Responsive or Bust - Why Responsive Websites are So Critical in Hospitality
Think back to the time when vacations were not planned online; the time when magazine ads, tour books and brochures were the key components of a traveler's research process. Travelers used tour books to explore hotels and resorts, driving directions were on an AAA TripTik, and hotels sent brochures directly to customers through the mail. Yes, those were the days!
Today's travelers are interested in the same information; however, the process has changed drastically. Clearly, the differentiator of the travel research process from 20+ years ago compared to 10 years ago was the Internet.
With this in mind, let's take a look at how users are currently spending their time online.
What does this mean for your hotel?
The time when websites were only visited through a desktop computer is long gone. To be successful in the ultra-competitive hospitality industry, hoteliers must be able to sell their property though a consistent website experience. One that is accessible and functional across desktops, tablets and smartphones. In other words: device agnostic.
According to Google, by 2016, 72 million Americans will research travel plans on their smartphone. 36 million of those users will book their stay with their smartphones.
Having a consistent experience across all devices will help your hotel improve website engagement and conversions.
What is the Solution?
How can a hotel's website meet the needs of the everyday traveler who is using multiple devices to plan that perfect vacation or business trip? The answer is of course, a responsive design. Sabre Hospitality has seen conversion rates increase by up to 15% when launching a responsive website compared to the previous separate desktop and mobile websites.
So let's start with:
What is a Responsive Website?
A website designed and developed with responsive functionality allows the user to have a consistent experience across all devices. A responsive website's content & layout automatically adapts to the users device, be it a desktop, tablet, or mobile device. Take a look at this example of a responsive website: http://zeus.synxisinstasite.sabredemos.com/ and look at it in all your devices. You'll note that it's the same URL it just resizes based on the device you are using.
Why a Responsive Design?
Besides our analysis of increased conversions, here are more reasons:
- It's a solution that addresses how users and visitors are engaging with your digital assets. Users now expect a seamless experience across their devices.
- Easy to manage: You just update one page and it renders appropriately on all the devices, you don't have to worry about updating your desktop or your mobile site separately.
- Listen to your audience: Look at your analytics to determine how your users are engaging with your site to optimize content.
How can we help?
Customers are expecting a seamless experience and you would fail to meet your visitors and guests needs if you don't create the best experience for them. If your user accesses your mobile site and it is not a great experience that relationship will probably end there, resulting in lost bookings and loyalty.
Our team designs and develops content using best-practices methodology for every responsive website we create. Our expertise and research in hospitality technology ensures that our designs convert and increase revenue for our customers.
Learn more about device responsive websites from your Sabre Hospitality Solutions account manager.
Written By: Eric Reece