According to the latest CWT (Carlson Wagonlit Travel) report, mobile bookings are going to steadily increase to account for 25% of online bookings by 2017. The report also mentions that the mobile bookings are going to double in the next two years. The fact that online booking tools took up to eight years to reach the same amount of activity that mobile bookings will reach in the next three years gives us an idea of the impact mobile technology is going to have on the hospitality industry.
With mobile purchasing becoming an increasingly large travel trend globally, it has become a very important part of the online sales and marketing strategy for a hotel. There are a lot of areas that hoteliers need to take care of when it comes to making full use of the business opportunity presented by the mobile customer.
– Mobile Optimized Website
The hotel website needs to be optimized for mobiles. This is a must-have for all hotels. With research indicating maximum travelers browsing for travel destinations on their smartphones, not having a mobile version of the website will result in your mobile visitor turning to a competitor hotel’s mobile website. (Also Read: Travel Sites Witness Increase in Mobile Bookings)
– Mobile Booking Forms
Booking on the mobile version of your website should not be cumbersome. The first important thing to make sure is that the form should be easy to fill. Entering the address, name, credit card and other information is time consuming and creates maximum friction when it comes to completing bookings on mobiles. So the mobile form needs to be user-friendly, to-the-point and error-free.
– Online Advertising and Mobile
Targeting mobile users with pay per click (PPC) Google Ads, and mobile enhanced campaigns are important factors in increasing mobile sales. Making sure that your paid campaign is well optimized for mobiles is extremely important. Having a call-to-book button with every ad campaign is a must-have.
– Email Marketing
Most of the hotels today are making use of email marketing. With maximum number of people checking mails on their smartphone, the biggest mistake in email campaigns is not making sure that the email design is optimized for viewing on mobiles.
– Mobile Search
According to research by Google, most travel based searches are being done on the browser and not on a downloaded mobile app. Also more than one seventh of the travel searches on Google are happening through mobile. This makes the SEO strategy for mobile search optimization another important tool in increasing mobile sales.
Each and every online marketing activity today has to be strategized keeping in mind all three channels – desktop, mobile and tablet. Mobile is the future and hoteliers cannot afford to ignore the mobile trends if they want to stay afloat in today’s highly competitive online marketplace.