Travellers are increasingly making the move from desktop web browsers to smartphones and tablets. Whether it is researching destinations, making bookings or comparing prices, travellers are not limiting their activity to a single screen. Customers will move across devices to complete a task. Before making a purchase, they may use social media to request recommendations, read hotel or restaurant reviews, check maps and search for discounts and deals.
Today's travellers are both savvy and demanding. They know how well websites can translate onto tablets and mobile devices and expect the same standards from all the sites they use. To create a great user experience you need to optimise your travel website across all devices. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Follow your customers
In today's competitive travel industry your travel company needs to place itself where potential customers are looking for you. Recent research revealed that 35% of all visits to travel websites in October last year came from mobile devices. It has also been predicted that the number of customers using tablets and smartphones to book travel will double in 2014, compared to last year.
More than half of all hotel rooms are booked on the day of the stay. The increasing popularity of last-minute deals means that possible transactions could be missed if your site is not mobile- and tablet-friendly.
The more relevant the information you provide to customers, the more they will engage with your company. Personalisation can range from suggestions for holidays based on a customer's location to drawing customers' attention to particular reviews (including those written by friends). Streamlining all your available channels and targeting your audience – web, mobile and social will create a superior customer experience.
Research shows that the travel industry suffers from the highest rate of abandonment by consumers. This is likely to be the result of customers' frustration when they start a purchase on one device and try to complete that action on another.
Mobile search campaigns
Research reveals that a higher percentage of travellers recall ads they view on their smartphones compared to ads viewed on a desktop. And what's more, ads viewed on mobile devices are more likely to be clicked on.
Plan for everything
If possible, don't just stop at a mobile website. The ideal scenario would be to have a travel app as well. Budgets don't always allow for this, but it is something to consider when you are planning your strategy.