The State of Mobile + Travel

By Kristen Poskitt

If you haven’t invested in a custom and intuitive mobile experience, you’re losing almost 50% of your potential revenue. Mobile created a new channel (and dependence) for consumers, and has forever changed consumer behaviour and the entire path to purchase.

The typical path from research → engagement → purchase has been completely disrupted by smartphones. As a result, CMOs are faced with a quickly evolving channel to find and convert new guests. Does your hotel have a mobile strategy? What message are you sending to your potential guests when they’re researching on mobile? Are you measuring those efforts?

Present State of Connected Travel

Consumers are now jumping between devices, as part of their research process, based on what’s convenient for them. This device-fractured behaviour has created micro-moments, which are in themselves small opportunities for a brand to stand out and make an impact. 75% of consumers are starting an activity on one device and then finishing it on another (Think With Google). Whether it’s sequential or simultaneous, 90% of consumers are using multiple screens for everyday activities, including hotel bookings (Google/IPSOS). The data below shows how smartphones have directly and significantly impacted the travel industry:

If we take a step back to see the bigger picture, it’s obvious that mobile and digital channels actually influence offline behaviour. This is evident with the rise in mobile calls from websites and click-to-call ad engagement. Phone calls are incredibly important for high value and high consideration items, like a luxury getaway or an all-inclusive corporate retreat.

Whether your hotel has a custom app, a mobile booking engine or simply a responsive website, the user experience between all devices should be seamless for your guests. 52% of luxury travelers are likely to book a trip on a smartphone, compared to just 29% of all travelers who plan to use a mobile device for their booking (Skift).

Act on this Trend

UNDERSTAND MICRO-MOMENTS

  • Trend data: 40% of people who research on a smartphone will go on to purchase (book) on a desktop (Think With Google).
  • Strategic action: measure across screens (devices) to understand the micro-moments that assist in a conversion for your guests.

GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

  • Trend data: when using mobile search, 39% of people are more likely to call a business; 51% are more likely to make a purchase (Google/IPSOS).
  • Strategic action: assign value to your hotel’s marketing channels, and move away from last-click attribution.

CONVERSATIONS STILL DRIVE CONVERSIONS

  • Trend data: mobile search generated 30B phone calls in 2013, and will generate 73B in 2018 (Think With Google).
  • Strategic action: make sure your hotel’s phone number is visible in search, including click-to-call ads, to connect and convert these guests when they call your property.
Final Thoughts

Mobile has forever reshaped how travel brands interact with travelers. The adoption of mobile booking engines and mobile payment platforms means the industry is seeing significant growth in mobile revenue. Consumers don’t the patience they used to, so if your site doesn’t load quickly on mobile, you’re losing 70% of your potential revenue when people leave your website. Similarly, if your mobile site isn’t simple and intuitive to navigate, 75% of your potential guests are leaving to find a better experience. (Think With Google) There are bigger changes on the horizon, with voice search, AI and mobile messaging to start. We’ll stay connected – will you?