Strategy

Why Your Hospitality Business Needs To Be ‘Mobile First’

It only makes sense that we make our businesses not just ‘mobile-friendly’ but ‘mobile-first’.

Author

Aimie Neighbour
New Business & Digital Marketing Manager

The way we interact online has changed. Thanks to mobile we have access to the internet anywhere and any time. Our demands are becoming more specific and we’re turning to the web to tend to the ‘micro-moments’ that happen in our daily lives.

Consumers are expecting brands to address their needs in these moments with real-time relevance, and there’s a lot more that hospitality businesses should be doing to be present. Smartphones are integral in our daily lives. 87% of Millennials have their smartphone by their side day and night. We check our phone 150 times a day. It only makes sense that we make our businesses not just ‘mobile friendly’ but ‘mobile first’.

We check our phone 150 times a day.

  1. Your Website

If your website isn’t responsive then forget it. Last year, changes to Google’s algorithm meant that if someone is searching on a mobile phone and your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you simply won’t show up. If you do have a responsive website you’re off to a great start but make sure you have relevant information, it’s easy to navigate and loads quickly. Google found that only 9% of users will stay on a mobile site or app if it doesn’t satisfy their needs. Also bear in mind that micro-moments aren’t called micro for nothing – users want to know and go quickly so your mobile experience has to be fast and frictionless; let people find the information they need, such as menus or booking availability.

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  1. Your Marketing Strategy

With over 50% of searches for restaurants coming from mobile, it’s crucial that your business has a mobile-first marketing strategy. Search engine average position is much more important in mobile as small mobile screens make the ad stand out more at the top. Location proximity also matters to mobile consumers and restaurant Search Engine Marketing has therefore adopted a local approach. The search for ‘near me’ has increased 34x since 2011 with ‘restaurants near me’ topping the search results almost every time. These are the ‘I-Want-To-Go’ moments – be there when people are looking for you. Brand loyalty is almost irrelevant; consumers will choose the brand that gives them what they want at that moment.

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There are number of best practices that can be adopted such as using specific site links and call extensions. We are able to show users the address and phone number that belong to their local venue as well as more personalised messages straight from the ad. We should drive users to their most relevant landing page, eliminating steps in the booking process path.

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Mobile also presents an opportunity for a more targeted marketing message because we have an understanding of context such as time, location and proximity of the customer. Mobile campaigns bring our local approach to next level. 69% of mobile consumers expect businesses to be within 5 miles of their location and 71% of them use a locator to find their closest option.

  1. Your In-House Experience

Once someone has used their mobile to locate your business, check out your menus and pay you a visit, the mobile experience shouldn’t end there. Consumers want their phones to be able to do everything now so why shouldn’t they be able to order, start a tab or split the bill and pay with their smartphone? Well they can! Apps such as flypay allow you to do just that.

Consumers want their phones to be able to do everything now so why shouldn’t they be able to order, start a tab or split the bill and pay with their smartphone?

By removing the friction points of setting up a bar tab or waiting to pay the bill (snore), consumers can take control allowing your staff more free time to give them a more attentive and memorable experience. To find out more about how flypay can enhance your business, just visit their website.

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2016 will be the year of mobile and the three practices outlined here shouldn’t be ‘if’ in your marketing strategy but ‘when’. If you want to get ahead of the competition and find out how we can help your hospitality business become mobile, please get in touch.

 

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