By Keith Loria
In 2017, a great mobile customer experience and aligned purchasing platform is no longer nice to have; it’s a must-have. Studies have shown that up to 85% of U.S. travelers rely on mobile devices to plan and book their trips and 45% of travelers with smart phones said they would switch sites if it takes too many steps to book or get desired information.
As such, Red Roof Inn launched a brand new, mobile-first, intuitively designed website that includes the latest in hotel web booking features.
“We realized that our website was an additional front door, apart from our brick and mortar locations, and we visually enhanced it with dynamic graphics using a full suite of rich media tools, attracting consumers with ‘mobile curb appeal,’” said Andrew Alexander, Red Roof Inn’s president. “To accomplish this, we made a significant investment to revamp our website with our number one goal of making mobile booking as seamless and easy as possible.”
Red Roof has found, through intently listening to its guests and performing exhaustive consumer research, that the number of consumers who want to make purchases on their smart phones is exponentially increasing and so it set out to meet that demand by evolving and integrating new technology.
“Quite frankly, most brands understand the importance of a good mobile platform, but few are willing to invest the significant time and money it takes to create one,” said Marina MacDonald, Red Roof Inn’s CMO. “We did this because we know our guests demand it and it will differentiate us in the marketplace.”
Since implementation of the new revamped site, bookings on mobile devices for the hotel chain have doubled and mobile conversion is up 98 percent, with 62 percent of all website traffic coming from mobile. Red Roof’s research has found that people are attracted to the convenience and instant accessibility.
One addition was RedRoof.com’s newly designed Along-a-Route feature, which uses patent-pending technology to suggest hotels directly along a car’s route.
“The geo-location technology locates where travelers are headed and provides them with properties directly along their route so they don’t have to waste time searching themselves,” Alexander said. “Mobile integrations are an investment that must be made in order to keep up with consumers’ purchasing habits and on-the-go lifestyles, especially in the travel sector.”
Additionally, the new RedRoof.com provides geo-localized and personalized content and
deals, along with the full display of TripAdvisor reviews, allowing travelers to select
the property and room that best fit their needs to make the most informed travel
decisions. The company has also drastically increased Google page speed, a key expectation of consumers, and has streamlined the booking process so it takes as few as three taps to book.
Red Roof is utilizing a multi-platform marketing, social media and public relations campaign to reach consumers and media about the new features.
For example, earlier this summer, Red Roof launched the RediRewards Sweepstakes to ensure that RediCard members were aware of the new and innovative ways they can now use their points. Prizes include lucrative gift cards to Amazon and Target, high-tech cameras, speakers, high-definition televisions and more.
“Our RediRewards Sweepstakes, giving a free big ticket prize away every day to a member of our RediCard Rewards program, has been very popular and interactively engaged visitors on the site encouraging them to enter and stay at a Red Roof property,” she said. “Our prizes are also generous and enticing; that has really been a motivator for entrants and then they stay to find out more about the brand.”
The company has also driven people to the new Redroof.com through its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels.
“Brands now have the added challenge of marketing and selling in traditional ways to core consumers who are comfortable with those traditional methods while also branching out to meet the demands of tech and mobile influences on the market,” MacDonald said. “The brands who effectively cover all of those bases will win in today’s competitive, mobile-driven market.”
Looking ahead, Red Roof hopes to add “Quickbook” functionality to the site to better serve loyal guests and will continue making improvements when they can.
“For Red Roof, there is no doubt that mobile purchasing is going to continue to grow and we are cognizant of that as an increasingly integral part of the marketing mix,” MacDonald said. “We’re really putting in that effort to stay five steps ahead so that we can always meet the needs of our customer. We know that’s one of the most successful growth strategies for any company that wants to stay competitive in a quickly moving, highly competitive market and constantly evolving technological landscape.”