Have Your Travel Apps Lost Their Appeal?

One of the biggest challenges of travel apps is overcoming the 'one-off' appeal of the technology to its users, reports Tnooz.

According to new research by Ipsos UK, forgotten apps are the bane of the the travel and holiday sectors. A survey of 400 users online across three verticals - restaurants & takeaways, travel & holiday and shopping - has found that the number of users who forget a travel app is highest in the travel & holiday sector.

Almost half of users within this vertical (49%) have forgotten at least one app. For shopping, the figure is 31% and for restaurants & takeaways, it's just 23%.

This sets up a challenge for the travel and holiday industries, which are periodic and temporary by their very nature.

Apps are popular with travellers, that much is certain: the category has the highest number of apps installed; yet conversely it also has the fewest searches each month. Additionally, this vertical has highest number of apps forgotten - 33% - underlining the one-off nature of travel once again.

The problem is that users generally download an app for a specific use, trip or function - but once that has been completed, the app falls off the radar without ongoing engagement.

However, this presents an opportunity for travel. For the 33% of users who have apps installed, the challenge is to encourage re-engagement opportunities to ensure that the users come back to a forgotten app rather than downloading one from scratch.

The vast majority of users from the travel category, 90%, said they would re-engage with a travel app, while 83% would do the same with a restaurant/takeaway app.

When considering app development, it's equally as important to look for a re-engagement strategy as for a download and awareness strategy. This strategy should focus on why the user downloaded the app in the first place.

One strategy might be to use a paid search ad for users researching particular categories. Nearly 10% of respondents indicated that a link from a search engine would prompt them to re-engage with an app.

Another strategy is to consider linking out to a mobile website for more in-depth searches - nearly half of respondents preferred mobile web for deeper information gathering, while another half felt apps were better for the quicker, transactional type of activity.

A new announcement by Google will also help support the cause: the search giant is offering direct links into apps for mobile searches. This means that users who have apps downloaded benefit from search results that are directly linked within the relevant apps.

Whatever strategy digital marketers take, there's one overarching lesson to be learned: a re-engagement strategy must be factored in to the app development process.