At the beginning of every new year, there are always new trends to look out for and new opportunities to increase revenue. Just in the year of 2014 alone we experienced a rise from the usage of desktop devices to non-desktop devices (cellphones, tablets, etc). According to Hospitality.net, 38% of web visitors and almost 40% of the page views were generated from non-desktop devices alone last year. In comparison to 2012 where less than 17% web visitors and 14% of page views were generated from a non-desktop device. With such a huge increase in just several years, this essentially means that the usage of non-desktop devices will only continue to increase.
So what exactly does this mean for the hotelier? With the dramatic increase in usage of smartphones and tablets over desktop devices means that hoteliers will need to offer mobile-friendly services, such as having a mobile website that is easily accessible from any smartphone or tablet. Consumers are relying heavily on their mobile devices in order to book their hotels and research for any additional information they may need before finalizing their decision. Despite the fact that many consumers are now using their smartphones and tablets as alternatives to desktop devices, not everybody offers a mobile-friendly website as an alternative for users. A mobile version of the website should be designed to fit on a smaller screen; the design should be kept simple and easy for consumers to browse through to find any necessary information they need without any complications.
In addition to having a mobile-friendly website, hotels should provide more than just a mobile-friendly website in order to make everything more mobile-friendly and create a larger appeal to potential customers. Some companies are also creating their own apps for consumers so that they are able to check in and check out with ease. Consumers also like to use the internet while traveling, but consumers are unable to browse the web without proper connection. As a result, free Wi-Fi is necessary and should be provided for customers free of charge in order to satisfy their customers. Hoteliers who have not caught onto this trend should soon because the use of technology is inevitable. With the number of people switching over from desktop devices, this is a sure indicator that creating a mobile website and providing a more mobile-friendly experience will definitely increase the hotel’s popularity and potentially attract more customers.