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Online Retailers Lead the Way in Mobile Commerce… Lessons for the Hospitality Industry


It has been proven once again; the travel industry can learn a lot from retailers. In this case, beauty retailer Sephora ranks number one in a study of mobile websites. Their mobile website includes product videos organized by content type, GPS based store locator, shopping list creator, order history/tracking, and mobile exclusive offers. Features that mobile shoppers find valuable.

Has the travel industry missed the mobile boat? Mobile-strategy is critical when it comes to online success, yet a recent intelligence report says that the hospitality industry isn’t hopping on the mobile trend.

The Mobile IQ report from the L2 Think Tank offers their insight on mobile maturity, stating that InterContinental Hotels and Resorts has ranked #9 on their presence across 4 of 5 mobile app platforms and the ‘Concierge Insiders Guide’ iPad App.

That’s great. But what about the basics?

Mobile websites (versus mobile apps) are one of the fastest growing market opportunities right now. Many hospitality businesses have a lot of work to do if they are going to capitalize on this trend.

According to PhoCusWright’s Mobile Hits the Mainstream: Leisure and Business Travel Trends, 28 % of leisure travelers who conduct travel-related activities via web only use mobile websites to do so, while 72% use some combination of mobile websites and apps. More tellingly 0% of leisure travelers use Apps solely to conduct travel related research and purchase activity.

The hospitality industry needs to get back to basics. Despite the facts, many hotels and brands have yet to optimize their websites for mobile viewing and instead have been concentrating on fashionable mobile apps at the expense of mobile web sites. Both are important because travel consumers use mobile apps and mobile websites in different ways.

To help the industry get ahead and deliver mobile optimized experiences consumers want, VFM Leonardo is bringing forth product development efforts to provide mobile optimized web sites for hotel properties and mobile optimized visual media galleries for brands and travel websites.

M-commerce sales are set to quintuple within the next five years. Do you have your mobile plan in place to take advantage of this?

For more, download the L2 – Mobile IQ Report.

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