3 Tweaks to Get More Mobile Bookings

February 15, 2018, Taylor Odgers

Chances are you’re an expert in customer service. It’s how you connect with your guests, create memorable experiences, and maybe even earned your five-star rating.

But if you had to rate your mobile booking experience could you say the same?

Today the guest experience doesn’t begin when someone arrives on your property, but when they land on your website. And more of these experiences are happening on mobile.

Since the beginning of the year, 47% of Checkfront’s customer’s bookings were made on a mobile phone or tablet.

Think about that for a second. Half of the online bookings were made on mobile.

This means that the performance of your mobile website is vital to your business.

There are a ton of resources out there explaining how to optimize your website for mobile. But here are a few quick fixes you can start implementing today.

3 tweaks to get more mobile bookings

1. Improve load times

Mobile browsers have little patience. The average session is 72 seconds long. On top of that, 40% of consumers will leave if a site takes more than 3 seconds to load. And 79% of shoppers who aren’t happy with the performance of a mobile site say they’re less likely to buy again.

So if you want your user to stick around, and come back, your site has to be speedy.

run-to-mobile-bookings

There are a lot of factors that can lead to a slow website, but images are always the biggest offender.

Websites designed for desktop browsing have beautiful pictures that take up a lot of space, and speed. But you don’t need a 1200 px wide image when someone is looking at your website on their phone.

The easiest fix is to save your images in the right format. Use SVGs for your logos and icons, and JPEGs for photographs. Images should be run through an image optimizer to reduce file size. You can do this using free tools like tinypng.com or kraken.io.

For more ideas on how to improve your mobile site speed check out Google’s page speed insights tool.  It will show you how your site performs and give you suggestions for how to make improvements.

2. Make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for

If your site is fast enough that people stick around, you have just over a minute to help them make a booking. So give them immediate access to key information.

For your guests, it’s if your tours have openings during their travel dates.

mobile-bookings-availability-search

Searching for The London Experience’s availability is easy. Website built using Checkfront’s Site

Add a search widget to the first screen of your site that makes your inventory searchable by date. The goal here is to make the booking experience as seamless as possible and not lead guests down a path they can’t complete— like deciding on a tour only to find it’s fully booked.

3. Simplify the booking form

While you might be tempted to collect a bunch of guest information upfront, a long form can hurt your conversion rates. Filling out forms takes longer on a phone than on a desktop. So only ask for the information that you really need.

Try simplifying your forms to 3 fields— the name and email of the person making the booking, and the number of people in the party. That way you remove the obstacle of a time-consuming form and move them along to payment.

simple-mobile-checkout

Simple booking form created by Checkfront’s Site Builder

Once they’ve reserved, it’s easy to automate follow up emails in Checkfront to collect the rest of the guest details you need. And it gives them the convenience of providing it when it’s best for them.

Note: If you’re using Checkfront for bookings and want to collect payment you’ll need to ask for a billing address as well.

Creating a great mobile booking experience requires different skills than creating a great guest experience, but the concepts are the same. It’s about anticipating your guests need and exceeding their expectations. With these 3 small changes, your website will drastically improve its customer service.

P.S. If you’re having trouble updating your current website, or need to outsource this work to a developer, there is a better way. Checkfront has a code-free Site Builder that comes with all these mobile best practices built in. Want to give it a try?

Start your free 21 day trial of Checkfront today!

No credit card required. Amazing support. Commission free.

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