Five reasons why hotels are finally embracing mobile
Posted by Special Nodes
NB: This is a guest article by Pedro Colaco, president and CEO of GuestCentric.
With all the constant buzz surrounding consumer use of smartphones, many hoteliers are wondering whether to make a serious push into mobile as a component of their online strategy.
We have been quite surprised by the level of interest our own product has generated, for example, so we set out to understand why hotel managers appear to have this great appetite for mobile hotel functionality.
After quite a few interviews and over 300 mobile websites and booking engines deployed, we found these are the top five reasons we see for rapid adoption of mobile hotel websites:
1. 19% of all hotel queries are mobile
Since November 2010 we noticed tremendous growth of mobile traffic. In April mobile hotel website visits represented already close to 5% of total traffic at most of our customers. A blog post from Google on May 11, 2011 named Mobile Insights: 19% of hotel queries come from mobile devices
2. Mobile traffic is growing exponentially month-by-month
Across GuestCentric’s user base, mobile devices like smartphones and iPads represent already 3% to 8% of visitors, and traffic is growing exponentially every month.The US is more advanced than the rest of the World.
In our customer base, mobile visits in US hotels are close to 2:1 more important than in the rest of the World.
Clearly the adoption of smartphones and flat rate data plans has been helping. The rest of the World still has to struggle with roaming charges.
3. 3% of mobile visitors engage the hotel
In the last three weeks since we deployed the solution, we can already see that hotel mobile websites generate an immediate return.
A staggering 3% of all mobile visitors engaged with the hotel in some way: many called the hotel or got directions to the hotel via Google Maps.
4. 1% of mobile visitors book
While mobile booking is still fairly new, especially for independent hotels, 1% of all mobile visitors actually booked a hotel reservation consistently across our customer base. Most hotels that deployed a hotel website solution got a reservation within the first few days of deployment. So, return for a mobile solution is instant.
5. Mobile can be done in one tap
With the introduction of GuestCentric’s mobile solution, there is no extra effort involved. Your website content (text, photos, video) is optimized for mobile delivery and mobile users can still experience your property’s look and feel, your rooms, and the experience in a big, bold way. All it takes is clicking one button to publish your mobile website.
In addition, our quick study indicates that:
About 75% of mobile users that show an intention to book, actually end up not entering the personal and payment information. This is a natural obstacle that time and adoption of secure techniques like displaying security seals in mobile applications will overcome.
So, hotel mobile bookings are going to grow exponentially, and we can expect booking rates significantly higher than 1%.
Read this article on Tnooz