September 22, 2014
Don't Snub the Small Screen: Mobile Made Easy With Responsive Web Design
HeBS Digital, a marketing consultancy, recently released data that showed one in eight bookings at small and mid-sized hotels in North America are made on mobile devices. What's more, in the first half of 2014, more than 42 percent of Web visitors and nearly 38 percent of page views were generated from mobile and tablet devices among the 1,000+ properties managed by HeBS Digital clients. These figures have more than doubled since 2012.
Along with plenty other research conducted on consumer mobile use, this data tells us that businesses simply can't ignore mobile any longer.
The Mobile Movement in Tourism & Hospitality
A study published by Google late last year, The 2013 Traveler, also highlights the importance of embracing mobile for sales and marketing in the travel industry. Some key points from the report include:
Travel planning is no longer limited to a single screen; 89 percent of travelers who research travel online moved across devices to complete travel-related tasks.
Among online sources, travelers mostly turn to hotel (brand) websites and search engines to plan travel.
Forty-two percent of travelers are more likely to use their smartphone or tablet for travel-related information while traveling (up from 33 percent in 2012).
Of travelers who use smartphones for travel planning, 1 in 4 book accommodation via their smartphone.
Travelers prefer mobile websites over mobile apps for booking travel.
It's clear: now is the time to make your mobile-savvy customers a priority. As the Google research shows, it's important to cater to your customers across all screens - desktop, tablet and smartphone - so your business can be found wherever they look.
To cater to consumers across devices, Web content (layout, text, images) and the user experience (think touch-screens) must be customized for each device and screen size. You've probably suffered the frustration of trying to use a website built for desktop on your tablet or smartphone; the text is too small, buttons don't work, drop-down menus are a nightmare — it's a real turn-off.
Some businesses accommodate their mobile customers by creating a dedicated mobile site, separate from their main website. Others opt for a single, flexible website built with responsive Web design technology.
Mobile Made Easy With Responsive Web Design
Imagine one smart website that automatically detects the device accessing it and customizes content and the user experience accordingly — well, that's responsive Web design. This adaptive technology allows businesses to manage all their Web content in one place, while providing an optimized user experience on each and every device. A single responsive website is more cost effective than developing, hosting and maintaining separate sites, too.
Rather than explain the technology, it will be easier to show you: the webrezpro.com website, designed by World Web Technologies Inc., is built with responsive Web design. Whether you view it on your smartphone, tablet or desktop, it looks great and functions smoothly, automatically tailored to the device for optimal presentation and performance. If you're new to the concept of responsive Web design, you might even find it hard to believe that it's just one website.
In tourism and hospitality especially, your website is the face of your business as most of your customers are meeting you for the first time online. And because a rapidly increasing number of those online visitors are reaching your website through mobile devices, you need to show your best side there, too. Search engines are also responding to the increased use of smartphones and tablets by ranking mobile-friendly sites higher. Optimizing your website for mobile is, therefore, optimizing your website (and business) for success.
The mobile movement has flourished so fast that many businesses are still catching up. Those that are embracing mobile now have the advantage.