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Mobile Booking Engines

Mobile booking engines need more than a responsive design

Travelers are increasingly using mobile to research travel plans and make hotel bookings. Therefore, it is vital that hotels have a responsive booking engine that can adapt to display on any device, whether it be a desktop, tablet or mobile.

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However, it doesn’t end there, having a responsive design is a must, but to drive conversions, the mobile booking engine needs to offer more. When opened on a mobile device, the booking engine must enhance the user experience, not simply shrink to fit the smaller screen. It should to be created with an understanding of how users interact with a mobile device compared with desktop and tablet.

Typically, mobile users are on the go and doing more than one task. Sessions are shorter and there is a lower attention span. Users are seeking fast information to help with decision making and so the mobile booking engine needs unique visibility and ecommerce functions.

Here are some of the key features to look for on a mobile booking engine:

Easy interaction
The interactive elements of the booking engine need to be simple and easy to use. Mobile should have large finger-size buttons such as the calendar and book now buttons that require minimal tapping and movement to work.

Less scrolling
If there is too much information and users need to scroll far to find information, it can be frustrating on a small screen. Reduce the need to scroll by adjusting text and photos and keep the important elements in a single screen view is possible.

Minimal distractions
If screens are too busy and overloaded with content, it can be distracting and hard to navigate. Mobile’s need only display important information and use ways to hide content that is less important with drop down menus and pop-up windows and read more buttons.

Call-to-action
The majority of hotel bookings from a mobile device take place within 7 days of the guest checking in. These last-minute bookers using a mobile need a Book Now button to be clearly displayed. It is also useful to have a callable phone number that activates when tapped.

Mobile promotions
OTAs are reducing room rates on mobiles for last minute bookings and are creating an expectation that guests can save money by delaying their booking decision. To compete with this practice, hotels can also run a marketing campaign just for mobiles, by only offering promotions to mobile users. A booking engine that provides this feature can help to win back some business that may be lost to OTAs.

To summarize, the mobile device plays a vital role in customers travel journey and is predicted to account for 37% of hotel and travel bookings in 2018. A booking engine with a responsive design is important, however the mobile booking engine should give you more.

Web Connection, the hotel digital marketing agency offers two booking engines with the features and ecommerce functions that hotels require to cater to mobile bookers. For more information and a demo, please contact sales@webconnection.asia.

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