Although smartphone popularity is constantly increasing, there is some disparity in the amount of consumers who are booking online and how many are picking up the phone to reserve a room. In fact, for every booking that occurs on a mobile website, about three bookings are called in.
However, it appears as though fewer travelers are opting to call to book a room. Travelers find it more convenient to have the ability to book a room on the go – like when they’re in line at Starbucks or having dinner with friends. While so many apps making reserving a room simple, the variety of apps makes it difficult for hoteliers to stand out. As the use of mobile devices to search for and book hotels increases, hotel companies are keeping an eye on trends to assure that they are not missing any bookings, to either online travel agencies or competitors.
Loyal Guests are Key. Travelers who are member of loyalty programs are more likely to book their stay via a mobile device. Many bigger hotel brands have taken the hassle out of mobile booking by having dedicated apps that store credit card information so that transactions are much easier, which is weaning travelers off of calling in reservations
Keep it Simple. Although mobile bookings are easy, taking a few extra steps to make the process hassle free can make the difference between a traveler booking a room with you or with a competitor. For example, for returning guests, simply have them enter their first name, last name, and email address to reserve a room, rather than re-entering all of their information. If the process is too long, the traveler may decide to stay with someone else halfway through the booking, so keep the number of fields to a minimum.
Booking Patterns Vary. Travelers tend to do most of their research on computers and tablets, but when it comes close to travel time, they usually do their booking on their phones.
There are some variations in mobile booking behaviors. For example, there tend to be more bookings on weekends as well as more bookings within a short radius of the user’s areas. This shows that users are booking their rooms at the last minute. According to data from Expedia, 25% of people who make mobile hotel bookings make reservations within 10 miles of their current location. Sixty percent of people who book a hotel on mobile devices begin their hotel stay within 24 hours and it’s most likely for a Friday or a Saturday.
Travelers often book their regular travel on a mobile device because it’s always on them and they can book immediately rather than having to wait to get home and use the computer. Have you began using mobile in order to adapt to these changed in mobile booking? The Best Western MarketPlace keeps your up to date with the latest trends in the hospitality industry so that you can embrace the changes and improve your operations. Visit our website to learn more about the benefits of our program.