The tech company Roiback, specialist and leader in the management of the direct channel of hotel sales, has informed that more than 50% of hotels direct traffic comes from the mobile phone channel. This and other revealing figures were presented last Thursday at #MOBILEISNOW event, organized by APD (Association for the Management Progress, in Spanish) in collaboration with Roiback and Google.
Mobile technology is key for today’s society. In fact, the Mobile Economy 2019 report indicates that two out of three people have mobile service. In the tourism sector, the use of the mobile phone for basic processes has become essential. In fact, in Spain, mobile reservations have increased 82%, according to Rebeca González, Managing Director of Roiback, who considered the mobile phone as a “key” tool “for last minute reservations.”
During her speech about the mobile generation and the great opportunity that this represents for the tourism industry, González said that, in the case of Roiback, more than 30% of sales come from the mobile phone, a channel that has increased its importance more than 40% since last year. Considering that millennials will represent 75% of the working population in 2025 and that their main worries are, in the first place, connection and, in the second, portability, González did not hesitate to conclude the importance for the hotel industry to optimize the mobile channel: “Those hotels that do not have an optimal mobile solution will see their sales and their profitability impacted in a negative way.” The impact can already be seen. In fact, the growth of the metasearch engines reservations that come from mobile already surpasses 78% of reservations coming from the desktop.
A permanently connected society
Jon Recacoechea, Industry Manager Travel of Google, talked about the mobile commerce as an unstoppable tendency that is at its peak. “80% of us check its phone during the first 15 minutes after waking up,” Recacoechea explained. He also added that throughout the day, the number of mobile consultations increases up to 200 times and 79% of adults have their mobile phone with them at least during 22 hours per day. The executive highlighted that more than 40% of Spaniards would rather give up sex for a month than their mobile phone.
Recacoechea insisted as well as Rebeca González about the importance of mobile for society, especially when managing trips and leisure and he underlined the key moments of the year, for example: “During Black Friday 2018, 54% of travel searches were made with the mobile,” Nowadays, as he explained, the mobile is involved in 39% of conversions at Spanish hotels.
Besides the talks by González and Recacoechea, Martín Ribas, CEO of APD in the Balearic Islands; Andrés González, Chief Financial Officer of Hotelbeds and Iñaki Cabrera, CEO at CG&A mCommerce, also participated in the event. There was a round table focused on strategies to maximize mobile commerce, which was moderated by Leonardo Llorente, Head of Product & Innovation at Roiback with the participation of the panellists: Alejandro Lazcano, Ecommerce Director of Palladium Hotel Group, Ricardo Fernández, Managing Director at Destinia, in addition to the previously mentioned Cabrera and Recacoechea.
During the round table, Alejandro Lazcano stressed that “it is essential how we adapt the content part in the mobile and hoteliers must make the greatest differentiation. In Palladium Hotel Group we have many brands and what sometimes is difficult that in many of these brands, the users end up finding us, not only millennials but also the rest of generations.” He concluded by saying that “in addition to all the speed, download and other data, there is a part of content that for us is the key and focus of where we have to differentiate from each other.”
To the question asked in the panel about what are the key elements for an effective mobile sales tool, Ricardo Fernández said that “the main thing in order to sell on the mobile is to really understand what the mobile is and what you want to do with the it”. And he continued, “I always say that mobile conversions are more complicated than desktop, but desktop was always much more complicated than selling in a travel agency. If we had tried to sell on mobile with the same conversion as a travel agency, it would have been impossible.”
Iñaki Cabrera said that “we always say that the user experience in this (mobile) channel is key, in desktop it is much more tolerant, but in mobile when you do the slightest thing wrong, with a field that overcomes you , you’ve already screwed up.” And he added, “then you have to make it very concrete, very well thought out and very well measured, that nothing needs to be added or missing, that is the key.”
Finally, Jon Recacoechea stressed the importance of “not putting stones in the road,” and pointed out that “the contact center helps to solve some problems that the mobile has and enables a channel that also has an exceptional user experience. Where is the challenge? In that everything that happens in the contact center can then be attributed to mobile, so that when we later analyze the data, we know that the attribution we can give to that closed sale of contact center is caused by the mobile.”