Monday, November 28, 2011

Affordable Mobile Websites are you ready?

As we've said in previous mobile website blog articles accessing hotel and travel information via smart phones and mobile devices is not the future it's the present and accommodation providers across Scotland need to be looking at what their offering is ahead of what is going to be a highly competitive year ahead.

If you haven't given it a thought spend five minutes reading the article and then deciding how you should act.

What we've created is both uniquely simple and affordable - under £500 affordable - and with the growth in mobile devices is something that you really should consider now.

How Does it Work?

Well it's pretty seamless really. The mobile user searches for a hotel in St Andrews and finds The Inn at Lathones in either Google Adwords, natural listings. He may also be using Google Hotel Finder or Google Places.

It's important to your search strategy but not to your mobile website because as soon as he click onto the hotel website address it recognises that it's a mobile device and diverts the user straight to the mobile version homepage - on the left. The user can now simply scroll up and down the menu and click on what is required.

The hotelier can update their pages easily and quickly using our content management system The Claymore Project. Add local events, special offers or even daily menus to encourage the conversion of the enquiry. It's up to you as it's all managed by you - drag and drop new pages in as you wish.

Mobile sites are stripped down so your website is really travelling light. No needless graphics or long content. The user profile is likely to be on the move and looking for a room or a restaurant or an event in the near future.

Introduce your property and sell it. Who, What, Why, Where, When and How always works!


Outline your facilities with a simple to scroll list of highlights and selling points.

Describe your bedroom facilities, wining and dining options to give the guest the comfort that you have what they are seeking.

If you wish emphasise and promote something that's taking place or an offer to encourage immediate booking.

Remember this site is probably competing with the OTA's (, and possibly even Groupon and Living Social) so you need to sell up what you have on offer in the same way to get the much needed DIRECT sale.


The Mobile version website may be stripped down but that doesn't mean it lacks neither functionality nor personality. You can add and managed your images shown on the site easily from your own computer and change when required. This includes the background image on the mobile website menu/home page.

The interface for the mobile user is easy too.

Click on the Gallery, select an image and a full version of the picture comes up on screen.

The user can then simply swipe the screen or click on the arrows to navigate through the whole image gallery.

Easy to use and with the proper images another way to convert the "Looker to a Booker". So you're not sacrificing the use of images in your mobile site just keeping them in a single place.
Contact Details

The contact details page is again more than just a listing. It is interactive and designed for the mobile device which is using the information

It therefore allows the user to send an email or phone the accommodation provider with a simple click or tap.
It can also link directly to a Facebook page if required or go straight to the booking page.

If the mobile device user wishes to call the hotel directly to enquire about reservations it's made simple for them.

A tap or click on the phone number will bring up the Call box.

The same process would be used for an email or if requested a text message if the hotel wished to provide a dedicated mobile number.
Geo Location (or Maps!)

For a mobile device it is essential that location information is provided in a user friendly manner.

Our mobile website uses Google Maps and means that the user (if their location services are activated on their device) can easily get travel directions to the premises from their current location.

They simply click on the address or location button and the map with the hotel location appears. Turn on Route and the directions appear.

This is what your potential visitor wants to see.

Not only does it include the practical it also includes the graphic. The little yellow man icon at the top of the map page indicates the availability of Street View.

A tap or a click will bring up the Google Street View image of the property. Nice little touch.

Booking and Conversion

There's little point in creating a fully functional easy to navigate mobile version of your website if it can't just as easily take bookings.

Our mobile websites are powered by Bookassist Booking Engine which means that for current Bookassist users you have to do nothing more than update your extranet as you currently do. The same availability and rate details feed your mobile site as feeds your main site and Facebook page.

Not using Bookassist? 

Not a problem then you can still use our mobile sites - simply treat it as another distribution channel - we can set you up on Bookassist within 72 hours and you can have your own fully functioning, low cost of commission, seamless mobile room sales channel (complete with complimentary Facebook App!).

We have designed the Mobile Website to be useful for any and every accommodation provider.

Once the mobile user has clicked the calendar dates they are taken to the choices screen on the left.

The screen will show all the hotel's room options and packages.

With the new drag and drop interface in the booking engine it easier that ever to position your room order to suit your sales needs.

Room prices and full descriptions with a specific image for each package will show on the screen and the Book button sits prominently at the foot of the description.

The booking button takes the mobile user into the third and final screen in the booking process with confirmed credit cards being entered to confirm the reservation.

Note: like the version on hotel websites, the mobile version is fully PCI compliant - something worth remembering and a major plus point for your customers and merchant services provider.

Booking Summary

The mobile users preferences are shown listing

  • Total Cost including any booking fees (usually none)
  • Total Payable Now
  • Balance Due at the hotel on arrival
  • Deposit terms and conditions
Credit Card Details

Full details are then entered to secure the booking
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Mobile Number (Text confirmation is sent automatically)
  • Email (Also sent automatically)
  • Card Type
  • Card Number
  • Cardholder Name
  • Verification Number
  • Terms and Conditions Tick Box (These are specific to the individual hotel and not general terms)
The user clicks the Complete My Reservation and the transaction is complete.

In all honesty it could probably take less time to complete the reservation than it does to read the above! It is very simple, safe and secure.

Ensuring return on investment from your web app Bookassist booking engine also tracks all bookings through its systems, including hotel web app bookings. The powerful reporting is based on booking engine integration with the Google Analytics and will show you at a glance how your mobile platform is performing.

Getting Your Business Mobile with Open Rooms MM12

Providing proper mobile and social media access for hotel guests can create a strong impression of the business and what it stands for and for sure properly built platforms drive conversion.

You can get your hotel or accommodation on the move with Open Rooms Mobile in less than 72 hours and for current users of Bookassist there's a great incentive to get your website mobilised before New Year.

Open Rooms MM12 is our suite of four website design and development options for accommodation providers of all shapes and sizes across Scotland.  

Call us on 01292 52104 or download a Open Rooms Mobile PDF for more information.

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