Because mobile is undoubtedly here to stay, hoteliers are investing more than ever before into mobile sites or apps for their properties. It may still be difficult for some to see the value of a mobile site for a hotel. They might think that as long as they have a regular website, it can still be opened on a smartphone, and that is enough.
The truth is, the way someone wants to interact with a hotel's website on the phone is different than how that person would interact with the site on a desktop. The number of mobile users is continually growing, and hotels cannot afford to ignore this market. There was a time, many years ago, when hotels didn't think they needed a basic website. Ultimately, they adapted. If hotels apply this same logic to a mobile site, then they need to get one, and soon. So what components should be included in a hotel's mobile website? There are a few key elements to keep in mind.
Navigation should be thought of as mobile-first. Having a responsive website means that you don't need to change the content. You mainly need to focus on adjusting the user interface. The buttons should be made for fingers maneuvering a small screen, as opposed to a mouse on a computer screen.
For easy booking with an ever-growing number of people using mobile to research and book travel, it is essential to have a mobile-optimized reservation system. Missing out on a conversion simply because a mobile site has no way to book a room could be detrimental. At the very minimum, there should be a link to the booking engine provider directly on the site.
There are endless possibilities for integrating social media with a mobile site. There are a lot of interactive capabilities as well. With new geolocation technologies emerging all the time, offering guests specials or deals when they check-in somewhere or are near the property is a great way to entice guests. People may be more encouraged to share their adventures at hotels with their social networks if the hotels themselves are involved in social media as well.
While this may not be a critical component for a mobile site, including mobile-optimized photos, is of course never a bad thing for a hotel to include on its website. Professional photography needs to be invested in at some point, sooner rather than later. Many mobile users are interested in a hotel's images and not incorporating any photos can turn off a potential guest to your property.