We may still be in the beginning stages of summer, but as we know, many of our true powder loving guests are often thinking a few months ahead into the beautiful snowy season. Why wouldn’t we start capitalizing now on these thoughts, or set up technology to help us do so?
Sounds great, but how do we do this? We’ve outlined a few suggestions that should make its way into the industry and that promote early booking to benefit both resorts and customers. We hope this can be a conversation-starting summer series of best practices across various industries that can be implemented into your business to satisfy customers while promoting early bookings.
Part I: Mobile Booking
The ski industry may take an example from the hotel industry. Many industry leaders there have made the transition over to booking applications to keep customers engaged in real-time and capitalize on the exclusive deals offered to those who use the app. For example, Expedia reported that their mobile bookings, either by app or mobile-friendly website, continue on an upward trend and now encompass around 75% of their users.
Without a mobile platform optimized for on-the-go use, it is easy to put off booking a reservation until closer to the season or even worse, never. Let’s imagine we were able to do this in the ski industry? Can we imagine how much easier our lives would be if we saw that 75% of our transactions didn’t need human interaction and could be done on a guest’s mobile device?
We think this has a huge potential, and we already see it. At Snowvation, for the 2016-17 season, approximately 62% of the requests made through our system of our availability and concierge requests for lessons occur after operating hours. What’s more, 36.7% of our guest usage was on a mobile device (We’ll get to the other 63% later in this series). The future is now.
Regardless if you use our platform or not, you can provide them with a solution. Here are just a few tips that you can implement now on our site for free (or pretty darn close to it) to make your operations more mobile friendly.
- Ensure your website is responsive, or friendly for mobile devices. Specifically, enabling abilities to book tickets and secure lodging all from the same platform. If you are in a redesign and want an awesome free responsive template, check Bootstrap (We use it here at Snowvation).
- Offer a quick form for people to leave information and have your reservation staff use them for call back lead generation.
By thinking mobile first, we can get closer to that 75% of the world that the travel industry has already catered to. The time to go mobile is now and by implementing these tips, your resort can be well on the way to success in this market.
Article by Faarah Ameerally, Marketing & Sales Intern