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Get to Know the Digital-First Guest


The number of consumers making decisions online is at an all-time high. As behaviors change, companies are scrambling to find ways to meet new expectations. The hospitality industry is no exception.

The digital-first guest has expectations most would find challenging to meet. They value contactless, on-demand experiences and having more control – yet still expect personalization and high-touch service. How could you possibly satisfy those needs? Answer: Technology. Integrated solutions, backed by automated and secure workflows, let travel suppliers and consumers stay connected in the right ways and have a great experience from the start.

To create great experiences, it’s important to know whom you’re sharing the journey with. What does the digital-first guest expect?

A Great First Impression

The more time consumers spend online, the more accustomed they become to instant gratification. According to a study published in Behavior & Information Technology, it takes 0.05 seconds for website visitors to form an opinion about you, so it’s important to get people to the information they want quickly. Designing a website that’s easy to browse is critical – but think about ways to let your guests do more from your website, too. For example, let them book an event from a web form instead of having to contact a sales manager (who can then refocus their efforts on planning a great event).

Mobile Friendliness

It’s no surprise the smartphone is the digital-first guest’s preferred tool for, well, everything. It’s important to create a seamless digital experience from planning to purchasing to arrival. Offer instant online payments and make sure the tech you’re using to capture and process payments is mobile-friendly and secure. Offer contactless check-in, keyless entry, and other amenities powered by mobile devices. With the lack of staff available to guests before, during, and after their visit, more contactless options let you keep up with demand and maintain a high level of service.

A Warm Welcome

The digital-first guest cares about the details, like how easy it is to complete transactions online and if their experience is personalized. They’re also more likely to trust personalized information that’s clear where it’s coming from. Custom-branded interfaces and emails let your guest know what’s being sent from you, and being able to chat with you in real-time (when they want to hear from you, of course) makes them feel well taken care of.

A Safe Experience

While consumers are wary of providing personal information online, they know it’s the modern way of doing business. The digital-first guest wants their privacy respected and information shared securely. Your digital booking, agreement, and payment solutions should of course come with extensive security measures and certifications, but integrating your tech stack is critical, too. Less system hopping and manual data entry lowers your risk and keeps your guests information safe.

The digital-first guest can be hard guest to please, but with the right technology, you’ll be able to give them a great journey across their online and in-person experiences.

Recommended Webinar

Get to know your digital-first guest and exceed expectations every time.

New digital best practices, made possible with reliable and secure technology, give your guests greater control and a better experience without having to rely on your staff. Hear from senior leaders from Sertifi and Infor Hospitality as they discuss new trends that are giving customers around the world a great journey – before they even arrive.

About the author

Mimi McNulty

Mimi McNulty is a Marketing Generalist at Sertifi. While she makes a point to have a pulse on all things Sertifi, Mimi is responsible for the company's social media channels, event coordination, and blog. She also assists with content creation, creative marketing, content strategy, and internal marketing ventures. Mimi is a communication enthusiast with a passion for storytelling and media relations.