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Mobile is predicted to overtake desktop for online travel bookings; below are four tips for hotels to stay current in the ever-changing, mobile-first, booking environment.

This sponsored content was created in collaboration with a Skift partner.

This year, over half of travelers who book online will do so through mobile. If a hotel’s  booking experience isn’t mobile-friendly, the reality is, travelers won’t book. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of going mobile:

Take a mobile first approach
According to Statistics Brain: 65% of same day hotel reservations are made from a smartphone. With so many bookers doing so on mobile, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly experience, you’re losing travelers and conversions. According to Skift, by 2020 the travel industry will have the highest percentage of online payments in relation to all sales than any other industry on Earth.

Thinking about developing your own app? Don’t. 
While a lot of the big hotel chains do this, it just isn’t worth the money to create it for every property. Plus, in app purchases for hotels aren’t that great—most people prefer to book mobile but not in-app. This applies to the greater app ecosystem as well; according to Business Insider, among the top 15 apps in Apple’s App Store, global downloads declined by 3% year over year in May. In the US, these same apps saw downloads drop 21% year on year.

Make sure any offer boxes are mobile friendly
Showcasing your latest package can be a great way to get a visitor’s attention. However, if the box is difficult to close on mobile—the button is too small or hard to find—you’re going to turn off a potential guest. Below is an example of how Spa Solage has achieved the full on-site experience in both desktop and mobile.

Make ads Mobile Friendly
According to Google, in the last year mobile queries within the travel category have increased by more than 50%. Not only are people searching on mobile, they’re also booking—conversion rates have grown 88% on mobile sites. If your ads aren’t mobile friendly, they’re not appearing where your travelers are doing their searching and booking.

Get more help converting travelers with the eBook Creating a Website that Converts: The Hotelier’s Guide to Drive Direct Bookings.

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Tags: hotels, mobile bookings

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