MOBILE-FIRST AGE HAS ARRIVED. IS YOUR HOTEL READY?

The importance that mobile devices has acquired in the last years is undeniable. There are many users that say without hesitation that their cell phone has their “complete life”, a behaviour that offers enough evidences about how the scene has changed in this regard. The smartphone contains your daily communications, your mailbox and your list of contacts… but also keeps your banking information, the amount of kilometers that you walk every day, it knows your most visited places and plans the hotel reservations to your holiday.

In a context in which Spanish customers spend more than the 67% of its online time with the smartphone, a large part of the hotel industry is especially concerned about how these data are reflected in reservations. Accordingly, it’s necessary to make an exercise of self-criticism and analyze if your business is ready enough to motivate and assume these bookings.

First considerations 

Before we feel scared with the analysis of how much of our searches are finally conversions, we must know that mobile has become an inmediate reach tool. Specifically, at the moment of planing holidays, smartphones gain prominence in the research process, the price comparison and the selection of plans, but at the end, the user prefers to use the desktop to the final purchasing action.

On the same way, even though the smartphone has experienced a big development and an enormous evolution in the last years, we must not forget that, on its essence, these devices are actually phones. That means that the user will always be able to do his search in an informative way, but if he want to make a reservation, he can call directly to the hotel.

Anyway, the reality is that desktop and mobile traffic is increasingly similar and, if we add the big development that Tablet and smartphone technologies are living, there are no excuse to make hotel owners refuse these devices.

What steps must hotels follow to be adapted?

  • Adjust your website to new times

This doesn’t only mean to have a responsive design -this is obvious in the current time-, but having account that the mobile user experience must be a priority in your web communications. Make a previous analysis between your friends and contacts and figure out what do they miss in your website when they access by their phones, practice benchmarking to know what are your competitor doing and, obviously, don’t think that the website that you launched three years ago will have the same results eternally. Trends are changing, designs are updating constantly and users are adapted to some formats and facilities.

  • Navigation speed, today more important than ever

According to Google account, 53% of visits through mobile leave the session if the content they go takes more than three seconds to appear. Speed is a factor that will determine, more than ever, the purchase decision, so it is important to know the possibilities offered by AMP technology (Accelerated Mobile Pages Project), designed to meet these needs and ensure a comfortable navigation and agile.

  • Study the specific functions that your business requires

In the hotel sector, there are constant special offers, as well as loyalty programs, real-time rate banners, facilities depending on the type of establishment (spa reservation, special packs, access to reservation details …) and many other possibilities. Although in each case this issue varies, we cannot allow desktop users have more facilities to access to all these options. This ensures a full, attractive and easy user experience, and you will see how your situation improves.

  • Involve the consumer through a multi-channel strategy

The multichannel marketing, which combines activities such as e-mail marketing, SEO, SEM, social networks, content marketing or branded content, allows the hotel to generate an actual contact with the consumer through many formulas. Precisely, in a mobile scenario in which users are always connected, it is important to maintain constant communications through these tools. Similarly, segmentation technologies will allow us to find the most appropriate public and devices in each of the cases, thus mitigating the vast competition that not only hotels do, but also OTAs and other agents involved.