Alternate title for today’s blog post: Don’t be Stupid About Mobile Bookings – Look at This Data
If you are a regular listener to the Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast (which you should be) or a regular reader of our blog, then you’ve heard us talk about how critical a mobile-first booking engine is to your bottom line. In fact, Stuart went on a bit of a tirade in his blog post about this topic.
In his post, Stuart mentions one group of hotels switching to our hotel booking engine, the Fuel Booking Engine, and what that meant to them. He was not lying. At the time of his post, those properties DID gain $2.2 million in mobile phone bookings for the first three months of 2017 compared to 2016. As of the writing of this post, with their peak season having just passed, those same properties have gained $6.5 million. Yes, you read that correctly.
In recent months, we’ve had several other clients switch over to the Fuel Booking Engine. I was so curious to see if the mobile light switch would be flipped for these properties as well, or if somehow this other group of properties was a fluke. Since I’m the analytics person, and I’m all about the facts, I thought I would simply share some screen shots with you of how this has played out for a few properties. You know what they say….a picture is worth a thousand words. Aside from client-sensitive information, these images are unedited, taken directly from Adobe Analytics.
The first client I am sharing is our most recent one to make the switch. This is a monthly trend of the mobile conversion rate on the site for the year.
The change to the Fuel Booking Engine occurred on August 1, as indicated by the purple diamond. For this particular client, conversion rate had certainly increased year over year throughout the first seven months. However, look at the jump in August through mid-September. Yes, the conversion rate numbers are still low, and charts can look disproportionately positive with small numbers. So, let’s talk about the bottom line: revenue. 240 more bookings in a month and a half and an increase of $115,000.
Let’s move on to another property. You can see the purple diamond in June, where our hotel reservation software was launched at the very end of the month. Look at what happened in July through September.
Take a look at the desktop version of this data. The site was redesigned at the same time the switch to the Fuel Booking Engine occurred. So yes, there is a nice conversion rate increase yr-yr. However look at the trend month to month after the launch. This is peak season for this property, and we expect to see conversion rate drop at this time of year, which is demonstrated with the desktop traffic. The mobile version has conversion rate increasing. Pretty awesome, right?
In terms of dollars and cents, what did this mean to this client? Just for July and August, nearly $300,000 more mobile phone revenue from 370 more bookings.
Here is the last example property, just in case you are still not convinced. This property switched booking engines in late January. This switch did not include a website redesign.
BAM! Look at that graph! Over 1% conversion rate from February to April…on a mobile phone. Please, let’s never again say consumers are only researching on their phone and prefer to book on a desktop.
Still think this is all coincidental? Just for the heck of it, let’s look at the previous year. Perhaps this was just a fluke. Mobile conversion rates have been going up over time. So maybe the data is looking more positive than it really is.
Hmm. 2016 looks pretty darn close to 2015 for this client. I’m going out on a limb and saying the 2017 increase is not a fluke. Revenue impact? $500,000 more booked on a mobile phone.
There you have it. The facts. Is this post a little self-serving in promoting our booking engine? Yes. However, it also serves a point to prove that as a hotelier today, you have GOT to be thinking mobile first. You have GOT to have a great mobile booking experience. Your consumers don’t just want that experience; they expect it. Don’t be the property leaving money on the table because your booking engine is not conducive to putting money in your pocket.