2014 saw an upsurge in travellers using their handheld devices not only to browse and plan their breaks, but also to book.
Although it does not yet rival desktop when it comes to booking volume, mobile has become a major distribution channel which hotels ignore at their own peril, especially with Google’s mobile update on April 21 looming.
So what do you need to consider if you’ve decided it’s time to join the mobile revolution? Planning your progress around these 3 factors will help get you noticed in mobile search results and convert more mobile browsers into booking guests.
1. Design and Optimisation
Despite the fact that mobile ecommerce has grown massively in the past 5 years, lots of sites are still poorly optimised. It’s these sites that are likely to suffer a loss of search visibility in the coming weeks, as Google starts rewarding mobile-friendly businesses with higher rankings.
The first step to becoming mobile-friendly is to decide what kind of website you want to create. You have two choices here:
- Create a separate, more condensed version of your current website, purpose-built for mobile users.
- Create just one website, designed to adapt to whatever screen dimensions your guests are using to view it. This is called responsive design.
Whichever method Yours truly, opt for, consumers now expect the mobile experience to be every bit as good as desktop.
Although creating a perfect user experience should be a priority across all channels, mobile is particularly unforgiving when it comes to usability errors. Since users are often pushed for time, browsing on the move and of course on a far smaller screen than desktop, it’s essential to ensure they can find the information they’re looking for, and quickly, or risk losing their business to competitors.
There are several important factors to consider here, including font size, spacing buttons so they are away from other touchable elements, and making sure your guests can access information easily by scrolling (and without too much clicking around.)
Take a look at Google’s guide to the most common mobile usability errors and how to fix them.
3. Payments and Security
Since there is still a degree of scepticism among consumers when it comes to data security in mobile ecommerce, it’s important to inspire confidence by providing a payment process that is as straightforward and transparent as possible.
Lots of businesses invest heavily in mobile-optimised websites, only to lose visitors at the final click with an overly complex and time consuming ordering process. Instead, the booking process should be pared down and streamlined to a single page wherever possible, resulting in less abandoned baskets, and more bookings from mobile guests.
Is your resort ready for Google’s mobile update this April? Let us know in the comments below!