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Guestcentric Systems, SA
GuestCentric is the all-in-one hotel digital marketing solution: website design, social & mobile marketing, booking engine and channel managements.

Six changes in hotel mobile design for huge mobile screens

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Mobile devices have significantly grown in importance in the travel industry. From planning a trip to actually booking hotels and flights, tablets and smartphones are assuming PCs’ functions and becoming travellers’ personal assistants.

eMarketer’s latest forecast of digital and mobile travel researching and booking, predicts that 2015 will be a defining year for mobile. According to this latest study, 47% of all 2015 online travel research will be via mobile devices. PhoCusWright U.S. Online Travel Overview Thirteenth Edition report expects mobile travel bookings in the US to reach $39.5 billion by 2015.

Besides the changes in how people use their mobile device, we’re also seeing changes in the devices themselves. Smartphones are taking over from tablets as the main mobile experience.

According to eMarketer, 9 in 10 mobile searches will be done on smartphones instead of tablets in the next year. And according to Adobe’s 2014 Mobile Benchmark Report, browsing in tablets has flattened, as consumers prefer to browse more on bigger screen phones. In fact, as noted by TechCrunch, users of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are spending more time reading on their phones even when they own and use an iPad.

The era of huge screens

Before 2011, almost every phone in market had screens between 2.5” and 4”. Since 2013, 4” phones have nearly disappeared and we are now entering the era of huge telephone screens.

The most popular Android phones in the market (including the Samsung Galaxy series, the HTC One and the Nokia Lumia), have all increased their screen sizes over the years. Even Apple, that once said its 4” iPhone 5 screen was a “dazzling display of common sense”, has surrendered to this trend releasing the 4.7” iPhone 6 and the 5.5” iPhone Plus.

These new devices are called phablets; defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a “smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer”. The increasing popularity of these devices indicates that bigger displays phones are going to be universal.

For those designing apps, responsive websites and mobile websites for hotels, it is a major aspect to consider when conceiving these products.

Six changes in hotel mobile website design for huge mobile screens

1. More space equals more design options

The first – and obvious – change is that designers will have more screen space to work with. Hotels will have more space to fit useful information about the property, whether it is text or images. The new screen sizes will allow more variety in design, with strategically placed content, instead of template-alike design.

The larger screens allow the design to be less squeezed in the display, so the websites will have a clean and better look that will engage users with the hotel brand.

2. Better booking experience

The bigger amount of space available in the new phone models will also impact on the booking experience by offering consumers a more ordered and noiseless experience.

On top of that, the increased screens allow the links to have a more efficient spacing, making them easier to click and providing a more functional user experience.

Also, as users will have more content displayed on the screen, the hotels will have the chance to show more special deals and additional services along the booking engine.

3. Decreased thumb zone

A study by mobile expert Steve Hoober suggest that the most common way people hold their phones is one handed, using the thumb for most of the interactions.

So, as the phones screen stretch up, the thumbzones – areas where it is easier to use the thumbs to tap the screen – decrease. In terms of design it means that the fundamental information about the hotel and the links that the hotelier want customers to follow, such as “book now” buttons or promotion links should be within the thumbzone area.

Putting the important information on this area will make the booking process more impelling as the information is literally at the users’ fingertips.

4. High quality images and graphics

Bigger sizes mean better resolutions! High definition displays are becoming even clearer, providing hotel websites with the opportunity to show an immersive look and feel of the property with crisper images and multimedia content.

This feature also requires special attention in double-checking images on current websites. Hotels with poor quality images on their websites can be exposed by bigger screen phones, that’s why is important to have updated images.

5. Impacts on the website loading time

While having high-resolution images improve the website quality, it can also have big impacts on the loading time, which is one of major factors to page abandonment.

In hotel industry, a fast-loading site can determine if guests will book with one hotel or with its competitor. So, when uploading photos on the hotel mobile website it’s important to find the perfect balance between the quality and the time the images take to load. It will certainly pay in future.

6. Emphasis on text

Larger screens are great for those who like to read on the go, as users don’t have to put the phone to close of the face or adjust the text size all the time. And with tools like “Readers Mode” a website can be slimmed down to basic text and image.

