The ‘mobile first’ forecast has been on for about a decade now, and interestingly, there are still businesses that haven’t embraced the mobile technology. Considering geos, demography and trends, it is not an exaggeration to say that a majority of the world now is hooked to their mobile phones. Whether it is to stay in touch with people, stay informed, browse, shop online or even play games- Mobile has transformed our lives.
While this is a more generic fact, let’s look at how mobiles have influenced the travel and hospitality space. As of 2016, it is said that 73% of travelers used mobile devices to research travel options. Understandably so, wouldn’t you think? Who wouldn’t like the convenience of their mobile devices to browse through the scores of options that are available and make plans!
But as this harmless browsing through mobiles takes shape and becomes a serious travel plan, mobile phones continue to be just as important even throughout the booking phase. This presents an enormous opportunity for hoteliers, as they can cash in on building a hotel mobile app that makes the lives of prospective guests much easier. This is still a distant dream, but a solid one nonetheless.
The irony of hotel mobile bookings is that while the numbers are on the rise, the number of booking abandonment is also substantially high. Why do people abandon online travel bookings? The reasons are many for this. Ranging from just browsing, pricing being non-transparent, insufficient information, slow loading time, inconvenient check-out process, and so on. Whichever be the case, booking abandonment costs the travel and hospitality industry quite dearly. In order to address this pressing issue, we’ve put together the simplest guide on how hotels can minimize mobile booking abandonments. Read on…
Experience is everything
Two out of five shoppers have abandoned travel bookings on a mobile device due to poor user experience. Take a moment to let that statistic soak in because the stakes are high. Unless you strategically plan to employ a ‘mobile first’ approach and put user experience at the heart of it, things are only going to go downhill for you.
The sole purpose of people shifting from traditional desktop booking methods to mobile-based booking is convenience and speed. Now, if prospective guests don’t find either, then booking abandonment is guaranteed!
Mobile booking experience includes, but isn’t restricted to, the following:
- Keeping the reservation form short and simple: Do away with all fields that can be avoided. Keep it minimal and user-friendly so that the guest doesn’t have to spend more than a few minutes to get through the process.
- Making sure the page loads fast: 32% of booking abandonment happens due to slow loading time.
- Simplified payment processing: 27% of booking abandonments take place owing to this reason. Making this as friction-free as possible will take you a long way in gaining the trust of the guest.
- Hassle-free check out: Just like every other part of their booking journey with you, the guest checkout process needs to be quite smooth and hassle-free.
These are some of the simplest ways by which hotels can minimize mobile booking abandonment. There are more elaborate and strategic ways, like looking into OTA booking abandonment by which hotels can achieve the same, but we will save that for another day. As a hotelier, there are several factors that contribute to your success and tactfully handling booking abandonments is one of them, for sure.
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Divya Bhat is a content strategist and writer with over a decade's experience in journalism and marketing. Apart from working with some of India's leading media houses, she has also worked as a French language translator. An avid Customer Experience enthusiast, she is also passionate about the Travel & Hospitality industry. You can reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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