As the use of mobile devices continues to grow, so do the opportunities for hoteliers to capture additional bookings. By 2015, mobile is expected to generate an average of 22% of online bookings, up from 11% in 2013. As this growing trend continues, it is impossible for hoteliers to doubt the importance of a strong mobile strategy.
What is important to note is that while these new bookings are increasing, they illustrate unique characteristics and behaviors which differ from traditional web bookings. In order to capitalize on this opportunity, it may be time for many to adapt their existing e-commerce strategy to appropriately respond to the different and ever-changing mobile behaviors.
Firstly, same day reservations are growing from 9% to 23% as users are becoming more comfortable with their mobile devices and are leveraging them to book more frequently than with their desktops*. They are waiting until the last minute to book and often times are already at their destination before they even have their accommodations booked. Last minute bookers may be incentivized by mobile deals or last minute offers that are available on mobile only. Without the ability to create last minute deals such as mobile specific rate plans or discounts, it is difficult for hoteliers to directly target these last minute shoppers and these potential guests will go elsewhere or find alternative accommodations.
Secondly, users continue to utilize an ever-growing and changing variety of mobile devices. Tablets account for approximately 20% of all booking engine visits and among the top 10 most popular devices globally, screen resolutions vary by over 300%*. This demonstrates that hoteliers need flexible mobile solutions to account for the diversity so they can provide both a competitive and robust mobile booking experience. Furthermore, the mix of devices is continuously changing and thus solutions need to be scalable and compatible across platforms to ensure hoteliers are prepared for growth. Figure 2 below illustrates how the global mobile landscape is subject to substantial shifts over a short timeframe.
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