Most of us spend a third of our waking lives on our phones.
The Oracle Hospitality in 2025 Report cites that nearly all (96%) of hoteliers are investing in contactless technology.
Mobile has, and will continue to, have a truly transformative impact on the hospitality industry from the guest journey to supporting owners, operators and all other staff in between.
Recent Adobe research has found that about 52% of travellers used a mobile device for information on hotels, restaurants, tours, and activities in their chosen destination but only 21% booked on mobile. Current statistics indicate that over 90% of travellers will do their research online.
Interestingly though, research shows that mobile is usually the preferred channel for last-minute bookings. Revenue Hub research showed that by summer 2020, mobile bookings increased to over 24%, and 66% of millennials reportedly now book their trips via mobile. With this in mind, hotels need to optimise all digital booking mediums so that the experience offered to guests is as pleasant as possible.
Of all the shopping channels available to customers, mobile commerce is taking the lead. It is predicted that some 187.5 million people will shop via their smartphone by 2024 and global consumer mobile spending is expected to reach $728 billion by 2025.
Following on from trends that overtook the hospitality industry during the pandemic, 78% of millennials would rather spend their money on experiences than on things. This will definitely continue into 2023. 77% of millennials also say some of their best memories were made at events.
Recent Tripadvisor research showed that travelers said the top three most important factors in future plans were to have new experiences, learn about history and culture and “get immersive” by seeing new places.
The travel industry recovery is projected to reach 85% by the end of 2022, and the online travel industry is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.58% between 2021 and 2027, when it’s expected to hit $1463.98 billion (GBTA).
Our own most recent booking statistics (looking in close detail at Q3 2022) show that after two consecutive quarters of a slight drop in mobile shares, traffic, revenue and transactions have all recovered and are more in line with what we were seeing before and during the pandemic.
Mobile revenue share picked up 4%, coming in at 56% of overall revenue. Mobile transaction share picked up 3%, coming in at 60%. Mobile to desktop average transaction value variance is sitting at 84%. While that’s still lower than what we’ve seen in the last two years, it’s positive to see the gap decreasing.
We expect mobile shares to increase even further in Q4. If this year follows pre-pandemic trends, we might even see mobile revenue share hitting the 60% mark in Q4 – watch this space!
“At McGettigan Hotels, 65% of our website traffic comes mobile. This represents a huge part, so we’re always making sure that when mobile visitors land on the mobile homepage they know exactly where they’re going.” Deirdre Featherstone, Group Digital Marketing Manager at McGettigan Hotels
Mobile can’t be a second thought
As a hotelier, if you haven’t already, you will need to shift your mindset towards mobile. ‘Mobile-first’, ‘mobile-optimised’ – make these phrases a part of your every-day vocab. You do need to adopt a mobile-first approach across everything you do, and the first step on this journey is to address hotel’s brand marketing activity. Delve in deep. Find out where your guests are spending their time online and use this information to create and deliver engaging communications that will compel and attract people to book.
No matter where you’re delivering content or where your guests land – their experience should follow these three golden mobile rules:
Less is best
Clear and consistent messaging
Boost your mobile marketing efforts
It’s not just about optimising the user experience for mobile browsers – it starts much earlier in the online booking journey. Everything you do – whether it’s traffic generation or any other kind of marketing campaign – it needs to be seen from a mobile perspective.
77% of Google search impressions or display ads are on mobile and 98% of Facebook and Instagram ad traffic is on mobile. This is yet another glaring reason why it’s so crucial to optimise your marketing campaigns for the device (and to check how everything looks).
Provide an ultra-smooth mobile experience
A bump-free mobile experience must be treated as a given – don’t get caught out. Check out all of the following: are your images loading quickly enough? Is your ‘book now’ button super easy to access? Are your guests able to find what they’re looking for? It’s no harm to do this exercise semi-regularly so you can ensure nothing slips past.
“Everything is mobile friendly on our hotel website and we make sure it’s all responsive to get those smooth 3-click bookings.” Deirdre Featherstone, Group Digital Marketing Manager at McGettigan Hotels
Create mobile-exclusive offers
Showcasing personalised offers on mobile is a handy way of grabbing people’s attention and encourage them to confirm that direct bookings right then and there.
THN client data showed a 144% increase in booking engine to booking conversion rate when displaying a discount targeted towards mobile users with the message clearly indicating its mobile exclusivity. Pushing time-limited offers is another smart way of converting mobile browsers into bookers.
Keep it short and simple
With barely any time to even count down, it’s been proven that as online marketers, we have only 7 seconds to capture the attention of mobile browsers. With this in mind, keep your messaging short, simple and eye-catching if possible. Adapt your content marketing to fit easily onto a mobile screen. Optimise your images and don’t go overboard with too many – there’s no need to create a situation where people are scrolling more than they will want to. These are small but smart things to do that will prove effective.