The immense opportunity and benefits of having a mobile platform is becoming a huge reality in the hospitality industry today. According to a 2014 study from Google, 13% of online travel booking revenue is now coming from mobile, with an ongoing growth of 116% year over year. With the continued growth of mobile use, it is inevitable that desktop use is on the decline for travel planning and booking. According to a comparison study of Q1 2014 and Q1 2013 on visitor traffic, the numbers show that hotel website visitors to desktop websites declined by approximately 10%, while visitors on mobile websites grew by nearly 35%. Based on these mobile trends in the hospitality industry, It is extremely important for hoteliers to integrate their business into the mobile domain in order to remain competitive. Hotels must find creative ways to reach, and engage, guests through their mobile devices to not only stay top of mind, but to create more opportunities for additional revenues.
For starters, it is absolutely critical for hotels to have a mobile-optimized website in order to reach the large segment of on-the-go travelers. After many years of conducting studies and analyses, experts have determined that mobile users generally require short, straightforward information on mobile websites. The most valuable information for users in regards to a hotel’s mobile website is generally the hotel location, maps and directions, an easy to use booking engine, click-to-call reservation number, and a brief summary of the hotel’s offerings. The easier it is for users to navigate through a hotel’s mobile website to make a reservation, the more revenue the hotel will achieve in the long term.
Google Analytics is an excellent tool that can be used to measure website performance and monitor the customer acquisition channel across all three screens for free, at no cost to use. It also features mobile website analytics, an important means of analyzing the performance of your mobile platform to see the level of mobile engagement of users and to use this information proactively to grow your mobile base. After verifying the needs and wants of customers on a mobile website, hoteliers are able to determine how visitors interact with their web pages – whether they are clicking on the booking button, TripAdvisor review feed, social media icons, advertisements, and any content found that is more important to the mobile user. Hoteliers can then modify the marketing initiatives on their mobile platform for maximum effectiveness.
The use of call tracking is now more important than ever for the hospitality industry. More consumers are getting into the habit of using their mobile devices to call hotels directly instead of dealing with the complexities of the booking process. According to a recent study by HeBS Digital and Navis, a large 44% of a property’s online marketing revenue was made through voice reservations, thus leading to a shift in marketing spend and increased ROIs for clients. This is essentially why it is important for hoteliers to implement call tracking, because it provides actionable insights of which marketing initiatives offer the best ROI.
With the demand and necessity of having a mobile platform in place, hoteliers must revisit their marketing strategies to make a strong impact on mobile travelers. Having a mobile-optimized website with specialized content, utilizing Google Analytics to measure website performance, and adopting call tracking to determine the best marketing initiatives are just a few of the many ways to improve ROI on mobile bookings.