Planning for travel often begins on smartphones and tablets, but hoteliers must streamline the jump from mobile to desktops for final booking to take full advantage of existing consumer behavior.
As the push for hotels to streamline the mobile bookings process continues, hoteliers must also keep in mind that a booking journey born via mobile often still migrates to the desktop, sources said.
Speaking during Phocuswright’s recent “Mobile’s breaking points: Are smartphones ready for center stage in travel planning?” webinar, Phocuswright VP of research Douglas Quinby and Google product marketing manager Shelby Coyne discussed the path travelers take in booking their journeys.
Quinby said consumers, particularly those in the U.S., are very comfortable using smartphones to browse travel destinations and hotels. But their comfort level isn’t as high when it comes to making the purchase, especially compared to other categories like music, books and household goods.
“There’s very clearly a migration from smartphone to desktop or laptop,” he said.
Mobile first, desktop second
Quinby said there could be a number of factors playing into this disparity in comfort between buying and shopping, including concerns about the “quality or comprehensiveness of the data” available on mobile.
“A clear complaint is the ability to search and compare all of this information across websites and apps,” he said, noting smaller screen sizes make that a practical concern.
Companies can help combat that by making the transition from one technology to another, Quinby said, which can include taking simple steps like saving searches to be accessed via desktop.
Speaking with HNN, Sam Trotter, corporate brand strategist for Charlestowne Hotels, said the transition can also be added by retargeted advertising and by collecting emails at every opportunity.
“Not everyone is there to book, so (collecting emails) is a great way to bridge that gap,” Trotter said.
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