No, this post is NOT about arguing why mobile app is better than mobile web and vice versa. We already published the topic about advantages of mobile apps several months ago. We have often had to argue with hoteliers about why hotels should have mobile app and why mobile web is not enough. Please note, that this posts doesn’t try to sell anything. Except, the objective of this post is to discuss how these media can support each other in order to improve overall guest’s experience.
Mobile web is a version of your hotel website that appears when your guests are using a web browser via their mobile devices. On the other hand, mobile application is installed in the mobile devices of your guests and users don’t have to use web browser to access the hotel – they just launch and use it.
Sales funnel and customer journey
Two really similar terms you have probably heard of. Sales funnel is a sequence of steps you lead your customer from initial acquisition to purchase (or retention) whereas customer journey is a sum of experiences your customer go through when interacting with your hotel. Mobile web and mobile app fit into both of them in a different way.
Mobile website is obviously useful when gathering a critical mass of potential guests in the awareness stage, consideration stage and decision making stage of customer journey. Drivel, huh? To make it more clear, your website is often the first place your potential guests come when they are looking for a hotel. It is their first impression of yourself that helps them create a list of potential candidates to stay at as much as a list (well, perhaps not the list) of hotels they will not visit.
As the huge portion of guests accesses your website via mobile device, the clarity, usability and attractiveness of your mobile website are critical factors that determines on which list your hotel will be. Remember that you only have one chance to make the first impression. So your website should satisfy the criteria your guests are expecting. In my previous post, I interviewed Adele Revella on how you can research your guests. These insights will help you build an information base of your website.
Many businesses forget for the last part of the sales funnel – promoters. You should also delight your guests to make them buy again (because it is cheaper to make the existing customer purchase more time than make another customer) or spread a nice word about your business.
As much as mobile web is a great medium for pre-purchase activities of your guests such as research and booking, mobile application is a great tool to improve the on-site experience of your guests. Thanks to the mobile app, your guests can access your services and your hotel’s staff with ease. They have 24/7 access to your hotel offer so they can purchase more services once they are accommodated. They can contact your reception via live chat. You can also inform them with personalized messages about special offers or any other news.
You probably figured out that mobile application will help you please your guests during their stay. And what about results? Will positive word-of-mouth and repeated visit of your hotel will satisfy you? In case your mobile application is still active about guest’s leave, you can use the app for personalized offers that will either make your guest come again or spread a word about it among her friends.
Mobile website is useful in the awareness, consideration and decision stage of buyer journey. It helps attract new potential guests and move them through sales funnel to the booking itself. On the other hand, mobile application is beneficial during the stay of the guests and can help to generate repeated visits and positive word-of-mouth. If you want to learn more about the use of mobile web vs. mobile app, subscribe to our newsletter and we will inform you once the new piece of content is out.