2013 Hotel Mobile Technology Trends
By Max Starkov President & CEO, Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Inc | January 20, 2013
Co-authored by Mariana Mechoso Safer, Vice President, Marketing at HeBS Digital
Mobile is an important travel planning and hotel distribution channel; a channel that hoteliers must embrace to be successful in 2013. One of the most notable developments this year is that the terms "mobile marketing" and "mobile technology" really evolved to include not just mobile phones. Tablet devices such as the iPad, Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus quickly became a significant part of the travel planning and booking process. To make matters even more complicated, while mobile phone and tablet devices are considered "mobile" devices, they should be treated as separate distribution channels with their own respective marketing initiatives.
Hoteliers that recognize there is a need to deliver content tailored to each device will generate incremental revenues, steal market share from competitors, improve ADRs and RevPARs, and decrease dependency on the OTAs in 2013. To steer hoteliers in the right direction, HeBS Digital has prepared the top trends in hotel mobile technology for 2013, complete with recommendations:
1. Mobile Channel Explosion in Searches and Bookings
Google reports that over 21% of searches come from mobile devices (7% from tablets and 14% from mobile phones) and 79% via desktops (2012). Google search statistics also show a dramatic increase in hotel queries in the mobile and tablet channels in 2012:
- Overall (desktop + mobile + tablet): +34%
- Mobile devices: +120%
- Tablet devices: +306%
If your hotel primarily drives bookings from the U.S. and Canada, it is important to note that the trend is even more dramatic. According to eMarketer and mobile ad network Chitika, mobile's estimated share of web traffic in North America is 28% as of June 2012.