Mobile conversion rates increased 21% year-over-year for Motel6.com after the hotel chain launched a responsive design website. Mobile includes both smartphones and tablets.   

Responsive design is a format that adapts the look of a website to the device the consumer is using. Motel 6, owned by G6 Hospitality LLC, launched a responsive design website in October 2014, after a year of developing the new site with creative agency Code and Theory. Desktop conversion rates also increased 19% year-over-year after the new site launched.

“Mobile has evolved from being part of our marketing strategy at G6 Hospitality to being the core of our entire strategy,” says Lance Miceli, executive vice president, chief marketing officer, G6 Hospitality.

Before launching the responsive site, Motel 6’s normal desktop site would show up on smartphones. However, shrinking the original site down to a smartphone screen took several clicks to book a room, thus spurring the move to responsive design, Miceli says.

“Based on industry data, we know mobile is king,” he says.

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The new mobile site has one-click booking via Google Wallet, making reserving a room faster. Google Wallet is a mobile payments system that allows consumers to store credit cards, loyalty cards and gift cards on their smartphones. Motel6.com also uses a smartphone’s location vis GPS to show a map of the nearest available Motel 6. Other improvements include personalizing the website based on location, recent searches and booking history.

Several other hotels have also recently invested in mobile offerings, such as Virgin Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC and Marriott International Inc. Virgin Hotel invested $1 million to create its app, which is used for mobile bookings, check-in and controlling the hotel room, such as the temperature and TV. 40% of hotel guests have used the app since its launch in January and about 30% of guests use the app while in the hotel, Virgin says. Marriott also recently launched a mobile request  service that lets travels make requests, such as to bring more towels up to the room, through its app.

Follow mobile business journalist April Dahlquist, associate editor, mobile, at Mobile Strategies 360, @Mobile360April

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