app is a web page that has the functionalities of an app. Hotel guest-engagement platforms that are powered by Hudini, for example, can be accessed either as a PWA or a native app. In the case of a PWA, guests can use any browser to access the platform and perform a variety of tasks before, during and even after their hotel stay. These include checking-in online, ordering room service, streaming their favorite content on the in-room TV, scheduling housekeeping, making reservations and providing feedback.

PWAs are built differently from regular webpages using advanced application programming interfaces (APIs). While they are indexed for SEO, they have numerous features that are comparable to apps – they’re GPS-enabled, available offline and linked to push notifications.

From retail to F&B to hospitality, businesses have been quick to offer customers the choice of downloading their native app or accessing their offerings via PWAs, which don’t have to be downloaded. This gives customers more choice and convenience while engaging with businesses; the payoff for businesses, meanwhile, is that they get deeper insights into consumer behavior and can offer seamless experiences, no matter which digital interface customers prefer.

PWAs for hotel check-ins

While PWAs such as the Hudini platform can be used throughout the guest journey, the most critical touchpoint remains the check-in process. A study by Skift found that 73% of guests expect hotels to offer self-service technology such as contactless check-ins. Here’s why a PWA is the ideal tool with which to address their needs.

  1. Excellent user experience: PWAs don’t have to be downloaded and don’t take up much storage space on the guest’s mobile device; yet, they function like an app. This means easier navigation and a sophisticated UI. The design is responsive, so the guest will experience the same user-friendly interface irrespective of the device she is using.
  2. Offline access: PWAs cache essential information, so that the basic version of the web app is available even when an internet connection isn’t. This could be crucial for international travelers, who don’t always have uninterrupted access to the internet.
  3. Shorter load times: Research has found that users abandon web pages that take longer than 3 seconds to load. The average load time for a PWA is 2.75 seconds, roughly eight times faster than a mobile landing page. This can speed up the check-in process and make the guest more inclined towards trying out the other services that the PWA offers.
  4. Better engagement and conversions: Google has found that PWAs boost engagement by 137% and the number of sessions accessed via mobile by 80%. Businesses that offered PWAs also saw an uptick in conversions by 52%. Hotels that utilize a PWA for check-ins can leverage its high engagement and efficiency to suggest timely upgrades and personalized offers through the web app.
  5. Updates and notifications: PWAs can be synced to the hotel’s property management and housekeeping systems, so that guests can receive notifications as soon as their rooms are ready. Other updates such as events at the hotel and special F&B offers can also be showcased on the web app, improving both guest experience and hotel revenue.
  6. Device and API integrations: PWAs can be linked to cameras on mobile devices to scan documents and for facial recognition, making the check-in process more efficient and secure. The functionalities of PWAs can also be expanded by integrating other APIs. The Hudini PWA and native app feature 100+ integrations, making everything from check-in and room controls to reservations more seamless. For check-ins alone, we’ve partnered with companies that streamline reservation management, ERP and business intelligence for hotels.
  7. Customization: When guests are checking-in using the hotel’s PWA, they can select the type of room, specify dietary preferences and make special requests. Staff can use this information to further refine the stay, making guests feel that they’re enjoying a curated experience.