How to Get More Bookings from Mobile Devices

mobile bookings

Optimizing your customer experience for mobile bookings requires a different approach compared to desktop.

From the way you display your offers to the type of content you create, you must take into account the different ways of consuming information and the buyer stage your customers are in when using their phones.

So in this article, we’re going to explore why it’s important to optimize your customer experience for mobile phones and the specific steps you should take in order to do that.

Ready? Let’s go.

The numbers: Mobile booking statistics you should know about

Check this out: 

According to BroadbandSearch, 2016 was the first year when internet usage on mobile phones surpassed desktop. 

And this trend hasn’t stopped. 

In 2019, 53.3% of online traffic came from mobile devices, with people spending an average of 3.5 hours on their phones every single day

But it’s now 2020 and you probably know all of that. You also know that Google switched to mobile-first indexing, meaning they use the mobile version of content to index and rank pages.

What about the leisure, travel and tourism industry? Well, here’s some of we know so far: 

  • 85% of travelers use smartphones to plan their trips (Source)
  • 76% of travelers say their smartphone is the most important travel companion (Source)
  • 48% of all smartphone users are happy to research, book and plan their whole trip to a new destination using just a mobile device (Source)

So we have solid reasons to prioritize mobile experiences. The question is: how will you, as a tour or activity provider, make the most of this trend?

1. Simplify your website 

You might be tempted to include as much information and images as possible on your website.

However, this can have some negative effects. 

People tend to ignore blocks of text so long paragraphs are not recommended if you want to boost conversions. 

Similarly, too many elements can distract visitors from the main call to action you want to push, such as making a booking or signing up for your email list. 

So it makes sense to simplify your website as much as possible (without omitting key information). This has a number of advantages:

  • Faster load times due to fewer elements.
  • Better customer experience as it’s easier to browse. 
  • Reduced chance of broken or misaligned content on mobile. 

So when it comes to mobile optimization, sometimes less is more. In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: 

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

2. Introduce a mobile-only offer

One of the best ways to increase your mobile bookings is offering a special incentive. 

For example, you can introduce a mobile-only discount towards booking a tour or activity. 

If you have a mobile app, you can also provide a value voucher to anyone who downloads it. 

There are many possibilities here depending on your pricing and any merchandise you sell so consider experimenting with different offers to see what works best. 

The main goal here is boosting engagement and mobile bookings – the increase in customer loyalty and satisfaction will take care of your profits later. 

3. Adjust your marketing communication 

As mobile devices have smaller screens, a lot of your marketing communication might need to be adjusted so it’s fully visible. 

Apart from your website (mentioned earlier), there are 2 other big areas to consider: 

  1. Your SEO titles and meta descriptions. 
  2. Email subject lines.

As a rule of thumb, keep your SEO titles up to 60 characters and your meta descriptions up 160 characters. This way, you can expect them to be visible on most mobile screens without getting cut by Google.

When it comes to email, 61% of messages in 2018 were opened on mobile devices. So it’s crucial to optimize your subject lines and keep them around 40 characters or 7 words. There are differences between email clients and devices but this seems to be the sweet spot. 

4. Consider investing in your own mobile app 

According to Jersey Island Holidays travel conversion rates on mobile apps are 5x higher compared to mobile websites. 

This finding is consistent with general e-commerce data where consumers convert 4.2x as much when using a brand’s native mobile app. 

This is especially useful if you run a high-volume attraction with a significant distribution capability via social media or your email list. 

If you have this sort of reach, a mobile app can make a big difference to your profits in the long run. 

4. Leverage OTAs with a strong mobile presence 

True, investing in a mobile app is not the right (or feasible) move for everyone. 

However, you can still reach a mobile audience by using the right online travel agencies (OTAs)

OTAs have been investing heavily in mobile for years and have made easy bookings a matter of principle. So if you want to quickly access a mobile-first audience, such as millennials, consider listing your tours or activities on the right platform. 

Some of our recommended partners include:

6. Use the right technology 

Nowadays, most website themes and builders are mobile responsive so the content automatically adjusts to fit the screen. And if you’re using the Regiondo booking system, your tour or activity offers are fully optimized already. 

However, if you haven’t updated your website in a long time, it’s good to double-check your performance using Google’s mobile-friendly test or a similar tool. This will give you some suggestions for improvement where needed.

You should also avoid using too many tags and services on your website as they could make it slower. Stick to the basics like Google Analytics and your live chat – more sophisticated tools are nice to have but often come at the expense of user experience. 

Conclusion

This was a quick look at some of the best practices you can take if you want to get more bookings from mobile devices. 

It’s now 2020 and the numbers speak for themselves – the world is going mobile and so is the travel, leisure, and tourism industry. 

If you want to capitalize on this trend, keep the following in mind: 

  • Simple is better than complex.
  • Your marketing communication should reflect the medium you use.
  • Mobile apps are a great investment if you’re a high-volume tour or attraction business.
  • If you can’t afford an app, partner with the right OTAs.
  • Use mobile-responsive technology to host your website and accept bookings.

If you’d like to learn more about growing your tour or activity business, check out our guide to online marketing below: 

About Trifon Tsvetkov
Hi, I'm Trifon and I'm Regiondo's Content Manager! Hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland (but originally Bulgarian) I like to stay on the edge of what's going on in the worlds of travel and marketing. When I'm not researching, outlining, writing or editing, I play lots of chess and football. Get in touch with me for anything Regiondo or just to have a chat!
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