Marketing for mobile guests

By Katrina Blunden July 13th 2022 Benchmarking
Time to read:  4 min

If you aren’t already taking a mobile-first approach for your on-line marketing strategies, you could be jeopardising opportunities to attract more guests and capture greater revenue for your hotel.


Using the data from over 700 hotels subscribing to Hotel Benchmark we have been able to answer some frequently asked questions about mobile usage during a customer’s booking journey. Our insight is made up of data from independent and chain hotels between January and June, 2022.

What percentage of hotel website traffic is driven by mobile compared to desktop and tablet?

Between January and June, 2022, mobile consistently drove more traffic to hotel websites than desktop or tablet, on average 58% compared to 38% for desktop and 4% for tablet.

When we compare this with the same period in 2019 (pre-Covid), the biggest change has been a decrease in users browsing on tablet devices by -6.5% with desktop remaining fairly flat and mobile increasing by 8%.

What percentage of transactions are completed on a mobile compared to desktop and tablet?

Despite mobile now representing the biggest share of website traffic, when it comes to booking, customers still seem to prefer the security of transacting on their desktop, with 68% of total website transactions being made on desktop compared to 30% on mobile and 2% on tablets. 

While the mobile share may seem small, if you compare the growth from 2019 (again for the same period January-June), mobile has grown the most by +10%. This figure looks like it will continue to grow as hotels invest more heavily to ensure that mobile booking engines are more and more user-friendly and customers become more confident in transacting on a mobile device. 

How does conversion rate vary between mobile, desktop and tablet?

Across our data set, desktop converts the highest at 1.37%, tablet at 0.67% and mobile converting the lowest at 0.38%. We also analysed the data separately for different star-category hotels.

Overall, 5-star hotels converted at lower rates than that of 4-star hotels between January and June this year.

The mobile conversion rate of 4-star hotels was 0.49% compared with 0.24% for 5-star hotels. Similarly, the desktop conversion rate for 4-star hotels was higher than 5-star hotels at 1.72% compared with 0.99%.

When analysing the booking engine conversion rates across our dataset (this is the conversion rate from the booking engine only, not the website as a whole) the rate increased to 2.57%. As you might expect your visitor is much further down the funnel if they have navigated to your booking engine and looking through accommodation and rates, i.e. their propensity to book is higher and therefore booking engine conversion rate should also be higher.

How does average page speed vary between desktop, mobile and tablet?

Looking at our data set, average page loading speed was 4.15 seconds. Analysing the average page loading speeds on different devices, unsurprisingly for most hotels, desktop has the fastest  speeds of 3.84 seconds compared to 4.28 seconds on mobile and 4.86 seconds for tablet devices.

What can we learn from the data?

If the average hotel website is seeing 58% of their traffic coming from a mobile device, and only 30% of bookings coming from mobile (compared to 68% on desktop) there is an opportunity for growth, specifically when it comes to a ‘mobile first’ strategy for booking not just for browsing. If the majority of your visitors are coming to your website via a mobile device, designing your site for mobile is no longer enough, is your site and app optimised to also deliver a seamless booking experience for customers? 

If your booking engine conversion rate is stalling, ask yourself if it is supporting you in your mobile-first strategy. Not all booking engines perform as well on mobile as they do on desktop. And if you are not sure what your booking engine conversion rate should look like – sign up for our free Hotel Benchmark reports and begin benchmarking against other similar hotels.

When it comes to page loading speeds, it’s a pretty simple equation. If pages are taking longer to load on mobile, guests will switch to the faster page-loading speeds a desktop can offer, especially if they are shopping in a hurry. If they don’t switch to a desktop, you can be sure they are switching to a competitor who can offer the mobile experience they are seeking, so ensure you are doing everything you can to reduce page loading speeds on your mobile site.

Katrina Blunden

Katrina has been working in the hospitality industry since 1993, more recently at Hotel Benchmark, uncovering insight from a wealth of data.