The recent eruption of smartphones and tablets over the last several years has greatly changed the playing field in the hospitality industry. Modern travelers are quickly becoming digitally empowered by the large amount of digital innovations available to them. Thus, causing a dynamic shift in online user behavior and a growing use of mobile phones and tablets for travel planning and booking. As a matter of fact, 13% of overall bookings come from mobile, with the percentage forecasted to steadily increase over time. It is absolutely necessary for hotels in this day and age to implement mobile into their marketing strategy in order to competitively stay in business. Where should hoteliers start to entice constantly connected travelers? They must first focus on improving their online presence across all three screens to provide the best user experience on each digital device (desktop, mobile, and tablet).
According to Google statistics, 46% of travelers use multiple devices for travel planning. Due to the fact that travelers are becoming more technology savvy, it is important for hoteliers to ensure that their property can be easily found online and across all digital platforms. Mobile is the largest growing trend, with 47% of travelers starting their travel planning on their smartphone. In order to appeal to mobile users, it is pivotal to deliver a seamless mobile experience that makes it easy for potential customers to explore and search your property for pricing and availability through all of your digital platforms.
In line with Google’s research, mobile has become a common application for last minute booking. In fact, 88% of mobile users book within the same day that they researched online. Additional statistics add that 49% of research that started on a smartphone ultimately resulted in a booking. Furthermore, 58% of travel research started on a tablet also resulted in a booking. Therefore, smart hoteliers must leverage a “click-to-call” functionality to make it easier for customers to book across every marketing channel. It is important to prioritize and provide a mobile experience that makes it easy and convenient for mobile users to complete the booking process. Because 1 in 3 mobile searches have local intent, it is beneficial to geo-target locations around or near your hotel property to broaden your reach to new customers and maximize the number of new walk-in customers to your property.
It’s not a surprise that 87% of travelers use their mobile phones to look for things to do local to their hotel. Due to this large percentage, it is essential to make sure all on-property assets, such as restaurants and attractions, can be found online. Hoteliers must optimize their mobile site so that it contains the functionality to explore, make a call, and book on the mobile website. For hoteliers that wish to go above and beyond to impress their customers, they are encouraged to build a guest companion app that also makes it easy for travelers to book with their hotel. The utilization and refining of all three screens will undoubtedly reach large segments of consumers, thereby exposing your hotel to the opportunity for greater revenue.
Internet usage on mobile is forecasted to overtake desktop computers by the end of this year. Therefore, it is of absolute importance for hotels to engage in online marketing across all devices to capture digitally empowered consumers. Mobile usage is well on its way to dominate consumers’ online behavior in the future; will you be able to meet them halfway through?