How much are mobile devices like smartphones and tablets influencing your hotel’s revenues?
Plenty. Here’s why…
A growing number of people are using mobile devices to book hotel rooms and the percentages will keep rising.
In the first half of 2014, for the travel segment as a whole, bookings via mobile devices grew by 20% increase in , while the growth in bookings from desktop sites was only 2%. During this period, 21% of all hotel bookings were made through mobile devices (phones – 11% and tablets 10%)
These are the findings of a study conducted by Criteo, a performance advertising technology company, which analyzed around 300 million bookings and over $150 billion in booking value in H1 2014.
The rapid growth of bookings via mobile devices means only one thing for your hotel…
You need to make inroads into the mobile world to maximize your revenues in the years ahead.
Here are 5 ways in which you can increase your revenues in the mobile booking era
1. Build Responsive Mobile Sites
If you already have a responsive site, you can skip to the next point, but if you don’t ask yourself this question…
How often have you tried accessing a desktop based website from a mobile device?
While it’s quite difficult to navigate such websites from the smaller screen of a mobile, it’s 10 times more difficult to make a financial transaction on a desktop site through a mobile.
An adaptive site is one specially designed for a mobile, while a responsive site automatically adjusts it’s appearance based on the device it’s being viewed from. Mobile sites are important for a better user experience, faster loading as well as for your site ranking in google.
This isn’t really cutting edge tech anymore. Responsive and adaptive sites have been around for years. If you don’t have one, you are losing money unnecessarily. Mobile sites are the first step towards winning in a mobile world. Besides, your site will have a tough time ranking on Google because the search engine expressly prefers mobile responsive sites.
2. User interface and user experience (Your Friendly Neighborhood Salesperson!)
What do you see? What do you like? What action would you like to take?
UI and UX (User interface and user experience) are all about the above questions.
While the UI is what a user sees and interacts with on the screen, the UX is about the entire experience that you undergo as you navigate and take action on the site.
Why is this important?
User interface makes all the difference in the world whether people make a purchase or not.
Well, think of the UI and UX as the friendly salesperson who will guide you into making a purchase. The best salespeople are friendly, credible, understand the prospect’s needs, and motivate them towards making a purchase decision. That’s exactly what your UI and UX should be like.
A great mobile site (or app) makes it easy for people to evaluate their options, become compelled to take action and actually go ahead and complete the transaction.
3. Upsells during booking
What are you offering to the people on your site?
Rooms? Packages maybe?
How can you get them to buy more as soon as they complete a booking?
By making a one-time offer.
A one-time offer is something that’s not coming back to the table in future.
This is the way it works…
When a guest completes the booking, redirect them to a page where they are given an upsell. A spa treatment, meal packages, a special dinner – any offer that is compelling.
This is a simple way of adding to your margins! Try it.
4. Get Real time Data
In a world where an increasing number of bookings are being done at the last minute, you need data that is real time. Not data from yesterday, or a few hours back – but real time.
Data which is not recent naturally does not accurately reflect the current market sentiment. The more recent your data is the closer you will get to determining the optimum transient price at that point of time – the price at which you will maximize your revenue.
5. Get a Unified Revenue Management System
Mobile bookings have led to consumers taking purchase decisions more quickly and increasingly at the last minute. More last minute bookings means that you need to have faster systems in place through the entire revenue management process.
You need to be faster in 3 respects:
- You need data more quickly
- You need to take decisions on the data more rapidly and arrive at optimum transient prices
- You need to distribute your inventory faster and with more accuracy.
If you are still using a manual inventory management process, using excel sheets, you are going to find it increasingly difficult to manage the entire process efficiently.
A better way would be to use rate shopping and distribution tools.
But how can you go beyond rate shopping and distribution and make revenue management easier and more powerful?
By getting a unified revenue management system.
- A system which gives you data about various factors that impact your pricing – competitor pricing, reviews and ratings, supply and more.
- A system which gives you the right transient prices based on these numerous data points
- A system which also helps you to distribute
- A system which integrates with your PMS.
All the above in a single suite.
This suite is our latest innovation at RateGain and we are calling it Unity.
The Simplest Way
In fact, out of all the avenues above, the simplest way to make more revenues everyday is to get this integrated suite.