Navigating the Multi-device Path to Purchase
By Judy Melanson Vice President Travel & Hospitality Practice Leader, Chadwick Martin Bailey | May 31, 2015
This year, for the first time ever, more people will access the internet through their mobile devices than their personal computer. According to IDC, 150 million Americans currently own a mobile device and 10 million more will join them by the end of the year.
But wait…there's more! Since they were introduced, only 3 short years ago, about 71 million US residents have bought a tablet (a 55% increase year-over-year). What does this proliferation of mobile technology mean for you? We believe the mobile revolution is here… and that it has marched right into your lobby. Whether you are ready - or not - it's time for your hotel to position itself to meet the needs of your mobile customers.
Clearly, this mobile revolution presents travel suppliers with both challenges and opportunities. Leading brands like Disney and Royal Caribbean are leveraging this technology by developing proprietary mobile platforms to orchestrate travelers' vacation experience using wearables and mobile apps; hotel brands like Hilton and Starwood are rolling out keyless room entry systems where guests unlock their rooms via a smartphone app.
Developing and executing these on-property mobile technologies requires serious organizational commitment - leadership, staff and budget. These transformative mobile applications may garner most of the press and investment; but regardless of the budget you have available, it's time to think about how you can better leverage mobile technology.
We believe the mobile revolution presents opportunities, for all travel suppliers, to drive customers to book direct: PhoCusWright reports that hotel bookings on mobile devices will triple from 4% in 2013 to 12% in 2015; eMarketer projects the value of US mobile travel bookings will increase from ~$26B in 2014 to $65B in 2018.
The benefits of driving direct bookings is clear: you'll reduce commission paid and reestablish customer relationships that may have been eroded by online intermediaries. But there are plenty of challenges and new competitors with whom you'll have to fight for your guests travel dollar.
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