According to a survey, hotels are losing to travel agents and agencies in last minute mobile bookings. Customers prefer to check all the available hotels and choose the cheapest hotel or the one that suits their requirements before making bookings. As mentioned in the survey link above, price wins over loyalty in travel business. A lot of customers are looking for cheaper rates and that is why there is less brand loyalty. So, why is it necessary for a hotel to have its own hotel booking app? Here is why –
1. Customers make a lot of last-minute bookings via mobile apps
If you haven’t already, please read my article ‘Mobile app myths for travel busted‘. I have outlined why customers prefer to book in the last 24 hrs and why a lot of them book via mobile apps. With the advancement in technology, searching and booking hotels is as far as a tap away! Also, according to another survey, users are more likely to regularly check apps over websites. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for a hotel to have its own hotel booking app.
2. Customers prefer mobile apps over mobile sites
Although your company has a mobile optimized website, customers will prefer a mobile app for two reasons. First, it is a lot easier to interact, and second, it saves some bandwidth and makes the booking process quicker. A mobile app can also include a lot of high quality graphical elements. Because most mobile apps require a one time download (during installation) and rest of it is just data transferred to and from the app (like transaction data), it is easier to use a mobile app even in a fairly low network area (especially where download speeds are low). On the other hand, mobile optimized sites require you to download every single web page that you navigate through when you are booking which can increase the time required for booking and the total amount of data required to download. While booking a hotel, the last thing customers would want is to wait longer for the website to load! Here is an article that states bookings on mobile are on the rise in share and value than desktop.
3. Easy interaction
Mobile operating systems like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android have built in libraries that allows customers to share their trip experience with just a tap. They have most social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ integrated into UI making it easier for customers to share their travel experiences without leaving the app (or opening another app). The easier it is for a user to share his experience, the quicker and easier it becomes for you to increase your business’ reach to more people! Mobile apps can also request for permission to access Contacts list which can further be used to find friends and families who have previously visited the location a customer is planning to visit or which the customer wants to recommend to them. The easier it is for a user to share his experience, the quicker and easier it becomes for you to increase your business’ reach to more people!
As you have probably guessed by now, there is no denying that bookings on mobiles are increasing rapidly and are about to reach a new high. The most effective way to stay up-to-date is to follow this trend and ensure your business provides customers what they want, and that too as quickly as possible. If you think I missed a point or if you would like to add anything, just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on our social media pages.