Hotels and Mobile phones: A Marriage of Convenience

Today we take a look into the hotel industry that is presented by Mobile World Capital.

Increasingly, there is more traction coming from mobile users as people are searching for accommodation through their various screens. Take a look below on why and how people are using mobile to search and book hotels.

Hotels and Mobile phones: A Marriage of Convenience | Mobile World Capital

Image | Rafael Tovar

You are sitting on your sofa at home, browsing with your telephone or tablet, when you suddenly see something you like in an application or an online store. You decide to buy it, all from your device and without having to use your computer at all. Does that sound familiar? M-commerce is getting more and more popular and not only for buying products but also for other activities such as gastronomy and accommodations.

Booking is probably the most popular website for hotel reservations worldwide. This is why the statistics they shared a few days ago are particularly relevant. They show a boom in mobile phone use not only for browsing but also for booking. Only in 2013, Booking had more than 8 billion dollars in revenues from transactions made from mobile phones.

This figure is impressive and even more so, if you compare it to figures from earlier years: 1 billion in 2011 and 3 billion in 2012. These figures basically state: from 2011 to 2012 mobile revenues tripled. As Paul Hennessy, CMO of Booking, explained: “We\’re seeing a shift in consumer behavior from simply booking last minute accommodations on mobile devices to planning, researching, booking and utilizing post booking functionality on our mobile platforms”.

Hotels must be prepared for reservations…

Why does Booking have so much activity from mobiles? One of the main reasons is the simple fact that itsnative applications for mobile phones and tablets work fluently (it is by no means a coincidence that they all have near 5 star ratings on all the different stores for applications). They are designed to make the process as easy as possible. You have to keep in mind that browsing on a mobile device is different from browsing on a computer: The screen is smaller and it is more difficult to type information.

For those who neither use Android, iOS nor Windows 8 (platforms for which they designed native apps) or are occasional visitors, who do not have installed the application, the website adapts perfectly to the needs of mobile devices. For the reasons mentioned earlier, this is not easy to do at all. And apart from that, the multitude of screen resolutions and sizes makes it even more difficult to create a satisfying user experience on all models and devices.

Hotels and Mobile phones: A Marriage of Convenience | Mobile World Capital

Image | Net Affini-ty

These are two of the pieces of advice offered by Net Affinity in a complete infographic about the strategies a hotel should follow to develop a successful mobile strategy. In addition, they highlight that currently 1 of every 3 visits to the website of a hotel comes from a mobile and it is estimated that in 2015, 20% of hotel reservations will be made with such a device.

Apart from the website adapting to mobile devices, there is another important aspect: social networks. More and more users use these platforms from their telephones (Twitter, for example, admitted not long ago that 60% of all tweets are sent from smartphones). Being aware of these figures, why not complete the mobile offer with a specific support and marketing plan for the users of these platforms?

… but also for the Mobile Needs of their Guests

The fact that a user made a hotel reservation does not necessarily have to mean the end of all interaction between both parties through this channel. More and more clients expect additional features when they are using their mobile phone. Proof of this is this report by MCD, in which guests were questioned on how they would like to use their telephones during hotel stays.

Hotels and Mobile phones: A Marriage of Convenience | Mobile World Capital

Image | Skift

Among the answers, a high percentage claimed that they were interested in the opening hours of the breakfast buffet and other services, access to maps of the area and even the possibility to make and automatic check-in. The possibility to use the mobile as a room key, paying with the device and calling a cab were other options mentioned, even though much less often.

What experiences have you made with mobile devices and hotels? Do you normally make reservations with your telephone or do you prefer to do it from a desktop computer? Have you ever used a hotel’s own mobile application?

Original article found here

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