We’ve shown on these pages before how mobile traffic and revenue grew in the first half of 2018 and we now update that for the first three quarters of 2018. The continuing change has created immediate opportunities for hotels. Or we can put it another way – it creates immediate and real problems for hotel sales if hotels are not prepared for the mobile mindset.
The figures below show the mobile phone, tablet and desktop traffic share (unique sessions) recorded for hundreds of Bookassist hotel client websites across Europe in the first 9 months of 2018. Notable are that for the Ireland/UK and the Spain/Portugal regions, desktop is now 50% or less of hotel website traffic. For other regions, desktop has been stable or marginally declining year on year. Mobile phone growth is mostly at the expense of tablet traffic this last quarter.
The figures, and the change year or year, indicate that we may be reaching a stable balance between mobile device traffic and desktop traffic in most regions. Desktop cannot of course continue to decline forever, at least while companies and workplaces continue to use desktop and laptop machines despite the ever-increasing shift in personal use to mobile devices.
This relative balance achieved in traffic this year is not however reflected in revenue generation. Here we see double-digit growth in revenue generation on mobile, and decline in desktop revenue generation across all markets. The data shows that there is a clear increase in confidence in mobile users when it comes to transacting on mobile devices and this trend is continuing upward to narrow the gap with desktop. Revenue generation on mobile still has a long way to go to reach relative desktop levels, but it’s clearly getting there sooner rather than later.
Responsive is no longer good enough
Taken together, the data here show that having an optimised and fully functional mobile website and mobile ecommerce platform is critical for hotels who want to tap into higher-margin direct business. The mobile experience is clearly different from the desktop experience, and therefore needs to be treated differently and quite specifically.
Having the same experience on desktop as on mobile, a typical “responsive” approach, is simply not good enough anymore. Each platform, whether desktop or mobile, needs to be optimised for its users and for its user experience capabilities and user expectations. This is exactly why Bookassist has developed and launched the V10 Mobile booking engine experience, a uniquely app-like approach to mobile booking that is proving extremely effective at building hotel revenues on mobile.
It’s time hotels stepped up to the mobile challenge – and the opportunity it brings.