In this day and age – when two out of three people around the world own a mobile device – you can’t afford not to have a mobile-friendly property page. A website with a responsive design that works across devices is crucial for your business.
In just a few decades, the mobile phone has skyrocketed from being a nice-to-have to an absolute essential. Whether you’re walking down the street or sitting in a restaurant, it’s clear that people are more and more attached to their phones. And the rise of smartphones makes it easier than ever for guests to find and book accommodation wherever they are. That means if your website doesn’t work well on mobile, you’re missing out on a lot of bookings.
What’s a mobile-friendly and responsive website?
First, let’s look at what mobile-friendly and responsive means, and why it’s worthwhile for your property to invest in a website with these capabilities.
Simply put, a mobile-friendly website is a tiny version of your regular website. All of the content is shrunk to fit on a phone screen, and you can scroll and click the same way as you would on a laptop or a desktop computer.
A website with a responsive design takes mobile-friendly a step further. These websites are made up of elements that change in size according to the screen that’s being used – they’re called ‘responsive’ because the design and layout literally responds to the device they’re being viewed on. That means text, images and graphics will end up looking and functioning in exactly the same way whether the user is on a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
Imagine you’re waiting in the airport when your flight gets rescheduled for the next day. Now you need to find last-minute accommodation, and you only have your smartphone with you. You do a quick search and find a small hotel nearby. But, when you click through to their website, the page takes forever to load, the text is too small, and the images are impossible to see.
More likely than not, in the above scenario you’d give up and look elsewhere. That’s a bad experience for the potential guest, and a missed opportunity for the property.
Let’s talk numbers.
In 2017 the number of people connected to mobile services surpassed 5 billion. That means that two out of three people in the world have a mobile phone subscription.
In the travel industry, research shows that 31% of consumers will search for their next trip from a mobile device. And that number is only growing. Between 2011 and 2015, mobile bookings grew by 1700% – and mobile booking revenue is projected to reach $108.75 billion by 2021.
A mobile-friendly site becomes particularly important when you look at last-minute bookings – in 2017, up to 80% of last-minute bookings came from mobile devices. Why? According to eMarketer forecasting analyst Chris Bendtsen, “consumers are booking more travel on mobile due to larger smartphone screens, easier mobile payment methods, and overall habits shifting to mobile.”
It helps that 85% of international travellers carry some kind of mobile device (iPod, tablet, smartphone) while on the road – this makes spontaneous or unexpected bookings easier than ever.
Hopefully these stats show how crucial a mobile-friendly website is, and why it’s worthwhile for your business to invest in one. The good news is that there’s plenty of technology out there in the form of easy-to-use website solutions. By integrating one of these into your business, guests from around the world can easily find and book your property from wherever they are, with whatever device they choose to use.
Learn more about WebDirect and how easy it is to start your mobile-responsive property website.
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