The mobile booking trend of luxury hotels is on the rise

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Global smartphone usage topped 2.3bn in 2017. Based on an estimated world population of 7.6bn, that’s over 1 in 3 people who now own one. Usage figures continue to grow steadily, over a decade after the release of the original iPhone.

Reversing a trend of miniaturisation, devices are now growing in size and practicality, while any initial resistance about using smartphones to purchase online is fading as website developers improve usability, regardless of device. Responsive hotel website design has shifted from being a ‘nice-to-have’ to becoming absolutely essential for those keen to maximise direct bookings.

Here’s a few ideas to understand smartphone buying behaviour and some actions need to be considered.

  • If smartphone users are checking their phones first thing in the morning and last thing at night, why not setup a time-targeted mobile campaign to inspire travel to your hotel? Not a hard-sell ‘book, book, book!‘ campaign, but something to seed travel wanderlust, just before they head off to dream about their next big trip. Or why not time-target a rush hour campaign to catch them on their commute?
  • In a similar vein, time-target (and radius-target by location) campaigns for your food and beverage offering so that you display adverts to those very much in-market and searching for ‘restaurants near me’ with a relevant message – e.g. at lunchtime, show an advert mentioning a fantastic fixed price lunch menu.
  • Seed the desire to travel with a well placed Instagram post/advert where the audience is primarily mobile and brand engagement is apparently 10 times higher than other social channels. According to recent research, 1/3 of Instagram users have used their mobile to purchase a product online!
  • Adjust your paid advertising bids to focus attention on mobile and experiment with targeted messaging to mobile devices – e.g. ‘mobile devices with full browsers’ in Google AdWords and ‘mobile’ only in Facebook.

It’s also important to remember that evaluating performance on a last click attribution model is unlikely to give you the full picture of the impact of mobile. As comScore’s 2017 Communications Markets report highlighted, the vast majority of users are ‘multiscreening’ – i.e. they use both desktop and smartphones, rather than either device exclusively.

Read more: Online Travel: A great potential for Amazon?