Choose a Rate Shopping Tool that can help you to benefit from this practice.
At a time when mobile phones had already made deep inroads into the lives of the people, the advent of mobile internet started creating revolutionary ripples worldwide. The hospitality industry is also experiencing this change, gradually adjusting to it and now reaping benefits from it.
As the traveller in large numbers took to these tiny devices for booking their travel, hotels worldwide responded to this trend by reinventing their business strategies and resorting to various innovative marketing tactics to tap the mobile hooked traveller.
Hotel Revenue Managers have introduced various special schemes with discounted rates and promotions specifically targeted to the smartphone users to encourage mobile bookings via mobile app, which promotes the use of these devices even more. One of the most common ways adopted by the hotels and OTAs is offering discounted rates of up to 10% (or even more) on booking accommodation through their brand mobile app, which works as an absolute delight for the consumers as well.
Let us take a quick catch up on this evolving trend – the emergence of desktop and laptop bookings gradually took over the role of the traditional travel agent way back, which marked the beginning of a hospitality industry revolution with digitisation taking over majorly. It opened the doors for the traveller to experience an altogether new way of booking travel, bringing leaps of convenience at their fingertips.
The next breeze came in with mobile bookings, which offered abundant flexibility to the traveller of indulging in various activities like reviewing hotel properties, comparing rates, booking, etc. anytime, anywhere, on the go. Enabling them to book their travel last minute with mobile apps.
Various studies conducted on the subject clearly indicate that hotels are the most prominent sector where smartphone bookings are more common, when it comes to travel, with a recent report pointing out that hotels generated one in five online bookings (mobile) in the second quarter of 2016.
SMARTPHONE SHARE OF ONLINE TRAVEL BOOKINGS
(Q2 2016 vs Q2 2015)
Furthermore, another finding states, millennial business travellers largely book hotels on their mobile devices, the number having shot up to 52%, according to Skift. Analysing the trends in U.S., a study by HotelsCombined says that hotel bookings on mobile devices increased 67 percent in the U.S. in 2016 compared to the previous year.
Bookings on tablets also grew by 30 percent year over year, while desktop bookings increased by only 4 percent – meaning mobile phones have clearly taken over as the preferred search and booking medium and the trend is taking over across borders.
Digging into this further, a report by Google highlights the preference of mobile applications for travel-related use, with an average of 2.3 travel apps installed on smartphones. Yet, a higher percentage of travellers (65%) still use mobile sites for travel, as compared to 58% who prefer to use the apps.
With more travellers, especially the millennial traveller hooked onto the mobile applications with each passing day, it is important for all in the trade to ride on the trend and adopt an exclusive marketing strategy especially to drive bookings through applications.
While formulating the most effective strategy for your hotel, one cannot ignore the set of activities undertaken by your competition in the industry, including the rates that they are offering to the travel community at any given point of time on these mobile apps.
Yes, it has become extremely important to monitor Mobile App rates of your competition on a constant basis and thus optimize yours accordingly. With the advent of mobile apps, it has become common to find variation in the prices of the web rates and mobile app rates offered by hotels and OTAs.
With this new development in the hospitality landscape, innovative and updated technology vendors are offering advanced technology-driven tools for Rate Shopping. These tools empower hoteliers and OTAs to gain insights into the mobile app rates for your selected competition set thereby enabling you to come up with the best rate and offers for your mobile app. This information is apart from the rate shopping intelligence available for web rates for booking via laptop or desktop.
This leaves no doubt about the fact that a hotel tracking the mobile app rates of their comp-set will certainly be much upbeat and ahead in this game compared to everyone else not having this intelligence.
Competition tracking has always been one of the essential components to success for any business, and the same holds true for hotels. While the pro-players in the industry are of course using Competition Rate Intelligence for some time now for Web Rates. Competition Intelligence for Mobile App Rates is new to the hoteliers.
Having said that, the usage of these apps has not completely surpassed the usage of mobile sites for hotel booking though they have surpassed desktop booking. Expect the world of apps to further adapt in the coming months and come up with more creative solutions which would give a strong push to their usage and change the current numbers.
The hotel booking rates via mobile apps might also witness starker variations as compared to desktop bookings or bookings via mobile sites. This would further strengthen the presence of these apps, and give birth to a noteworthy trend before the next one takes over! However, in the meantime just ensure that you keep a tab on your competitor Mobile App Rates with the most technologically advanced Rate Shopping Tool
Stay tuned for more such blogs and updates.