We recently found an interesting article on Hotel News Now website titled "Hotels must ease booking shift from mobile to desktop." Below are some key points from the article which we found interesting. To read the full article head to the bottom of the page and follow the link.

Consumers often begin their travel planning on smartphones and tablets, however, clunky payment gateways and reduced information available on screen create discomfort when actually making purchases on their mobile phones. This leads to a jump from a mobile to desktop for making final bookings which hoteliers must streamline if they would like to take full advantage of the existing consumer behaviour.

In a recent webinar “Mobile’s breaking points: Are smartphones ready for centre stage in travel planning?”, Douglas Quinby, Phocuswright VP of research, and Google product marketing manager Shelby Coyne discussed the various paths travellers take in booking their journeys.

Quinby analysed that consumers in the U.S. are very comfortable in using smartphones for surfing travel destinations, but there’s a drop in their comfort levels when making a purchase comparatively to buying music and books.

“There’s very clearly a migration from smartphone to desktop or laptop,” Quinby said.

There could be a number of factors on why there is a difference in comfort, including concerns about the “quality or comprehensiveness of the data” available on mobile, Quinby added.

This problem can be combatted by taking simple steps such as saving searches to be accessed via desktop. Also, Sam Trotter, corporate brand strategist for Charlestowne Hotels said adding retargeted advertising and collecting emails at every opportunity can bridge the gap.

As more and more consumers get comfortable with booking via mobile, hoteliers must make that experience as streamlined as possible.

Coyne described a consumer behaviour named “micromoments” which is the initial stages of travel planning done on a mobile. Google has done a body of research into this.

“These moments show intent and ultimately inform the booking decision,” Coyne said.

In a recent Google report on micromoments, it explains that they “occur when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped.”

Coyne adds that these moments include “dreaming moments” when travellers are searching for broad inspiration such as a destination spot or travel tips. A session might be 100 different moments across devices.

Trotter sees the power of these moments for his business. “Guests aren’t booking at that point, but it leads to that eventual transaction,” he said.

Quincy noted that hoteliers must keep in mind that guests jump back on to their mobiles after making a booking on their desktop.

Trotter said larger hotel brand companies has the advantage to make travel more seamless through the use of their mobile apps and loyalty programs.

Quinby said communicating with guests via their smartphones and “creating a uniquely differentiated experience” via a mobile is what hotels should be able to do because “they own the customer in the experience.”

For the source article, click here.

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