When developing a responsive website or a mobile optimized website, designers will have to pay special attention to text in a way to set it precisely for readability in bigger screen phones.

Conclusion

Bigger screen phones cannot be treated as bigger versions of 4” phones. They have their own characteristics that require changes in the way the websites are conceived. With special emphasis on size and resolution, these new phones allow hotels to have better websites that can really engage users.

By making some adjustments on the user experience on bigger screen phones, hoteliers can take fully advantage of the new features these devices offer and maximize their customers’ reach and increase bookings through phones.

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New User Roles

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

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Our customers “make a wish” and we make it real! This new feature is the result of your requests.

Now it’s possible to create Users Roles and restrict access of users on certain areas of GuestCentric platform. The Users Roles can be set on from System menu, in the Setup area. There you will find the five default Users Roles created:

  • Administrator
  • Reservations
  • Revenue User
  • Social Media
  • Website User

All roles can be edited and changed, except the Administration role that has access to all areas of GuestCentric platform.

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South Beach Group selects GuestCentric as its booking engine provider for 15 hotels

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

GuestCentric’s seamless integration with Siteminder was a decisive factor for the partnership

SAN DIEGO, CA, 13 January 2015 – GuestCentric, the leading provider of cloud-based digital marketing software for hotels, announced today that the South Beach Group has chosen GuestCentric as their booking engine provider for all their 15 properties. The new booking engine will enable the South Beach Group hotels to provide guests with a unique shopping experience wherever they may be: online, mobile or social networks.

The South Beach Group boasts 15 hotels in the heart of Miami Beach and selected GuestCentric for its market-leading capabilities such as user-friendly booking engine; social marketing tools; mobile optimized booking engine; extensive reporting and analytics; easy-to-use content management system; and especially for its seamless integration with Siteminder.

“GuestCentric was a perfect fit for our needs and we are delighted by its services. Their unique software will help us improve our efficiency and our ability to respond to market demand changes”, said Lauren Koston, Online Image and E-Commerce Director of the South Beach Group. “We couldn’t believe how quickly our free trial was deployed; it took only seven days since our first contact with GuestCentric to having the complete system up and running, integrated with Siteminder and generating direct bookings at one of our properties. Once it was running, we were convinced GuestCentric was the right solution for us ”.

GuestCentric recently opened its San Diego office, their second in the U.S., and the partnership with the South Beach Group reinforces the company’s growth in the North American market and the increasing demand for GuestCentric’s digital marketing software that helps hotels protect their brands, drive direct bookings and connect to their customers on all digital platforms.

“We are very excited to provide the South Beach Group hotels with the best possible booking experience through this partnership,” said Pedro Colaco, CEO of GuestCentric. “With GuestCentric, the South Beach Group will be able to increase their online revenue by converting website and social traffic into direct bookings. They will also be able to run its operations in a more efficient way, saving more time to offer their guests a memorable experience”.

About GuestCentric

GuestCentric is a leading provider of cloud-based digital marketing software that helps hoteliers protect their brands, drive bookings and connect to their customers and on all digital platforms. GuestCentric’s all-in-one platform provides hoteliers with award-winning responsive web sites for mobile, tablets and desktops; a user-friendly booking engine; a social marketing module to publish deals on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks; and a channel manager to offer rooms on Booking, Expedia, TripAdvisor and hundreds of other channels.

GuestCentric has operations in New York, San Diego, London, Barcelona and Lisbon and is a proud partner of hotels that are part of collections like Design Hotels, Small Luxury Hotels, Leading Hotels of the World and Relais & Chateaux.

For more information, please visit www.guestcentric.com

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New Cookie Warning Gadget

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

New_Cookie_Warning_Gadget_GuestCentricAt GuestCentric we are always working to improve the security and transparency between you and your customers. With this new feature you are now able to display a warning cookie message on your hotel website and booking engine.

The new messages can be set from Policies in the Administration setup. After placing your message, you just have to activate it on the website and/or booking engine and publish the website. Simple as that!

