Red Roof Increases Mobile Conversion 118% with Transformed Digital Experience

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Red Roof Increases Mobile Conversion 118% with Transformed Digital Experience

By Marina MacDonald, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Roof - 11/29/2017

As Chief Marketing Officer of Red Roof, I’ve seen first-hand that today’s always-on customer has little patience for a digital experience that doesn’t deliver. Research consistently shows that brands have just seconds to win the attention of site visitors. For us at Red Roof, it’s not only important to create a fast and effortless digital experience to engage the customer, but also to ensure that this first interaction sets a tone of comfort, value and hospitality.

Like many organizations, Red Roof began our digital transformation efforts with the goal of improving speed, use and mobility – the three basic pillars of any digital experience. However, even in the hotel industry, not all customers are alike. In working with digital transformation partner SapientRazorfish, we looked deeper into our customer profile to create a digital experience that targeted their specific needs and preferences. By focusing on these unique needs, we greatly improved business performance.

Here I’ll examine three of our most common customer needs and share how a customized digital strategy helped solve problems and create opportunity.

“I want a digital experience that is fast.”

In today’s digital world, speed is a no-brainer. But a fast digital experience doesn’t just mean quicker page load times and improved response times. It also means that customers are able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. Visitors must understand – at a glance – property locations, availability and rates.

To that end, Red Roof worked with SapientRazorfish to create a cleaner, more inviting online presence. The central feature of both the new website and the mobile site is a comprehensive booking tool, which allows visitors to quickly research and book rooms. The team also created a layout that allowed the brand to showcase current promotions, our rich RediCard loyalty program, and additional customized content. Finally, it fully integrated reviews from TripAdvisor and relevant local promotions, making it easier than ever to engage potential guests.

We essentially replaced the existing Content Management System entirely, and the main goal was to make site updates quick and easy without the intervention of a developer. Using this technology, we now have the capability to make site updates in-house, allowing us to showcase last-minute promotions and deals without engaging a third-party.

“I want a digital experience that’s simple.”

One of our core challenges was turning site lookers into room bookers. For that to happen, the overall digital experience must be intuitive. Red Roof and SapientRazorfish simplified both online and mobile navigation, created a clean and modern site design, and streamlined the customer journey

While many site visitors intend to reserve a room using a traditional booking tool, Red Roof recognized that many of our guests book rooms on short notice. This implies that many guests are either en route or about to depart for a last-minute trip when they begin the reservation process. To meet this unique need, our team developed an interactive Along-a-Route feature that uses enhanced geolocation and mapping services to allow customers to view all available properties along their journey. Guests can quickly select an option that works best for their travel schedule, budget and property preference. By offering this one-of-a-kind service, Red Roof not only has the opportunity to serve our customer’s immediate needs, but also helps to encourage future bookings by making the process simpler.

“I want to do everything on my phone.”

By nature, hotel guests are on the go, which makes mobile an important part of any digital strategy. For Red Roof, this channel is perhaps even more important since a majority of our traffic was coming through smartphones and tablets.

Committing to a mobile-first strategy, Red Roof created a fully-responsive experience across all devices. We designed a clean and modern interface that uses large images to help increase conversions. The new mobile experience is based on device, customer location, loyalty programs and promotions and past history. Finally, it makes use of predictive search and search parameters, as well as enhanced search filters, to help guests find the information they’re looking for more quickly.

Having launched our new digital experience just a few months ago, Red Roof has already seen significant results: our site bounce rate has decreased by 28 percent and mobile conversion has increased a staggering 118 percent. In addition, average order value is up about 12 percent.

While impressive, these outcomes are only the beginning for us at Red Roof. Future transformation work includes plans to even further decrease the amount of time it takes to book online by adding “Quickbook” functionality and implementing an AI chatbot. In doing so, we hope to help guests spend less time checking out their properties online and get right to checking in to their room.