Is your website speed killing your hotel’s mobile bookings?

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Smartphones and tablet devices are intrinsic to day-to-day lives. So much so that mobile browsing surpassed desktop internet use for the first time last year.

In many sectors, mobile internet use is driving huge changes and presents immense opportunities. In 2016 for example, Adobe data showed that Black Friday became the first day it retail history to generate over $1 billion in mobile revenue. The total figure of $1.2 billion was a 33% increase in the amount of mobile sales generated the same day the previous year.

In travel especially, the mobile revolution is having a marked impact. Google research shows that travellers rely on their mobiles more now than ever before. The search engine says, “Recent Google data has shown that there are already more searches on mobile than desktop for select travel categories, such as family vacations and luxury travel. And when it comes to planning vacation activities, mobile devices are giving travellers increased flexibility. Many travellers are willing to plan activities on the fly, while they are at their destination.”

Why then, is the rate of cart abandonment 2 in 5 for travel products? Jumio data shows that consumers abandon travel bookings on mobile because of poor user experiences. Offering a seamless mobile experience is the cornerstone of hotel responsive web design but, it could be that the speed of your site, rather than more practical factors such as your hotel website booking engine could be letting you down.

According to Kissmetrics data, almost one third of users say that mobile sites or apps are too slow to load. Almost half (47%) expect any site they visit on their smartphone or table to load in two seconds or less.

If your mobile page, whether that’s the home page or hotel website booking engine, takes longer than three seconds to load, 40% of users will abandon the site and go elsewhere. This is of course terrible news for both your conversion rate and for your occupancy rate.

Online Booking

If your mobile hotel website booking engine, or any other part of your site, leaves users dissatisfied, either because it’s slow to load or because it isn’t mobile-friendly, 79% of users are less likely to book with you again. This means a slow, unresponsive site isn’t just bad news for your bookings now, it can also continue to have a negative effect later on, when those same customers require another hotel stay.

The rise of the mobile internet has been fuelled by the convenience of being able to browse on the go. It should come as no surprise to learn that 46% of people say that waiting for a mobile page to load is their least favourite aspect of the online shopping experience. With page speed so crucial, taking every measure possible to factor in hotel responsive web design and streamline page load times should be a priority for your marketing team.

Speed is clearly a crucial part of mobile conversions. The quicker your pages load, the lower your bounce rate and the less frustrated the user. A consequence of this is that you’re likely to see fewer abandoned bookings from mobile devices.

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