Mobile web beats apps when it comes to hotel bookings

A study of 2,000 US smartphone owners has found they are more likely to book a hotel room using the mobile web than an app.

Millward Brown Digital produced the report and found that 44% of the sample had booked a hotel room in the past six months with 15% doing so using their phone.

The total “researching and booking” on their phone comes in at 22%.

Nonetheless, desktop remains the dominant channel.

The headline finding is that, of those who do book using a phone, 29% prefer to use an app; 43% prefer the mobile web and 28% have no specific preference either way.

People aged between 35-44 are the most likely to use a smartphone to book a hotel, while regular travellers are more likely to book via an app whereas occasional travellers will use the mobile web.

The most interesting part of the report comes when the sample was asked about its mobile web/app preferences at different stages of the customer journey – broken down into research, purchase and service.

MBD pic

Millward Brown Digital says this shows “apps are used more often as the consumer becomes more committed to the brand.”

Hotels should take note of this, particularly the bottom bar of the chart which shows that the dominant app-based activity is accessing loyalty scheme.  One question for hotels is whether this preference can be exploited to drive more bookings  on its app from loyalty scheme members.

Online travel agency (OTA) apps get more visits than hotel apps, but it could be argued that the difference does not reflect the amount OTAs spend on developing and marketing their apps compared to hotels.

NB Image by Shutterstock

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Martin Cowen

About the Writer :: Martin Cowen

Martin Cowen is contributing editor for tnooz and is based in the UK. Besides reporting and editing, he also oversees our sponsored content initiative and works directly with clients to produce articles and reports. For the past several years he has worked as a freelance writer, specialising in B2B distribution and technology. Before freelancing, from 2000-2008, he was launch editor for, the first online-only B2B daily news service for the UK travel sector.



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  1. Lukas Kakalejcik

    Hi Martin,

    I think that mobile apps are more critical when it comes to reservation and communication with hotel stuff once the guest is accommodated. For hotels, it can be another source of income because mobile app is deeper in sales funnel and it is easier to turn one guest twice than turn two guests.

    Best regards,

    Lukas Kakalejcik, RoomAssistant


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