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New Booking Engine Analytics

Friday, November 28th, 2014

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Knowing and understanding your customers is fundamental when making the right decisions. GuestCentric just launched a new feature that will enable you to learn more about your website’s visitors. Now you can track the analytics of browsers, bookers, number of searches, revenue and more on the Booking Engine.

These new reports can be found in the Dashboard left navigation, all with a “Per stay” and a “Per Booking Date” analytics.

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GuestCentric CEO to speak at the BTO 2014 Conference

Monday, November 24th, 2014

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Pedro Colaco will discuss the strategic vision of TripAdvisor in the Metasearch field

GuestCentric, the leading provider of cloud-based digital marketing software, is glad to announce that Pedro Colaco, CEO of GuestCentric, will speak at the Buy Tourism Online (BTO) 2014 Conference in Florence, Italy, on December 2.

Pedro Colaco will conduct a special Q&A interview with Helena Egan, Director of Industry Relations at TripAdvisor, where they will discuss strategies for hotels on Metasearch and TripAdvisor’s predictions and vision for the next years.

BTO is dedicated to travel 2.0 and will explore tools that help tour operators, marketing experts and public administrators to promote their brands on the Internet, such as Big Data, Social Media and Mobile strategies, Werable Technologies, Storytelling in travel and Metasearch.

For more information visit the BTO official website.

When: December 2 2014, 11:20 – 12:00 GMT Time
Where: Fortezza da Basso, 50129 Firenze, Italy

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GuestCentric establishes second U.S. office in San Diego

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

The new office is a response to an increased number of customers in Southern California

SAN DIEGO, CA, 04 November 2014 – GuestCentric, the leading provider of cloud-based digital marketing software, continues it rapid expansion and announced today the launch of its San Diego office, the second in the U.S. The San Diego office marks GuestCentric expansion to the West Coast and will complement the operations of the New York office and European offices in London, United Kingdom; Barcelona, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal.

The opening of GuestCentric’s office in San Diego has been driven by its significant growth in Southern California, namely in the Los Angeles, San Diego and Palm Springs areas; and increasing regional demand for GuestCentric’s digital marketing software that helps hotels protect their brands, drive direct bookings and connect to their customers on all digital platforms.

“Our Visit Palm Springs website is focused on generating direct reservations for our 60 member hotels. GuestCentric’s user-friendly digital marketing system aligned perfectly with our vision of providing simple booking mechanisms and social marketing tools to publish deals on Facebook and Twitter,” said Mary Jo Ginther, Director of Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism. “We are delighted with the great service they provide for our listed hotels. GuestCentric has an unbeatable value proposition for hoteliers that want to simplify the daily work and have full control over their direct reservations.”

GuestCentric’s cloud-based software is used by thousands of properties in over 30 countries and its adoption in Southern California is expected to accelerate rapidly, following the opening of GuestCentric’s San Diego office. Besides accommodating GuestCentric’s growth and future expansion plans, the new space will allow the company to better serve local customers and unleash new business development opportunities within Southern California.

“We are truly excited to announce the opening of the San Diego office. The expansion of our presence in the U.S. is an extraordinary milestone for GuestCentric and the recognition of our capabilities and expertise in digital marketing for hotels,” said Pedro Colaco, CEO of GuestCentric. “We have been very successful in bringing our market-leading solution to California from New York. Our new San Diego office enables us to work closely with our local customers and strengthens our foothold in the West Coast market. GuestCentric’s team is thrilled about the growth the company is experiencing and this move allows us to consolidate the success we achieved.”

About GuestCentric

GuestCentric is a leading provider of cloud-based digital marketing software that helps hoteliers protect their brands, drive bookings and connect to their customers and on all digital platforms. GuestCentric’s all-in-one platform provides hoteliers with award-winning responsive web sites for mobile, tablets and desktops; a user-friendly booking engine; a social marketing module to publish deals on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks; and a channel manager to offer rooms on Booking, Expedia, TripAdvisor and hundreds of other channels.

GuestCentric has operations in New York, San Diego, London, Barcelona and Lisbon and is a proud partner of hotels that are part of collections like Design Hotels, Small Luxury Hotels, Leading Hotels of the World and Relais & Chateaux.

