The days of dialing up to the internet have passed. Nowadays, people don’t stop what they’re doing to get online, they are simply always connected. There is no need to sit down at a desktop or wait for your broadband to connect. Through wireless networks and handheld devices, people are always online. Now that travel shoppers are constantly connected to mobile devices and seeking information regularly on-the-go, it’s vital for hotel marketers to optimize their web presence for today’s mobile users.
I recently read the BrightEdge study on mobile usage and came across several interesting conclusions that apply to hoteliers:
1. Mobile Optimization. From 2012 to 2013 total mobile traffic grew 125%. In comparison, desktop traffic grew just 12% (brightedge.com). With this staggering rate of growth, mobile optimization is crucial for hotel marketers to properly engage their audience. Hotels must offer a seamless user experience across all platforms. Websites should be as easy to use on a mobile device as they are on a desktop. Designs must be functional and cater to mobile and touch use.
2. How Travel Shoppers are Using Mobile. Travel shoppers are using their smartphones in many different ways; 29% have found flight plans through mobile apps, 20% have found hotel deals, and 46% check into their travel destination while vacationing- using Foursquare and Facebook (besthospitaldegrees.com). Hotel marketers must prepare their services for mobile use in order to capitalize on its opportunities.
3. Tablet Conversion. Between smartphones and tablets, the conversion rates for tablets tend to be more similar to those of desktop computers than smartphones. Tablets are on pace with desktops while smartphones lag behind at one third the rate (brightedge.com). Because tablets are generally larger, they function closer to a desktop than a smartphone does in terms of usability. Hotel marketers need to address the accessibility and ease-of-use on smartphones to boost the conversion rate.
4. Visual Storytelling Makes a Difference. Although smartphones generally lag behind desktop conversions, there is one area in which there is an exception. Travel and hospitality sites all saw slightly higher mobile conversions. The influencing factor is multimedia. Hotel marketers that are optimizing their websites for mobile use should include video content to engage users. Sites leveraging richer visual experiences help engage travel shoppers through visual storytelling. Videos help give perspective to your hotel and let hotel marketers influence the value travel shoppers see from your hotel. There is a strong correlation between people consuming videos and the conversion rate hotels see. The use of visual storytelling is clearly making a difference when it comes to conversion rates. The use of multimedia is boosting the conversion rates for mobile sites in comparison to non media enriched sites.
With the growing use of mobile devices, it is imperative that hotel marketers optimize their offerings for mobile use. Ease of access, functionality, and multimedia content will give your online presence and mobile experience credibility and help to increase conversion rates.
For more information on mobile optimization be sure to check out our free guide showcasing six mobile optimization tactics. Download the guide: Six Critical Mobile Optimization Tactics Every Hotelier Should Know