New: Link your booking engine to your mobile website!

2012 has been a good year.  After a few delays, we were excited to bring InnsMobile and all that it offers to the PAII national and Mid-Atlantic regional innkeeping shows.  In addition to bringing the most competitive mobile product available on the market to innkeepers throughout the country, we were able to get a lot of great feedback.  You asked, and we’ve listened.

Add online reservations to your mobile website!

After much deliberation, we threw the switch.  InnsMobile users may now activate their online reservations link on their mobile site.  To do this, simply log into your account, visit the Create/Edit My Listing page, and then select your homepage for editing.  About halfway down the page, you’ll see the following:

Booking engine interface at InnsMobile

Do note that if you’re fortunate enough to have a booking engine with mobile capabilities, you may want to ensure that you do not need to use a separate web address for the mobile version.  For more on booking engines and the dangers of using a non mobile-friendly booking engine with your mobile website, click here.

Changing your Theme

Did you know that InnsMobile offers an ever-growing list of themes to choose from?  Altering the color scheme of your mobile site to better match your regular website can give it a nicer, more customized touch.  Better yet, we’re constantly adding new themes.  To browse our themes, simply log into your account and visit the Update My Listing area.  Manage your homepage.  At the bottom you’ll see a series of links divided into steps.  Step 3, Select a Color Scheme for your Listing, will take you to the theme selection screen.  You’ll see previews, all of which have a selection button beneath them.  Simply click the button beneath the desired theme, and that’s all you need to do!

Do you have a theme request?  Facebook or Email us with your request, and you might just find it as a part of the next content update.

Why shouldn’t I link my booking engine into my mobile website?

Of all the questions posed to us, this is one of the most frequent.  Fortunately there’s a fairly simple answer.  At this point in time, no booking engine that we are aware of offers a truly mobile friendly user experience.  That’s not to say that popular devices – iPhones, Droids and tablets running on the same operating systems – cannot run several booking engines.  However, they cannot do so reliably.  Some users may experience excessive issues trying to select dates or specify other parameters within a typical reservation form, and information is not displayed in a format meant for mobile devices.

So if it “sort of” works, why not use it?

Part of the InnsMobile mobile website experience is a standardized click-to-call button.  While the functionality to add a similar button through which you can direct clickers to your reservation engine would be a simple feat.  However, until a booking engine can offer a truly mobile platform for visitors, we feel it’s not in your best interests to present it.  The last thing you want is for potential guests to waste half an hour trying to navigate a reservation system on their mobile device only to end up having to call you frustrated and flustered.  Worse, they might not even call at all.

This seems silly.  What are booking engines waiting for?

This is another remark we hear very often, and unfortunately we do not have an answer.  While going mobile is not simple for any major service provider with a need to give customers an online interface, the reality is that mobile is here to stay. Mobile is not a buzz word, and the portion of internet traffic that it represents will only grow.  With that said, it’s imperative that booking engines get with the program.  The only way to make this happen is to contact them!  We strongly encourage you to contact your online booking engine provider today, and request that they make mobile a priority!