One-size-fits-all doesn’t fit with mobile

It’s undeniable – the mobile era is upon us and is here to stay. With the tablet market growing exponentially and changing the way people use the web, hotel marketers are feeling the pressure to initiate tablet optimized websites. With tablets being relatively new to the marketing scene, I am concerned that people have a “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to all mobile devices.

When developing a tablet optimized website (a necessity) marketers must realize that that their mobile strategy cannot be the same across the board. Using a tablet to search, research and book hotels is far different than doing so on the small screen of your smartphone. Think about who will be using your website, when they will be using it and what people want to accomplish while on your website before you start planning.

This article 3 Ways to Approach Website Optimization for Tablet Visitors is a short but sweet article that all marketers should read. Clearly stating “the tablet is not the same experience as a smartphone!” this article highlights 3 fundamentals of website optimization for tablets.

1. Test your tablet website.
Test your website with the two most popular tablet devices – the iPad and Kindle Fire. Identify which aspects of your website aren’t compatible with the tablets (ie. Flash doesn’t render on iOS) and fix them.

2. Analyze your analytics.
Identify the features and functions that tablet customers are using most often. Do a majority of tablet customers watch videos? Yes? Introduce auto-play or prominently placed videos on your page.

3. Get other people’s opinions.
Get opinions on your final product (focus group, other employees) and get them to tell you how they feel about your website and how you could improve the experience.

If a website that was designed for a smartphone was used on a tablet, it would be too simple and underutilize the larger screen size. If a website was designed for a tablet it would be too detailed for use on a smaller smartphone, frustrating users who end up trying to click small links with their fingers.

I’m glad to see that studies are confirming consumers are using tablets to make purchases. According to the data from a recently released Ecommerce Quarterly (EQ) conversions and add-to-cart rates for tablet are increasing, surpassing smartphones and approaching desktop levels.

This goes to show that different mobile devices deserve their own distinct marketing strategies. While taking the easy way out and using the same website across the board may seem like a good idea, I wouldn’t advise it. A little effort goes a long way and visitors to your website will leave frustration-free (and more likely to have a room booked with your hotel).

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