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Many hospitality brands say they focus on digital, but not many are digital first. There’s a big difference. But realising that and implementing the change necessary to achieve it, to achieve the digital future your business needs to not just survive but thrive, it can feel like a lot, especially when it requires both organisational change and real investment. However, putting it off can’t be an option either.

To help convince you a little further, here’s four key reasons why you must ready your business for your digital future, and steps on how to approach it.

1. Your customers expect you to be digital first

Simply, your customers expect nothing less than your brand being digital first. Because they are. They’re digital by nature and not by adoption anymore, they expect brands to be present on the channels they are, they expect to discover and interact with brands quickly, and seamlessly. Speed and convenience play a huge role in their purchase habits, and while they’re quick to go elsewhere if their expectations are not being met, they’re also willing to be loyal and advocate for brands that do deliver.

2. Because extreme hesitancy around Covid could be stifling

Covid has caused so much uncertainty within this hospitality industry over the past few years, and quite frankly it still is. With repeated lockdowns and different safety measures needing to be implemented, the speed at which brands have had to react and adapt (and how they react), has challenged most like never before.

But while Covid continues to cause disruption, many brands are getting better equipped and used to the constant change. Many are using this time to their advantage, Covid being the catalyst to digitally transform their business and implement technologies that will support and bolster their revenue streams here on in. However, there are still hospitality brands out there being more cautious around Covid. And don’t get us wrong, it is hard and frustrating dealing with all the implications of the pandemic, but if you wait too long or are a bit too hesitant in proceeding with any real investment or innovation until you have more certainty (which may never come), you may find it’s harder to catch up when you are ready.

3. You need to keep up with your competitors

Your competitors are investing in their digital futures, which puts the pressure on your brand also to do the same. Now, that’s not to say you need to do what your competitors are doing, but to retain a competitive advantage, you need to strategically decide what digital adoption is needed to help your specific business goals. Implementing kiosks for example may make sense for a competitor but if the physical space of your locations is less, perhaps you want to optimise the space for more kitchen space and lower implementation costs, then perhaps Skip the Queue ordering is more logical.

4. You need to future-proof your business

What hospitality looks like in 5 years from now, 10 years, who knows. Things are changing at pace. And it is this pace which is driving the need for brands to think about the future now (if not yesterday). Your brand needs to be laying the foundations for what’s to come as soon as possible, able to react, pivot and implement any number of future technologies quickly in order to continue to capture your customers’ attention.

Where to start in your digital transformation journey

Digital transformation can mean different things to different people, but really it’s just building out your technology roadmap and taking the steps you need as a business to get there.

Here are our key recommendations of where to start when thinking about adopting digital technologies across your brand:

  • Take stock of where you are now and where you want to go. As mentioned it’s about figuring out what should be the strategic focusses and priorities for your business in both the short and long term.
  • Align your business around your goals. Make sure you engage and communicate with your business and get key stakeholders, be it leadership team, franchisees, etc, on board early. The more this happens, the easier and quicker it will be to get buy-in throughout your transformation and get the wider business implementing the technology.
  • Iterate your way to success. You don’t have to take a big bang approach to your transformation, you can look to iterate, taking one step at a time towards your goals. By doing it this way, you also get to test and learn more along the way.

Your journey doesn’t have to be solo one

Regardless of the why, it’s time for hospitality brands to forge their way to their digital future. Kick-starting that process doesn’t have to be something you do alone with industry experts and partners like MOBI able to guide and help you along the way. If you’d like to learn more about how MOBI can help you implement and adopt digital technologies suited to your brand, then get in touch with the team today.

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