Mobile: A New Necessity for Hotels
A strong online presence is essential for every hotel. To be successful, this ‘presence’ must be accessible from the platforms, devices and channels consumers use to shop for travel online.
Consumer’s reliance on mobile devices is increasing dramatically. As hotelier you must develop a way to display your hotel’s information so mobile users can easily access, read and engage with your content. Traditional (and mobile compatible) websites are not designed for smartphones and as such provide a sub optimal and often times frustrating experience for the shopper.
Optimizing your web presence for mobile should be a priority on your marketing to do list. Those who aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity are missing out on substantial revenue opportunities. Mobile booking reached $2.6 billion during 2011 and this year is predicted to be $8 billion, says Max Starkov, president and CEO at hospitality eBusiness Strategies. And, mobile is increasingly becoming a significant channel for shopping activities higher up in the funnel to point of decision.
In the article, A Guide to Going Mobile for Hoteliers, Bill Carroll from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration says, “it’s a pervasive device in the hands of the consumers,” adding that the number of mobile users will grow to 5 billion within the next three years.
So, mobile website or mobile app?
Maybe the question should really be, “What mobile mix is most appropriate for your hotel?” All hotels are different, just like all consumers are different. Generally, for individual hotels an app usually is not necessary. A consumer is unlikely to download apps for each individual hotel it would like to explore. They are more likely to pull up their browser and do a search there.
This is why a mobile-optimized version of your website is a smarter investment. Ensure they are compatible with all platforms – giving Android, Blackberry and Apple users a seamless experience, while eliminating the barrier of consumers having to find and download your hotel’s app.
When developing a mobile site there is no need to take a conventional website and strip it of all its features. There are mobile website solutions that allow hoteliers to present their hotel’s story through the use of engaging multi-media. One of those solutions is our VPowered Mobile Website.
– Allow for easier navigation – links are clear, easy to tap and text is readable without zooming
– Reduce clutter – Information is presented in a way that makes sense on a small screen and pictures are appropriately sized
– Load faster – They take into consideration the speed of mobile devices, loading a full website would be too slow
One example of a great mobile-optimized hotel website is the Lancaster House. They have a mobile-optimized multi-media driven website that detects their website visitors’ devices and displays the proper optimized version. It includes all of the information their desktop website provides in a way that is easy for smartphone users to navigate. Try launching this link from your smartphone: www.lancasterhouse.com.co
The way to reach customers and interact with people is changing at a rapid rate. There is no single website that will do it all. What the successful hotel marketer needs is a mobile platform that is simple to understand, easy to navigate and interactive for the customer.
Download this whitepaper to learn more about optimizing your hotel’s mobile website.