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Industry News - August 16th 2014



iPad POS Announces Integrated Loyalty Program And Gift Card Features

At the Retail Solutions Providers Association's RetailNOW2014 conference and expo, Revel Systems Inc., the provider of iPad point-of-sale solutions for restaurant, retail and grocery, highlights the system's latest features for retailers, including loyalty programs and gift card features that are directly integrated into the iPad POS. As part of this push, Revel has also announced a partnership with LoyalTree, creator of the nation's leading mobile-to-POS consumer loyalty solutions. This partnership enables retailers and other business owners to seamlessly integrate LoyalTree directly into Revel's POS system for fast and easy setup for the business owner and ease of use for the consumer.
With more than half of gift card users requiring more than one trip to the store to spend the balance of the card, and the average gift card user spending an extra 20 percent beyond the value of the card, getting these programs up and running should be top of mind for business owners. Business owners that are using Revel's iPad POS system can simply go into the Revel Systems Marketplace to download LoyalTree and other third-party apps in just a few clicks. The system then walks users through an automated set-up that takes just minutes install for users to be able to immediately use the app.
The integration of the loyalty program directly into Revel's iPad POS allows for:
Convenience: Business owners can create and manage reward cards directly from their management console or directly within Revel's iPad app.
Customization: Businesses can include their name and logo, adding a personal touch to the reward program as well as an additional way to advertise the business.
Choice: Revel offers the choices a physical gift card or a "green" option that allows business owners to issue a 10 digit PIN in lieu of a physical gift card.

eNewsletters Prove Effective for Hotels

Lodging Interactive, a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, has recently developed a Fully Managed eNewsletter Service for hotel marketers with limited resources.
Lodging Interactive has developed an eNewsletter service for hotels that uses professional copywriting, creative design, email list management, distribution and analytics reporting to keep email subscribers opted in, interested and excited. Lodging Interactive uses its team of skilled bloggers and copywriters to create a dynamic monthly eNewsletter on behalf of the hotel containing inviting content that past, present and prospective customers will look forward to receiving. A carefully crafted monthly eNewsletter that contains consistent messaging will help build loyalty and revenues.
The Lodging Interactive Fully Managed eNewsletter Service includes:
Email signup widget placed on the hotel's website to build their list
Email list management of unsubscribe requests and de-duping
Uploading and cleansing of the hotel's existing email list
Creative design and development of the eNewsletter
All copywriting and editing
Hotel approval of all eNewsletter drafts prior to sending
Sending of the eNewsletter to the hotel's email lists
24/7/365 web-based email performance reporting portal
Fully-Managed Service
The Lodging Interactive eNewsletter service uploads the hotel's email database into its proprietary servers. The entire process is managed on the hotel's behalf, from content creation to distribution. Lodging Interactive also provides data analytics that hoteliers can use to determine the effectiveness of the eNewsletter program. Data, such as the number of eNewsletters sent and opened, the number of click-throughs on embedded links, the number of people who shared the eNewsletter with someone else, and where it was shared on the social channels, such as Facebook or Twitter, will be provided in the analytical report.

Sabre Launches Consumer Mobile App with Corporate Integration

Sabre, a global travel technology company, is launching TripCase Corporate, the travel industry's first set of integrated corporate features on mobile, designed to improve travel programs for corporations, while also simplifying business travel for employees.
Using TripCase Corporate, travelers can make reservations outside their corporate travel program, and designate when a trip or part of a trip, such as a fight or hotel booking, is for business. This information is then captured and shared with the corporation through an easy-to-read dashboard. This makes it far easier for travelers to manage their itinerary, make new bookings in and out of corporate travel policy, share their business travel plans with their company, and receive relevant in-app messages when traveling – all using one mobile app.
For corporate travel managers, TripCase Corporate will provide a better view of total travel spend, by capturing and analyzing travel data booked outside corporate travel programs. In addition to the data collection and analytics, corporations can send employees customized messages, which help with security, duty of care issues and policy compliance.
TripCase Corporate will be available through Sabre's online booking tool, GetThere, and its resellers, and is one of the first elements of TruTrip, Sabre's newly announced solution that captures travel data across multiple booking sources. 
Sabre has also created a set of development tools that will allow corporations to send information from multiple reservation sources and other types of trip information such as meetings, ground transportation and restaurant reservations into TripCase through a set of APIs.  These same tools will allow corporations to extract information from the TripCase itinerary for custom reporting capabilities.
In addition, TripCase Corporate will allow corporations to:
Simplify the TripCase registration process for employees via an automated corporate-branded sign up process
Deliver ad-free itineraries and documents with company-branded tickets and invoices available in the email, mobile application and website
Use TripCase Connect to send employees important policy information, security notices, safety tips and more while on the road
Prevent data from being shared with third parties
Built on TripCase, the award winning mobile travel management application, TripCase Corporate will be shown next week at the Sabre booth #1527 during the GBTA Conference in San Diego.

toptable App Update Includes Geolocation Services

toptable, the consumer destination site for restaurant bookings in the UK along with its parent company, OpenTable, Inc.  has announced the release of a major update to its free app for Android mobile devices. The new app, which is now available in the Google Play store, provides an enhanced booking experience for diners looking to book the perfect table at approximately 4,000 restaurants across the UK.

The new toptable Android app allows diners to search for available tables nearby using geolocation or in a specified neighbourhood, make an instantly confirmed booking and discover new restaurants through a convenient and easy to navigate design. The new 'Great Tables' feature showcases highly rated restaurants with availability according to the specified search criteria, right on the start screen. Diners may also view mobile optimised menus, browse popular dish photos from Foodspotting and read reviews from other verified toptable diners.
The new toptable app for Android makes it simple for diners to instantly find and make a confirmed restaurant booking with a tap of their phone. The app's geolocation feature makes it easy to find available tables nearby according to a diner's desired date, time and party size. Using the app's refine feature, diners can further filter their search results by location, cuisine, price and special offers. The new app also provides instant access to photos, menus, reviews, maps and directions. toptable members may view upcoming reservations from the app and earn dining points for each booking.
toptable continues to see a growing number of diners booking via mobile devices. During the second quarter of 2014, mobile bookings accounted for 28 percent of toptable diners seated in the UK. The toptable app for Android is part of the company's growing suite of mobile products including apps for iOS, Windows Phone 8 and a mobile optimized site that allow diners to make free restaurant bookings at approximately 4,000 top restaurants in the UK from a smartphone or tablet.

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