From iPhone to Android, Native Apps to HTML5, NFC to GPS: How should hotels navigate the mobile ecosystem?
By Gerry Samuels Founder & Executive Director, Mobile Travel Technologies, Ltd. | January 27, 2013
From iPhone to android, native apps to HTML5, NFC to GPS – how should hotels navigate the mobile ecosystem?
More than ever it is critical for hotels to get mobile right. At the recent PhoCusWright Conference in Arizona last November a large international hotelier stated that they recorded a decrease in hotel bookings from the now 'traditional' PC for the first time in 2012. Meanwhile their hotel bookings via mobile have increased.
In 2012, we have seen some very significant switches to mobile as opposed to listening to and talking about predictions of mobile travel behavior. There is real consumer action on mobile as opposed to 'industry talk'. m-commerce now represents 8% of e-commerce, facebook mobile is about to overtake desktop mobile and 47% of Google's travel search in 2012 came through mobile.
Consumers are rapidly making the switch to the mobile channel not just for hotel bookings but for the complete customer experience. In time, the full end-to-end hotel journey will be mobilized from hotel search to booking, check-in, room access and room service to booking in-hotel services such as restaurants or a spa appointment, destination guides and much more.
Hotels have a window of opportunity now in which to capture market share and gain customer loyalty through mobile.
But before jumping into the world of mobile – hotels need to ensure they have a solid mobile platform in place. But, here's the problem. The phones aren't the same, and neither is the way people use them. Making your app and user interface exactly the same doesn't ensure an equally good experience. In fact, it usually guarantees that some experiences are better than others.