The number of mobile hotel bookings is quickly rising, so providing travelers with a well-functioning mobile hotel website has become more of a requirement than an option for independent hoteliers. 38% of mobile shoppers abandon a mobile travel booking due to a poor digital experience, so it’s critical that mobile hotel websites deliver a great user experience or risk losing valuable bookings and revenue. While this is new territory for many independent hoteliers, a great mobile site can be developed by focusing on the most important functions needed by guests and avoiding these mistakes:
Not optimizing for mobile use
If you haven’t updated your website in a while, it’s likely that it was designed for viewing on a computer, not mobile devices. When viewed on a phone or tablet, your desktop site simply shrinks to the size of the mobile screen, making it difficult to read and use. Independent hotels that want to capture mobile bookings must have a website that is optimized for mobile devices.
Well-designed mobile hotel websites flex to fit the user’s screen, streamline functions and emphasize sections that are important to travelers, such as Bookings, Room Types, Food & Beverage, Location and Special Offers. Providing easy to tap buttons, sharp text and photography and simple navigation keeps users engaged and less likely to abandon your site in favor of another hotel.
Complex booking process
No matter the device, travelers want the booking process to be simple. However, this need is amplified for mobile bookings. When designing a mobile hotel website, hoteliers must think about the fastest way to get users into the booking process from every page on their site. If a guest has to navigate back to the home page, enlarge the screen to read the text or is directed to separate booking site, chances are that you will lose their reservation. The easier the process, the better your chances at capturing their booking.
Failing to integrate social media
Failing to integrate social media into a hotel’s mobile website is major missed opportunity. Providing direct links to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TripAdvisor allows hotels to “control the narrative” by sending travelers to their managed pages where tailored content, positive reviews and crisp images are easily accessed. Social media greatly influences travel decisions, so the more information hotels can provide travelers, the more opportunities they provide themselves to entice travelers to book.
Not leveraging your mobile hotel website as a separate booking channel
To maximize their potential, independent hoteliers should treat their mobile hotel website as a separate booking channel, rather than an extension of their desktop website. Providing exclusive, mobile-only offers, such as room upgrades, free Wi-Fi or room discounts, will help drive traffic to your mobile site, keep travelers engaged and encourage more mobile bookings.