Much has changed in all aspects of life since COVID-19, including a dramatic change in the world's digital behavior. Strict lockdown measures, stay at home orders, and social distancing efforts have made many resort to their devices as a means to take their mind off of all the chaos. More time spent at home and stress has inevitably created a surge in internet usage. Statistica recently shared that 70% of internet users were on their devices more as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Based on the analysis of The Hotels Network data collected globally, we've observed a similar trend in terms of hotel reservations. Mobile bookings have clearly gained a larger share of total direct bookings over the past months, increasing from 29% in Jan 2020 to 41% July 2020. Numbers don't lie, all we're seeing is the increase of mobile users and bookers. So now the question is - have you optimized marketing messages on your hotel's website for mobile?
Hotel brands personalizing the experience for mobile users
In a world where smartphone usage is growing by the day, having a functioning website on mobile is far from enough. To make the most out of your mobile site, take advantage of personalization and targeting tools so you can make sure the right content is shown to the right audience on any device. Let's have a look at how these 5 hotels have used The Hotels Network platform to apply hyper targeting rules and maximize direct conversions.
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Always emitting a passionate energy and enthusiasm Hard Rock Hotels span the globe with an uncompromising dedication to hospitality. Following their motto of "Love All-Serve All", they have applied this exact spirit to their website to ensure each unique visitor has the perfect direct booking experience. An indispensable component of their strategy , Hard Rock Hotel San Diego launched a series of personalized Smart Notes optimized for mobile bookers at key touchpoints of the booking journey. Mobile users spend 25% less time on hotel websites than their desktop-using counterparts, so by showing customized messages highlighting benefits of booking direct, or upselling suites according to the user behavior, they were able to efficiently deliver the right information to the right booker.
Since its beginning, we've been keeping a close eye on EcoHotels, a responsible and sustainable community for hotels offering an alternative to the large and dominant online travel agencies (OTAs). Understanding that bookers can easily jump from their website to other OTAs and metasearch engines, they included a Price Comparison Widget on their booking engine page. Minimizable into a side tab, the feature displays real-time information without interfering with organic content. With this tool, bookers no longer need to switch apps or open another webpage to shop around.
Anantara's luxury properties have expanded to reach various unique destinations around the world, be it lush islands, hustling cities, or relaxing desert getaways. Always looking to curate extraordinary personal experiences for each and every guest, Anantara brought their beliefs to life onto their website. Intending to deliver the Anantara experience to even more people, the chain launched a welcome Layer optimized for both desktop and mobile. Specifically targeting non-logged members, the clean and simple message is displayed the moment the user lands on the website. Showing the perks of joining their loyalty programme, Anantara DISCOVERY, the Layer nudges visitors to register for their passport to rewards and unforgettable travels. Working towards their objective to grow their base of loyal customers, Anantara was able to take advantage of their high volume of mobile traffic, and create not one, but multiple personalized messages to do so.
Marlin Hotel Dublin
Activity and communication are key factors to keeping guests engaged and nurturing them into loyal brand ambassadors. Especially during these times where too many things are up in the air, Marlin Hotel, the hippest hotel located at the heart of Dublin, wanted to take the chance to reach out to a wider audience with their newsletter. Capitalizing on the Email Capture tool, the property created a mobile-friendly Layer on the booking engine page inviting interested bookers to subscribe. Using the feature to build up a significant pool of opt-in contacts, Marlin Hotels is now able to send out news, special offers, and exclusive promotions via email. Furthermore, through their personalized reporting dashboard, the hotel can understand which Email Capture messages contributed to more conversions, and from there launch curated email campaigns for each audience.
Mobile users have traits and behaviors that set themselves apart from bookers using other devices. Understanding that this audience is worth segmenting, H10 Hotels created their offers cleverly targeting specific groups of users. Part of their line of special offers is their mobile-exclusive one, triggered on page load, visible only to mobile bookers. Displayed using an integrated Inliner design, the brand is able to ensure that the message looks like organic content, a great way to deliver messages without interrupting the UX. Many mobile users tend to be exploring options rather than booking, so by communicating that the offer is only exclusive for mobile users, the brand can encourage this audience to take action and book immediately.
Is it now easier to understand the importance of personalizing your hotel's mobile site, catering to the unique needs of mobile users? Observing the evolution in trends, it's most probable that the volume of travel-related bookings made on smartphones will only keep increasing from here. OTAs have long been on the scene, launching mobile promotions for quite some time already - a reason why hotel websites need to step up their game and go beyond being satisfied with a basic and functional website on smartphones.
No matter if you're looking to increase mobile conversions, build your marketing mobile users contact base or simply want to refine your website's UX, focusing on personalization and hyper-targeted messages on mobile is essential for your direct channel growth strategy.
About The Hotels Network
The Hotels Network is an innovative technology company working with over 20,000 hotels around the globe. Boasting an international team of specialists with deep expertise in hospitality, product design and consumer marketing, the company offers clients a full-stack growth platform to power their direct channel. By leveraging a series of integrated tools and analytics, hotel brands can attract, engage and convert guests throughout the user journey.
In addition to price comparison, reviews summary and a full suite of personalization options, THN's Predictive Personalization product harnesses machine learning techniques to predict user behavior and then automatically personalizes both the message and the offer for each user. The company's benchmarking product, BenchDirect, is the first of its kind for the direct channel, providing hotels with never-before-seen competitive data.
THN is proud to have been recognized for the company's product innovations, rapid growth, and unique workplace culture for the second year in a row, most recently named the Best Direct Booking Tool for 2024 in the prestigious HotelTechAwards.