75% Of People Picked A ‘Mobile Phone’ As Their Favourite Travel Companion
Because travel is so closely linked to lifestyle trends, it is no surprise that it was one of the first sectors to get digitised with the advent of the Internet. In the early days, the internet was mostly seen as a source of information, while the actual planning and reservations happened offline, mostly through the traditional travel agent booking systems.
The advent of aggressive reservation technology start-ups such as Expedia, Airbnb, and TripAdvisor changed that. These have fuelled the growth of online travel bookings, with the industry expected to reach $183 billion by 2020.
Smartphones are the next big trend. Consumer Research states that every month, out of 78 million people who look online for travel information, 30 million people use their phones.
A New Generation of Travellers
The millennials are a tech savvy, travel loving generation. A Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker Infographic, shows that 75% of people say that their favourite travel companion is a mobile phone. The mobile phone actually ranked higher than ‘loved ones’ in this category. This is not entirely shocking considering the degree of dependence that we see on mobile phones.
Making the Most of the Mobile
For travel companies, this clearly means that it is time to embrace the mobile phone as a key channel for customer interactions. Here are some essentials as far as a seamless mobile experience is concerned:
- Travel apps: Apps make the whole planning process easier – letting the traveller research and compare rates and deals. Also, with a user-friendly interface, apps are becoming more popular than accessing websites on desktops.
- Consistent experience across channels: customers nowadays use a variety of devices to browse for information. The first visit might happen on a smartphone, glancing through the website; the second on a tablet, looking for a specific offer; and a shift to a desktop or a laptop to make the booking. According to Skift publication, a customer makes an average of 38 site visits before booking. A responsive website across all devices can keep the customer engaged on your website.
- Beyond voice: Various statistics show that millennials would rather instant message than make a voice call. Ensuring a self-service platform that eliminates the need for 1-1 interaction is important, and could impact bookings.
Ready for a mobile-first transformation?
At Sonata, we’ve worked closely with customers to build various applications such as an enterprise app management platform with built-in analytics for contextual intelligence, a mobile-oriented middleware platform for quick mobile first integrations, a traveller companion app (booking and post-booking features) for tour operators, a responsive delivery platform for accelerating mobile optimized web deployments and a travel analytics platform for personalized promotions delivery on travel apps.
If you’d like to bring your customers’ mobile experience up to speed, write in to us at [firstname.lastname@example.org]. Also, check out Sonata’s Travel Mobility Suite here