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25 October 2017 / by Gareth Hill

 

Why Responsive Booking Systems Will Matter More in 2018

Responsive websites have been all the rage for a number of years now. With more and more of us human types accessing the internet via mobile rather than desktop, responsive, mobile-friendly websites have become an expectation, rather than a bonus. Indeed, Google made a very big song and dance about giving preference to mobile responsive sites back in 2015 – which the media delightedly dubbed ‘Mobilegeddon’ .

However, even though many did take heed and convert to a more mobile-appropriate page layout (mind you, many more didn’t!), all too often, little regard is made on the user-friendliness of the sites on mobile when it comes to form-filling, enquiries, and online booking systems.

More Mobile Commerce in 2018

At present, traditional ecommerce, via a desktop computer, still leads the way. But the gap is constantly narrowing.

Source: https://www.invespcro.com/blog/mobile-commerce/

Without access to a crystal ball or DeLorean, knowing quite how much the gap will close over the next twelve months is up for debate, but given that mobile internet access surpassed desktop access back in 2016, it’s almost universally accepted that the gap will close significantly, with mobile commerce (m-commerce), potentially even surpassing desktop ecommerce altogether.  

Mobile Booking Opportunities

It’s pretty reasonable to assume that more and more consumers would expect to be able to have an online booking facility when they’re searching for an event, tour, venue, course, or other bookable facility.

We use the internet, and our mobiles in particular, for almost everything we do these days. We use them to communicate, access social media, check the weather, monitor our finances, play games, keep track on our health and exercise, find our family members, take photos and videos, schedule our days, and navigate to our next appointment.

Why wouldn’t we make a booking via our mobile?

And yet, while so many businesses have invested in a fully responsive main website, the facility to make a booking there and then, online, falls by the wayside. This is one reason why responsive design across all aspects of your site is so important.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • Visitors are required to make an enquiry, meaning they need to fill out a form and wait for someone to call them back
  • Visitors can find out all the details of the product they wish to book, but need to phone or email to make the booking
  • The site has a booking system, but it’s run on a third-party platform that bears little to no resemblance to the site you’ve visited – and isn’t responsive, meaning you have to pinch open the screen to fill in the details – possibly after you have had to register and open an account.

In a world of instant access, where there’s a genuine value placed in simplicity and hassle-free solutions, complicated or poorly viewable forms serve only to put customers off, to the extent that they don’t bother proceeding with the booking, giving up mid-journey.

Taking their spending elsewhere.

The Increase in Remote Working

While user experience focuses instinctively on the end-user, it’s also worth considering the impact that mobile technology on the way in which we work.

In particular with regard to the increase in mobile working. The cloud and mobile technology has freed the world from the shackles of the office desk. Meaning it’s not only your customers who are accessing your systems on the move, but quite possibly you too.

Remote working offers new means of improving productivity; allowing you to access data and essential work-related applications from home, or when working away. Or anywhere else for that matter.

And while some may find a table on the train to open up the laptop and get some work done, there’s no end of convenience if you’re able to call upon reports, registers and other data in a format that can be read on the smartphone or tablet.

Summary

Having a responsive website is no longer a feature but a necessity; but your nod towards mobile friendliness should not end there.

Mobile commerce is the logical next step for online shopping, be it standard retail items or online booking. As we head into 2018 and beyond, the expectation to be able to make transactions with ease, to get the product you want without fuss and hoop-jumping, via any device, at any time, is only going to become more acute.

A fully-responsive online booking system offers you the chance to get an edge in the short-term. More importantly, however, it’s a step in the right direction if you don’t want to be left behind in the long-term.

To learn more about the fully-responsive, user-friendly thinkBooker system, or to arrange a demo to see it in all its functioning glory, get in touch with us today.

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