Technology is rapidly advancing and the hotel industry dynamics are changing with guests booking their hotel rooms directly. According to HRS, half of all hotel reservations will be made via mobile devices by 2017. Is your hotel geared up for this change?
Everyone prefers mobile bookings because of the user-friendly interface and ease to access information online. People have started using mobile phones to book hotel rooms, flights, movie tickets etc.
HRS CEO, Tobias Ragge, says, “In the future, travelers will increasingly book hotels via smartphones, and mobile will be the dominating channel. We expect that every other booking will be made via mobile devices in three years.”- Source: buyingbusinesstravel.com
Travel Sites Witness Increase in Mobile Bookings
China has witnessed a rapid growth in mobile hotel bookings.CTrip, one of the leading online travel agencies in China has seen phenomenal growth in bookings in the recent years. Forbes also published an article on the humungous success of CTrip.
“Ctrip’s mobile platform contributed to over 40% of total hotel booking transactions at its peak level, which exceeded the respective booking percentages from its websites and call centers. Mobile is becoming a key platform for Ctrip.”- Source: Commeasure.com
Looking at the above statistics, it is sure that mobile bookings are surging and we are going to witness a lot of marketing strategies around mobile phone bookings in future.
4 simple things your hotel should do to ensure that you don’t miss out on this opportunity:
Build a Responsive Website: The first and foremost step is to build a website that can be mobile optimized so as to suit the customer’s needs. Text consumption is lesser on mobile compared to the desktop site therefore you need to make sure that the site is built in such a way that it is easily adaptable. Also ensure the pictures of your hotel show the key aspects of your hotel such as the hotel rooms, amenities, attractions etc.
Last-Minute Deals: Take part in last-minute promotions to target that last-minute customers like the travel portals Makemytrip and Booking.com do. Keep in mind that the prices of the room remain constant on all the platforms.
Easy Booking: Why put your customers through the hassle of entering credit card details on mobile? Rather, provide an option to them to book their rooms on mobile and pay directly at the hotel.
Easy Termination Policy: Have an easy termination/ cancellation policy for the last-minute bookers as customers love flexible policies over non-refundable policies.