Despite improvements, luxury hotels have vacancy for mobile
This year, nearly 75 million US consumers will research travel information via mobile, and about 46 million will book there, eMarketer estimates.
As mobile establishes itself as the norm among travelers, companies must create experiences that satisfy travelers on these screens.
In April 2015, L2 Think Tank looked at luxury hotels worldwide that had both desktop and mobile sites and found that the industry had made advancements in several areas. More than eight in 10 offered mobile booking—provided by 100% on desktop. Photo galleries, which can catch researchers’ eyes, had increased in usage by 7 percentage points year over year to 95%, nearly even with the 98% who provided this on desktop. Meanwhile, despite also being up 7 points in adoption, always-popular reviews still had a long way to go, as did videos, which could be as appealing as photos if provided.
Major strides had been made across several other categories over the past year. As luxury hotels look to expand their global reach, it’s important to offer mobile sites that support multiple languages, and 54% did so, compared with 32% in 2014. More than four in 10 allowed respondents to reserve in-hotel activities via mobile—up 40 percentage points year over year. The largest growth was seen in embedded geological maps, which rose from 7% in 2014 to 39% in 2015, possibly due to the heavy demand for mobile maps while traveling.
While penetration isn’t overwhelming, strong growth indicates that the luxury hotel industry indeed understands how imperative mobile is to the travel experience and is working quickly to catch up.
Luxury hotels must provide a quality, consistent experience across screens, as their sites are hot locations for their audience. According to August 2014 research by comScore for Expedia Media Solutions, US luxury travelers enjoyed checking out travel websites for fun more so than others. One-third did so at least weekly, vs. 17% of budget and family travelers.
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