For more information, please visit www.guestcentric.com

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Improvements in Tag Manager and Analytics

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

TagManager_GuestCentric

We have amazing changes that will provide your hotel analytics with more complete and accurate information about campaigns, goals and ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics.

In order to improve the tracking, the Tag Manager and Analytics accounts setup has been changed. To see how the setup works now, please visit GuestCentric Support Page.

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Bigger and bolder images for your website

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

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Make your hotel website stand out with stunning images!

Our last feature allowed you to have custom image sizes on the Rooms and Promotions page. This week we present you a new feature that will enable the thumbnails to match the size of the actual image.

Contact your ecommerce manager today and find out how you can turn your website into a dazzling experience.

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GuestCentric proves Software can deliver award-winning websites

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

High-end properties embracing agile software instead of project-based design work

SAN DIEGO, CA, 01 October 2014 – GuestCentric, a leading provider of cloud-based digital marketing software today announced that its software-generated website designs have won over 60 international innovation and design awards like Adrian Awards, Davey Awards, Hermes Creativity Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, IMA Awards, International Business Awards, W3 Awards and WebAwards.

The software-based transformation that Marc Andreessen pointed out a few years ago is sweeping the hospitality industry, and software companies like GuestCentric are taking over from design agencies when it comes to developing hotel websites. Hundreds of high-end hotels like The Wood Norton (England), Demetria (Argentina), El Palauet (Spain), Chateau Eza (France), Areias do Seixo (Portugal) are showing that they would rather work with software that adapts to user preferences and would rather avoid design agencies that may overcharge for custom-built websites that become obsolete quickly.

“When I was first presented with GuestCentric’s solution, I was skeptical. I thought that you should not mix software with high end web design.” Said David Gonzalez, Director of Sales at the Gran Hotel Son Net, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. “With GuestCentric I realized that design software has made a quantum leap. GuestCentric was able to provide us with the best of both worlds: its software created an amazing web experience that really highlights what guests experience at our property.”

Contrary to what many may think, hotel software companies like GuestCentric do not provide design templates. GuestCentric’s software creates tailored design solutions that have award-wining quality at incredible speed: all 60+ award-winning websites were created and deployed under three weeks. In addition, the Software as a Service model enables hoteliers to change their website and respond to the latest technology and user trends without having to rely on never-ending projects.

“With GuestCentric we got an award winning and sales-oriented website in only three weeks. And we can change it whenever we want, without having to develop a whole new design project.” Said Steven Sweeny, General Manager at the Wood Norton. “GuestCentric’s solution is unbeatable in terms of time and cost, but, most importantly, its agile and adapts as the needs of end-users change. It is the web design solution that fits perfectly premium hotels focused on a sophisticated clientele.”

With a balanced combination of great looking design, engaging display of content and user-friendly navigation, GuestCentric executes web experiences that draw customers’ attention and drive conversions for hotels and provides hoteliers full control and independence to change content, create new pages, highlight special offers or events, etc.

“Cloud software can provide hotels with everything they need for digital marketing success, including award-winning hotel website design that translates into more bookings.” said Pedro Colaco, CEO of GuestCentric. “We are honored by the awards that GuestCentric has received to date. It shows how much our software is ahead of the competition and that great cloud software is a real alternative to traditional web design agencies.”

About GuestCentric

GuestCentric is a leading provider of cloud-based digital marketing software that helps hoteliers protect their brands, drive bookings and connect to their customers and on all digital platforms.  GuestCentric’s all-in-one platform provides hoteliers with award-winning responsive web sites for mobile, tablets and desktops; a user-friendly booking engine; a social marketing module to publish deals on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks; and a channel manager to offer rooms on Booking, Expedia, TripAdvisor and hundreds of other channels.

GuestCentric has operations in New York, San Diego, London, Barcelona and Lisbon and is a proud partner of hotels that are part of collections like Design Hotels, Small Luxury Hotels, Leading Hotels of the World and Relais & Chateaux.

For additional information, visit www.guestcentric.com

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