Please note that this case study refers to a Triptease product - the Express Mobile Experience - which has now been closed down. You can find out more about the decision to discontinue support for this product here.
It's well documented that much of the rebound in hotel website traffic is coming via mobile. When the team at a Triptease client hotel in the Maldives noticed that their mobile visits were "higher than desktop, but the conversion was not as great", they began to invest in their mobile experience to see if they could change that.
Being a five-star resort property, customers had traditionally been much more likely to book on desktop than mobile. As the property's E-commerce Experience Manager explained, "mobile has always been pretty strong for us in terms of visits but for conversion it's always been the desktop. I think in general people just feel more comfortable doing the bookings on desktop, especially when it's a resort hotel and you're planning a vacation - rather than a two night city stay where they can just book on their phone quite easily."
That previously typical behavior had begun to change for this hotel over the course of the pandemic, with the E-commerce Experience Manager noting that "Mobile has been growing and definitely during the pandemic the traffic from mobile has been growing even more just because people are spending more time with their phone." This is a shift in customer behavior that aligns with broader search and booking trends identified across the global Triptease hotel database.
Like the majority of hotels, the team were working with a booking engine that wasn't designed specifically for mobile users, so they needed to find a way to provide the kind of seamless and fast experience that mobile customers expect to see.
"People are less patient when they're using mobile" said the E-commerce Experience Manager. "They want everything to go really fast. Even myself - if things don't load in five seconds I get annoyed. I think 'what is wrong with this website?'"
The hotel was already making use of Triptease Meta to increase their visibility throughout the booking funnel and drive high-value traffic to their booking engine.
"It is important for us to run metasearch because everyone is searching on Google and Google Hotels - the map, the listing, the price - that's basically the first impression of the brand, of the hotel. The official website should be visible."
But if you're investing budget in traffic acquisition strategies like metasearch without also providing those customers with a seamless onsite experience, you're likely to be wasting money - particularly on mobile. If the booking experience that metasearch customers arrive on isn't fast and simple to use, they're going to leave and book elsewhere. That means you'll have paid money to lose their booking to an OTA.
The team at the resort were already addressing this problem (and seeing an increased conversion rate from metasearch) by sending their metasearch traffic into the Express Mobile Experience - Triptease's bespoke, three-step mobile experience that takes the content from a hotel's existing booking engine and optimizes it for mobile, helping those customers to book more easily.
In February 2021 they made the decision to increase the volume of traffic being sent to the Express Mobile Experience - and that's when things began to get really interesting.
Knowing that "Mobile Express helped to simplify things and made the booking process easier", the team started to send a portion of all their mobile traffic into the Express Mobile Experience too, rather than just the customers coming from metasearch.
The result? Mobile traffic that was sent into the Express Mobile Experience converted at more than double the rate of the traffic that went to the hotel's standard mobile booking engine.
With such a marked increase in mobile traffic to the website over the past year, this focus on improving the mobile experience is exactly the right move. As their E-commerce Experience Manager says "Our plan is to improve the mobile conversion - because the traffic is already there and it's great and will continue to increase. So we just need to focus on the conversion."
This is precisely why now is the time for hotels to invest in their onsite experience. Pent up demand for bookings is at an all time high. You may have spent the past year investing in traffic acquisition in order to find the customers who were still out there looking to book. The great news is, much of that traffic is now back and ready to travel - but your mobile and desktop website and booking engine need to match the seamless and personalized e-commerce experiences customers are used to.
If converting increased mobile traffic is a focus at your hotel this year, Triptease can help! Get in touch with the team today for a personalized assessment of your current mobile experience and to discuss the right option to help you improve.