Mobile technology and the travel industry are something of a match made in heaven. Whether it's for business or pleasure, travellers are a demographic who, by definition, are often on the move, and mobile allows them to stay connected and one step ahead when planning their trip - no matter where they might be.
Now, although offline activity and the use of the desktop certainly hasn't completely bitten the dust, a new study has revealed the growing importance of ensuring your travel business's mobile offerings are up to scratch. The report, drawn up by Apteligent and based on a worldwide survey of travellers, revealed that one in five travellers would always choose one travel brand over another if they offered a better mobile experience and that approximately three-quarters (70%) would sometimes pick a travel company due to the fact it had 'superior mobile capabilities'.
Travellers are relying more and more on their mobile devices to plan and manage their trips. TripAdvisor research found that 66% of travellers use their mobile device as a boarding pass now, 59% will book a hotel on mobile, and 48% will buy an air ticket. If any doubt remains as to the importance of offering a slick mobile experience to your customers, the fact that just 9% of respondents never considered the mobile provision of a brand ought to sweep those aside.
Apteligent's report revealed the top three features you need to make sure you've got locked down:
1. Quick loading times
With new entertainment just a screen-tap away, is it any wonder that 86% of travellers chose a site that loads fast as the number one feature they expect from their mobile experience. Attention spans are short and time is money - if your site is too slow to load, it's likely to lose out on hits. Additionally, Google announced it will penalise mobile sites that load too slowly - if you don't want to be buried away by the search engine, make sure yours is snappy.
2. Simple payment process
Make it as easy as possible for your customers to check out and pay and you will make the 71% of travellers who chose this as the key element they look for in their mobile experience very happy indeed. Provide a number of payment options, make it easy to correct any errors, keep data collection relevant and you're well on your way to providing your customers with the seamless mobile experience of their dreams. Oh, and don't forget to provide security assurances too.
3. Easy navigation
Last but not least, 63% of travellers picked easy navigation as the key feature they wanted from mobile. Large, clear buttons; clear drop-down menus; and fully optimised images are just a few elements that provide your customers with a pleasant mobile experience. Don't let them get lost and confused on your site - keep things clean and simple.