Undoubtedly, mobile travel is growing up and tourism businesses and in particular hotels need to take m-commerce seriously and most importantly, take advantage of that. During the holiday season, consumers are eager to get hold of bargains during Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. M-commerce is certainly on the rise and mobile commerce’s importance is very important to the 21st century (Tnooz 2013).
E-COMMERCE AND HOTELS
For hoteliers worldwide, mobile commerce is the future. However, to begin with, any hotelier needs to think about and consider the development of a comprehensive mobile strategy. Mobile commerce is already strong in figures and will further grow in 2014. Within a year, mobile commerce sales have doubled which means that these are even a quarter of total online sales. Google also released figures indicating that 17.4% of total web traffic now stems from mobile devices. For 2014, further growth in the mobile space with regards to both traffic and sales are predicted.
POTENTIAL FOR M-COMMERCE
For hoteliers, m-commerce sales still show a continuous rise which is growing proportional to online sales. However, within the travel industry, many marketers still struggle to develop mobile apps and sites that cater to consumer needs and are mobile and user friendly. Consumers do expect mobile sites and apps that are easy to use, fully mobile accessible across platforms. Once this first step has been overcome, hoteliers and marketers can then think about ways to sophisticate and improve the overall hotel or tourism experience and also to identify ways in which the revenue process can be increased and m-commerce is certainly one way to go.
According to Tnooz, linking a rewards programme with mobile platforms can be a good starting point for hoteliers and tourism businesses. As smartphones and tablets become more sophisticated, the same also applies to ways to do business on these. Some technologies are already existing that could sophisticate mobile experiences further such as NFC (near field communication) where a smartphone can be used as a room key or vouchers can be redeemed. Taping into mobile commerce can increase revenue for tourism businesses and not taking advantage of mobile technologies can actually result in lost opportunities and decreased revenue over time.
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