Earlier this month, we began evaluating the effects of mobile traffic and bookings in the hotel industry. [View the infographic here]. Which got me thinking, what power do hotels really have when it comes to mobile visitors?
At first glance, most people have the same thoughts about mobile- consumers rarely make large purchases on mobile devices, and hotels almost always fall into the “large purchase” category. It’s even been reported that only 12% of people commonly use their phones for expensive items. (Bankrate.com)
Mobile users are many times browsing, comparing prices, or looking at pictures before booking. But with mobile traffic on the rise (an increase of 40% from 2014-2015) hoteliers must begin to strategize how to target this segment of visitors and ensure their mobile visit isn’t their last.
Make it Easy.
People use their mobile devices to shop for a couple of reasons: it’s more convenient and it’s quicker. So, it’s important to make sure that hotel sites are both of these things. Since people are normally visiting to do initial research, they’ll want to learn more about pricing, see photos, or read reviews that you have to offer. Ensuring that the layout of a mobile site is easy to navigate and highlights some of these core interest points can make all the difference in whether customers decide to stay or leave.
Since mobile session lengths tend to be much shorter than those on desktops or tablets, making relevant information available quickly is extremely important. Get the most powerful information about your property in front of mobile visitors as soon as they hit the website. If you have some awesome guest reviews- make sure that’s the first thing they see!
Use The Data
Using customer data can also help you decide what content is best to show first. By taking a look at the most clicked page on mobile devices, you can discover what needs to be highlighted for all visitors and what information is not as relevant. In addition, if your data shows certain pages have higher bounce rates on mobile, place a bar or banner campaign on those pages to address visitor concerns (shown above).
Mobile device data can tell you a lot of information on not only how visitors are behaving, but how their behavior differs from mobile to desktop devices. If you understand a little about each visitor, you can make sure you’re showing them information that is going to be most useful for their experience.
On average, only one out of every 277 people who visit your site by mobile are going to make a purchase. But let's try to look at this in a positive light, and assume that the majority of visitors are in the market for a room and just need that extra push.
Take the stress off getting people to convert on their mobile device, and focus on building a relationship with each visitor so they are more likely to return to the site when they check their desktop device.
An easy way to engage with mobile visitors is by asking for an email address while on-site. This gives you the ability to send visitors a personal message immediately after they complete the form and a couple days down the road to start to build a relationship. As well, you can encourage visitors to engage with you on social media even before they book a stay. By placing a linked “like” or “follow” button on the site before they leave, you can build create brand familiarity with customers in a way they appreciate.
People looking for a hotel on average visit up to 22 sites before actually booking- the key is getting them to come back to your site. These savvy shoppers know what they’re looking for, and they’ll remember sites who show them information that’s relevant to their needs in a quick, convenient format.