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Motel 6 checks in 21pc conversion rate jump on mobile

Motel 6 saw conversion rates for mobile booking jump 21 percent over the past year, thanks to the brand’s decision to optimize the checkout experience by introducing a new site with responsive Web design.

The hotel chain teamed up with advertising agency Code and Theory to roll out the image-heavy Web site, which automatically adapts to all mobile, tablet and desktop devices. Consumers who allow the site to know their location can find and book a hotel room nearby with a few taps of their finger, and complete the one-step checkout process with Google Wallet.

“Based on industry data, we know mobile is king,” said Lance Miceli, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Motel 6, Carrollton, TX. “We’ve embraced a mobile-first strategy to all digital efforts, meaning everything we’re doing is designed with mobile devices – smartphones or tablets – first.

“This approach will elevate our digital business to mirror the physical improvements taking place at our more than 1,200 locations across the nation,” he said. “Motel 6 guests are now able to enjoy our new ecommerce engine built with an industry-leading responsive Web design.

“Certainly, responsive Web design is one element (although a big one) of our 360-degree approach that’s grounded in improving the user experience because ultimately. At Motel 6 it’s all about the user experience.”

Personalization efforts
Motel 6, a national chain, hoped to enhance its personalization and bring the guest experience to mobile. After consumers visit the mobile site, they may use the geolocated map to view the nearest hotel locations.

The site then offers a list of several options, with average prices shown. Travelers with pets and children may scroll down to view the hotels’ policies on kids staying free and pets staying in rooms, while those with military and AARP memberships can view more information about receiving discounts.

If guests prefer to make reservations over the phone, they can hit the “Call to Book” button in the middle of the page.

“When users open the homepage on mobile, they’re automatically presented with a ‘Find My Location’ option,” said Mike Treff, managing partner at Code and Theory, New York. “Once selected, they’ll see a geolocated map situated next to a listing of available hotels nearby.

“Eliminating the need to manually enter location information can be an incredibly useful tool for customers on the road.”

He also tapped the design system as a feature likely to resonate positively with customers.

“The design system is based on a series of cards which leverage data-points in order to serve up highly-relevant information to each unique user,” Mr. Treff said. “For example, a repeat customer searching for motels in San Diego would see Motel 6 properties they’ve recently stayed in, recently booked, or recently searched.”

Faster checkout
Over the past year, Motel 6 has seen conversion rates for booking on desktop and mobile rise 19 and 21 percent, respectively. Its partnership with Google, which includes use of the search engine’s Maps, Reviews and Google Wallet features, has likely boosted the site’s favor with customers.

Checking out on mobile is now faster than ever. Travelers can quickly enter their name and credit card information, or use the one-step Google Wallet button to reserve their rooms.

Optimizing the cross-channel experience to align with the traveler’s customer journey is key as mobile becomes the first screen as well as the primary physical-digital connection, according to a report from Sabre (see story).

Code and Theory believes the enhanced checkout, alongside the new personalization features, will continue to attract more mobile users.

“I’m most excited about the emphasis on personalization,” Mr. Treff said. “What mobile users will notice right away is that we’ve significantly reduced the number of clicks required to book a room.

“To do this, we made sure to leverage both the unique features of a mobile device (like geolocation), as well as information Motel 6 already has on users (like recent bookings).”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York