Since the explosion of our on-the-go world, the travel shopper’s behavior is forever changed.
With mobile now being used for everything from calling to emailing to surfing the web, it’s more than time for hospitality marketers to wrap their heads, budgets and actions around mobile. This is especially important considering that only 23% of travelers who have encountered a mobile site that wasn’t optimized actually pushed through to make a booking.
Our recent webinar explained the importance of having an optimized mobile website and how the right mobile website can drive direct bookings, featuring Robert Cole, founder of RockCheetah, and Bernard Augustin, Assistant General Manager at the JHouse Greenwich.
As with every webinar, we conducted a poll and asked attendees what their biggest mobile challenge was and these were the results:
- Finding the budget to do it right – 46%
- Convincing senior management that it’s a priority – 17%
- Not sure how to get started – 37%
I was really happy to see that most of you are not getting push back any longer from senior management on implementing the right mobile solution which tells me that the message is getting out there and being taken seriously.
Robert shared really interesting insights on the growth of mobile (including new Google research that smartphone search has exceeded desktop search in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Canada) and Bernard put these insights into perspective by explaining how his hotel’s mobile bookings and meeting inquiries have increased since launching their mobile site just 45 days ago.
If you were unable to attend the live event, catch up with the recording and slides from the presentation here and then continue reading for some of the highlights.
Robert’s 2020 Prediction
I often talk about Steve Jobs famous prediction that mobile sales will surpass desktop sales, which comes true this year.
Robert gave us a prediction of his own – he said that in 2020, we will be looking back and saying “why were we treating mobile differently than desktop? It’s now the pervasive platform that’s used!” We won’t be thinking mobile-first, but mobile, period.
The Seven Phases of Travel
Robert also talked about the seven phases of travel and to be successful, your property needs to understand which stage your target demographic is at because the information they’re looking for and the devices they’re using will be different at every stage. “You have to understand that when you’re interacting with a guest, just like in an interpersonal relationship, you need to understand where they are in that relationship,” he said.
There were also many great statistics about the importance of mobile shared during the webinar. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Smartphone searches exceeded desktop searches this year in ten countries including the U.S. and Japan
- 47% of smartphone users use travel brand sites and apps for researching their trip
- A poor mobile experience has forced 68% of travel shoppers to connect with the brand a different way and 20% to use a competitor’s site
- 13% of consumers who had a poor mobile experience stopped using the brand altogether
- 60% of Google searches are now performed on a mobile device
After Robert spoke, we heard from Bernard Augustin, Assistant General Manager at the JHouse Greenwich, and how he has profited from his newly launched mobile website, created using Vizlly, our Multi-Channel Digital Marketing System.
Bernard stressed the importance of a visually-driven and mobile optimized website. In just 45 days after the property switched to a visual-first approach on both desktop and mobile, the property has seen:
- Increase in mobile bookings
- Increase in meeting inquiries
- Increase in non-commissionable bookings
- Increase in number of new guests
- Social media return on investment
Quite stellar results for just 45 days, I’d say! Not to mention the fact that Bernard said he’s now paying per year what he used to pay for just two months with his old product, and for much better results.
“With everyone glued to mobile devices, you realize how important it is to brand and have some mobile muscles. It’s a great way to convert lookers to bookers, heads to beds,” said Bernard.
Thanks for another fabulous event! If you were unable to attend the event, you can watch the full recording and view the slides from the presentation here