We’re the first to admit that in the age of on-demand apps and mobile immersion, the luxury market has been slow on the uptake when it comes to things like mobile sites and integrated apps.
The need for convenient mobile platforms has certainly been on luxury service providers’ minds—after all, seamlessly meeting their customers’ needs is the goal of any luxury brand. However, luxury doesn’t just meet needs, it exceeds them, and creating mobile apps that go far beyond expectations requires more time to develop than on average.
So while it’s true that the recent trend of emerging mobile apps for luxury service providers is a few years behind the initial wave, we think the wait is well worth it. Take, for example, the Four Season’s brand’s announcement this summer that it would launch a mobile app that unites over 90 of its hotel properties under one platform. As one of the leading luxury brands in the world, Four Seasons certainly hasn’t lacked for the resources to develop such an app. However, the ambitious scope of what they envisioned for users required a long-haul approach to development.
The Four Season app is designed to be a global, multi-lingual one-stop-shop for all of guests’ needs throughout their entire experience, including before they even arrive at their hotel. The app not only encompasses room reservations but also check in/check out, luggage pick-up and airport transfers. Guests can also arrange on-site services like room services, dining and spa treatments if they so wish. Furthermore, the app’s scope expands points of interest surrounding the hotel, giving guests personalized recommendations for dining, shopping, cultural pursuits and sight-seeing.
While the Four Seasons app is an exciting step forward, luxury hotel and travel providers still need to catch up—62% of luxury hotel brands lack either a mobile site or an app. However, strides are being made. For example, the Carservice app from Deem (in which EmpireCLS is proud to be included) will allow for both advance booking and real-time ride hailing from NLA-member luxury car service providers from Washington, DC to Los Angeles. Other luxury brands will likely follow suit—not a moment too late nor too soon.