We have discussed the role technology plays in the hospitality at length on the ResortsandLodges.com Business Blog, but the digital customer experience agency MCD Partners has taken this examination a step further. They surveyed 1,000 American travelers about their views on the average hotel digital experience.
In particular, the agency breaks down digital experiences across three demographics: Family, Leisure and Business travelers.
MCD presents four findings in their white paper, which is available to download here. We will be discussing each finding in detail over the course of the next few days and let you know how you can incorporate these findings into your digital campaign.
Finding Number One: Quality is King
For 70% of travelers surveyed, a hotel’s website and app influenced their decision to book a stay. Travelers often feel that a hotel’s digital offerings reflect what the experience will be like at the hotel itself.
Travelers were asked, “How much of an impact does the quality of the hotel’s website, app or other digital tools have on your decision to stay?” These were the results:
As you can see, quality digital tools play a moderate to strong role in the decision making process, regardless of demographic. Family travelers in particular indicate that digital tools affect their hotel choice. One such traveler said, “If they take the time to have a great website, it tells me they will take the time to make sure I have a great travel experience.”
How This Applies to Your Website
You do not have to break your marketing budget trying to create a state-of-the-art website that is more confusing than effective. At the same time, you do not want a website to look like it was constructed in the 1990’s.
Here are three things to keep in mind with your brand.com website, apps and other digital tools:
1) Functionality is the key – Make sure your website is easily navigable and that travelers can get to your booking platform with the least number of clicks possible. Make sure your images look professional, or that you have a nice blend of guest submissions with your professional photos.
2) Mobile responsiveness across all devices - Your standard website may not appear the same way on a mobile device as it does on a standard desktop or laptop computer. Make sure your site is coded to be responsive to fit a wide variety of screens including tablets and smartphones. That way travelers on-the-go will be able to use your site wherever they are.
3) Mobile apps are great…BUT – They are useless if the app does not work. Many companies release their applications without beta testing them, leading to mixed results. If you have to make a decision between releasing your app early, or ensuring it is the best tool possible, delay the release and get the bugs out.