The Whitbread-owned hotel chain is using a ‘big data’ insights tool offered by mobile app development agency Grapple Mobile to publish and update its existing Android offering.
Grapple’s analytics tool, Insights Engine, helps brands decide on whether they should include certain features or customise their apps for premium devices running on the Android OS, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, or those with less functionality. The tool aggregates user behaviour gleaned from over 250 apps, across almost 100 different brands, to produce analytics to help brands decide on how best to optimise for mobile audiences.
Premier Inn used the same analytics service to optimise its iOS app within the last month and since then conversions rates, i.e. the number of people to have used the app and then booked a room, increased from 3 to 5.9 per cent.
Adam Levene, chief strategy officer at Grapple Mobile, also notes that it’s important for brands to examine specifically how branded apps perform when deciding to update their offering[s].
“It’s important that people look at branded apps, there are a lot of data sets out there but they’ll include things like Angry Birds which can seriously skew your data.
“The way people use a banking or hotel app is much different to how you would you use a mobile game.”
Separately, hotel booking aggregator Hotels4U, part of the Thomas Cook group, is also mulling how to progress its mobile strategy, after a recent online optimisation trial with digital agency Webtrends saw the amount of searches on its existing mobile site surge 61 per cent, plus the total number of mobile visitors lift 22 per cent.
Hotels4U is now mulling whether to continue with its existing strategy of directing smartphone users to a mobile-optimised site and tablet users, i.e. iPad owners, to the desktop version of its site.
Stephen Moore, Phones4U’s head of commerce, says: “If you take iOS and Android [smartphone users] then they make up about 27 per cent of our total audiences and iPad owners make up about 15 per cent – meaning we have to undertake some studies on which option we should take.”
Hotels4U’s trial with Webtrends also saw their overall conversion rate increase by 5.5 per cent boosted plus retention rates increase 18.3 per cent.