Bookings in a New York Minute: Use Micro-moments to Win that Reservation
The explosion of mobile device use and mobile internet adoption has changed the way consumers search, find and book travel products for good. With increased mobile device usage, the consumer journey has fragmented – we are used to having our cells and tablets to hand meaning in moments of intent, it’s easy to get connected, conduct a search and satisfy a demand, right there in the moment. With this connection, comes the need to understand micro moments marketing and learn how to harness its power.
How do micro-moments influence consumer decisions and actions?
Whether you’re on a train, a plane, a couch or in store, it’s easy to act on a whim, a demand or a need as it strikes. This always on mentality has led to the rise of the micro-moment; intent rich seconds which occur multiple times a day and give brands a critical opportunity to shape decisions and win conversions.
Google research shows that:
- 82% of smartphone users will access their phone to help make a purchase decision while in store. A quick mobile search before buying can be used to justify a purchase, check that a better deal isn’t available or even consult peers with a glancing look at reviews and recommendations.
- 90% of smartphone owners will use their phone to make progress towards a long term goal while going about their daily business. This could be planning the trip of a lifetime or finally visiting overseas friends and family.
- 91% of smartphone users will try something new by turning to their phone for ideas while completing a given task. This could mean searching for an excursion such as quad biking in the desert while sat in traffic or booking a flight to an as-yet-undiscovered location during a quiet moment at work.
How do micro-moments lead to bookings?
Google partnered with travel research company, Phocuswright late last year to better understand how consumers plan trips, make decisions and bookings in the new mobile-first landscape. Its research focused on adults with plans to take at least one trip in the next 12 months including at a minimum of one flight and one accommodation booking. The survey threw up a host of useful and sometimes surprising insights which can be used to shape an effective micro-moments marketing strategy:
- 60% of those surveyed said taking a trip or vacation was their largest purchase of the year. 6 in 10 spent more on their travel plans than they did on other optional expenditures such as home improvements or health-related products.
- 55% of consumers surveyed took just one to two trips per year, meaning a lot of research, thought and planning goes into making each vacation as memorable as possible.
The search engine’s study found that, while a vacation was a considered purchase for the most part, there is a big opportunity for brands to play a part in the decision making process:
- 30% of consumers would take a trip they weren’t planning on booking if a brand presented them with a deal which encouraged spontaneity (for example a discounted price or free upgrade).
- 25% would go somewhere new if the deal was attractive enough – meaning as a brand, your promotions are critical to winning over new business. Provided that you’re visible in the micro-moment, you stand a one in four chance of securing a new booking.
- 25% would book a last minute flight as the result of a deal and 32% would be persuaded to book a stay at a hotel they weren’t already familiar with.
The most critical thing when it comes to micro-moments marketing is to be there and be present. It is essential that consumers can find you online from a mobile device if you want to be part of their decision making process.Being there and being visible can take many forms, it could mean being more active in social media, investing more in SEO for more prominent local listings, soliciting more reviews from happy guests or being more proactive with content marketing. The more channels you employ, the easier you make it for mobile users to find you.
For your micro-moments marketing to lead to conversions, Google’s research also suggests that offering guarantees and peace of mind is important. Helping travelers feel more confident and comfortable in their mobile purchase can push those unsure about their decision, your hotel or package deal across the line into making a booking:
- 69% of leisure travelers told Google they were not confident they were finding the best price or making the best decision when booking a trip.
- Just 23% are confident they can find the same hotel and flight information on their mobile device as on their desktop computer.
Focus your micro-moments marketing on being helpful and reassuring to help negate these nerves. Adding AMP mark-up to your destination guides and blog content is one way to reassure consumers they have all of the necessary information to make a booking from their tablet or cell.
Investing in a mobile responsive website and prominently displaying deals, special offers and best price guarantees or free cancellation options will help to reduce mobile booking nerves.
Finally, remember the importance of consistency. Mobile has fragmented the purchase process but it doesn’t yet dominate entirely. Those acting on an impulse and firing up their mobile browser to research a hotel, look for a flight or browse excursion options won’t always complete the transaction on their cell or tablet. Around two in three travelers will double check prices and information from a desktop device and 75% will book from a desktop computer after researching via their mobile.
Being consistent with micro-moments marketing and reflecting the same information via other channels is essential for instilling confidence and funneling the customer through to making the booking.