It has become a great challenge for the hotel sector to achieve a satisfying purchase experience by unifying processes from all devices, whether from a PC, Tablet or Smart phone. The traveller is always right, they set the rhythm, and they are nobody’s partner. Any device can be part of the booking process and a combination of these may be used to reach the final purchase.
Technological provider Sabre confirms this in their recent study The Future of Hotel Booking: A Guide to Hotel Retailing, that clearly shows that this kind of user behaviour forces establishments to change their perspective when it comes to the purchase of holidays and stays. “Set solid platforms and tools, this will help guests feel comfortable during the whole process, no matter what device they have chosen to book on” states Sarah Kennedy, the company’s marketing vice president.
The report encourages hotelier professionals to use web analytics and virtual reality to help them reach this goal. In this way they can guarantee that their hotel or independent chain will be providing extra value for their clients. Web analytics opens the door to endless possibilities that mean the hotel can adapt greatly to their clients according to the preferences of each one. This increases conversion rates.
Meanwhile virtual reality means that the company is at the forefront of technology. They will be able to offer tours around the establishment that are very different to what we are used to. The visitor is the main character, touring the hotel as if they were actually there. Analysis emphasises the need for hoteliers to treat their repeating guests as old friends, a great asset to the company.
The main feature of mobile devices is that they offer different kind of experiences, such as short text messages, emails (if synchronized with the device) apps, etc. Faced with this situation, a hotelier’s challenge is to obtain the booking through a continual, agile and uninterrupted process.
We can’t turn our backs on this dynamic. In its study 02B, that echoes this report, Booking.com corroborates the weight of these devices at all stages of a journey. They noted a considerable growth of the use of mobiles when planning for holidays. At the end of 2014, 48% of holidays were planned using a mobile.
Men are slightly more likely to use a Smartphone, 49% compared to 46% of women. But in both cases, the plan for this year is to use their phone even more for holiday related matters. “24% of Spanish people intend to use it more to search, book and organize a holiday, placing Spain as the 9th on the list of the 16 countries interviewed” claims the OTA.
Do the Spanish like to book their holidays well in advance? Booking.com tells us they are more likely to leave it all to the last minute. “21% of those taking part say that they normally book a week beforehand, or even less, when it is for leisure” the study points out. Some go even further, 40% of Spanish business travellers book their flight the same week.
At Innwise we are always alert to any innovation in web design and the pages we design are compatible with all devices. Idiso Hotel Distribution and the Idiso Booking Engine Mobile, a version of their booking engine that is adapted to smart phones and tablets, complement this.