The evolution of mobile travel:
With the growth of digital travellers who breathe through their devices, there is a change in expectations that they want to be serviced. This is creating opportunities for both hotels and airlines to support, engage and empower their customers using sophisticated apps and mobile services. Hotels and Airlines need to manage their mobile investments more effectively by deciding their key objectives for customer engagement and revenue generation. They must prioritize their mobile investments to meet the needs of today’s ultra-connected traveller. Not only does this allow hotels and airlines to benchmark their own strategy but also compare to their competitors so they can gauge where they are spending, what are the benefits, how much of it is helping them achieve their bottom lines, and finally where they should invest next to provide smooth amplified experience.
Hotels and Airlines must also understand that their travel brand is defined by a digital experience like never before. Users are always looking for intuitive and faster experience and with the surplus of mobile travel booking apps available on the market today, they are more likely to pass to your competitors. Other than common features like flight status, search and booking, hotels and airlines must also consider offering innovative features like offline views. Such innovative features attract more customers and allows you to stand out from the over-crowded mobile booking apps available in the market today.
Where to invest next?
Mobile is an indispensable part of every online travel business because it provides many opportunities for increasing the value of every interaction with every customer. One of the least explored stream of revenue is contextual or ‘just-in-time’ promotion. This is by far the most successful and most rewarding revenue stream as customers are two to three times or more likely to buy if you offer them what they want at the right time. The importance of this revenue stream, named Personalization, is explained in this blog post.
Not only is it important to learn your customers and offer them irresistible deals while they are planning for their vacation, but it is also imperative to learn their preferences and offer them ancillaries during the 2 days before their travel. This is the phase where at least 30% of travellers are likely to change their minds and buy ancillaries. A smart travel company will always present the right deals tied to user’s preferences, at the right moment, when they are most likely to convert.
Another great way of maintaining customer base is to provide an end-to-end travel experience across all devices and all touchpoints of the traveller. This might sound complicated at first but it is one of the most effective ways for hotels to follow and address each stage of the travel lifecycle of a traveller. From researching vacation destinations, to booking hotels, to booking flights, to booking car transfers and finally booking sight-seeing or extra activities, mobile apps that facilitate all of these needs and have their customers’ backs at every point of travel are sure to gain loyal customers.
What are your thoughts in the progress of mobile travel apps and where do you think should companies invest in the future? We would like to know your thoughts. Please comment in the comment section below and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin.