Study says hotels can do better with mobile booking

A new report suggests that prestige hotels are missing opportunities to better compete with online travel agencies like Priceline and TripAdvisor when it comes to mobile booking. While nearly 90 percent of hotel brands have mobile websites, only a third provide booking engines directly on the home page, according to a study by digital think tank L2.

More than half of U.S. mobile sites require six or more end-to-end clicks to book versus just 20 percent of desktop sites. About three-quarters of hotel sites allow users to view or modify current reservations, while only about half (47 percent) provide directions to a hotel location, reports Media Post.

Because hotels generate more than three times as much from their tablet than their mobile presence, creating a streamlined user experience to encourage bookings is especially important. About 85 to 90 percent of tablet browsing takes place via Wi-Fi, suggesting it takes place mostly at home, according to the study.

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Hotel apps do not fare much better than their sites in delivering a wide range of services, according to the study. Only about half offer the ability to receive push notifications, for example, and just 23 percent allow guests to book in-hotel activities. More importantly, only one-third of booking apps cater to non-English-speaking users with information in multiple languages.

According to Media Post, hotel apps beat out OTA apps like Priceline, TripAdvisor and Booking.com, with an average of five clicks to book a room. The report suggested hotels have an opportunity to “dominate their own turf” versus OTA apps across features like mobile check-in, in-hotel activity reservations, ratings and reviews, and coupons.

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