The fact that mobile is an essential factor driving forward the travel industry really goes without saying. Endless research and surveys report the same story – one in which more and more travellers are using mobile devices to book their trips away. According to the experts, 73% of the UK's mobile device users interact with travel-related content (Expedia Media Solutions), and by 2017 more than 30% of online travel bookings by value will be made via mobile devices (Euromonitor).
These statistics can be attributed to a number of factors. For one, online travel apps look set to become increasingly appealing to users with the addition of location-based services. In terms of business priorities for travel companies, mobile should be up there with big data, personalisation and customer experience as the key areas of priority this year and beyond. Obviously, the success of these key priorities all rests upon the presence of a mobile-optimised website.
Personalisation of travel
One of the most frustrating things for online consumers is continually being presented with content that is irrelevant. Personalisation is one way travel companies can ensure that the information their audience sees is relevant to their needs at specific stages of the customer journey. Travel brands should introduce personalisation at the early stages of inspiration and search to help increase sales.
Customer experience for travellers
Giving customers a great user experience is essential for any travel business. More and more travellers are booking their trips online and businesses are increasingly focusing on attracting more visitors to their website. However, there is no point doing this if a bad user experience forces them away from the site. Websites need to be easy to use on mobile devices, giving users useful content, and guiding them through the check-out process.
Augmented reality in travel
Augmented reality has a lot to offer the travel industry. Research suggests that the mobile augmented reality market will increase to around £3.3 billion by next year. This technology allows travel companies to give customers a real sense of what to expect from a destination. Customers can go beyond looking at photos or videos and step virtually inside a travel resort before making a booking.
To make the most of mobile technology, travel businesses must determine what will provide the best services to their audience. It's not enough to own big data, businesses need to understand the data and interpret it in a way that best benefits their customers across all mobile devices.