We love our mobiles. As of today, GSMA’s real-time tracker puts the number of mobile devices at around 8 billion! And smartphones are leading the mobile charge – by 2020 they will account for 80% of all mobile data traffic.
Smartphones have well and truly penetrated every aspect of daily life. According to Google, we check our smartphones on average 150 times a day, and spend up to 177 minutes browsing – that includes researching and booking travel plans. More than two-thirds of leisure and business travelers use their smartphones to research travel; according to Google 60% of destination searches comes from mobile devices and this year it’s projected that more than half of all online travel bookings will be made using a mobile device.
Given the significant and continuous growth in mobile usage, as of March of 2016, Google updated its algorithm to now prioritized mobile-friendly websites in search results. So, if you don’t optimize your website for mobile, your site’s search results will suffer dramatically. However, pressure from Google shouldn’t be the only motivating factor for hotels to launch a mobile website. There’s a ton of other data that points to the fact that mobility is significantly changing the way people book travel. And if you don’t have a mobile website, it’s most certainly impacting your bottom line.
- Mobile bookings in travel have grown by 1700% between 2011 and 2015, moving from 1% to 18% of online revenues (Frederic Gonzalo, 2016)
- By the end of 2016, Skift predicts over half (51.8%) of online travel bookings in the US will be done on a mobile device. That’s up from 43.8% in 2015 and is expected to be almost 60% next year.
- 45% of connected travelers use their smartphone to book travel activities pre-trip (TripBarometer, 2015)
- 40% of consumers will leave a hotel website If It’s not mobile friendly
And it’s not just good enough to have any old mobile website. 40% of mobile users won’t wait more than 3 seconds for a mobile website to load. That’s not a lot of time. Your mobile site needs to be optimized, load quickly, and ensure a smooth and seamless end-user experience and you need to have a booking engine that supports mobile. There’s no point in leading hotel shoppers down the reservation path on a mobile device, only to find a booking engine that doesn’t support the checkout process. Anything that falls short of these requirements will inevitably lead to a growing number of dissatisfied users who choose to book elsewhere.
The message is clear. Travel shoppers are using their mobile devices. With nearly 60% of online travel bookings expected to be done on a mobile device next year, a mobile website is no longer a “nice to have” for hotels, but a necessity. For hotels, a mobile website, or even better, a good responsive website design that will work across devices, will go a long way to help your hotel capture more business online.
If you are not already optimized – you’re losing out.