Technology and the advent of the digital world have drastically changed the landscape of the travel industry. As our increasingly mobile society becomes more acclimatised to being able to research and purchase travel products whenever and where they want, digital travel sales are on the rise – reports from eMarketer predict continued double-digit growth this year.
Savvy travel brands are, of course, hurrying to cater to the lucrative mobile crowd, ensuring that their websites provide prospective customers with optimised, user-friendly content and digital solutions designed to promote a seamless booking experience. It is this experience that is being transformed by brands, thanks to the use of application programming interfaces, commonly known as APIs.
Booking APIs may have been around for a while, but this year, it's their time to shine. They are changing the way that consumers book travel as well as altering performance marketing for the travel industry as a whole. In short, travel brands that jump on this band wagon, investing and integrating online and mobile booking APIs into their business to optimise conversions and maximise inventory distribution, can expect to benefit greatly in the future.
It's no secret that the digital customer is short on time and quick to lose interest. If your travel website is set up in a way that means visitors can't swiftly find information or seamlessly complete a transaction, don't expect these visitors to stick around in an attempt to muddle through. APIs help travel brands to provide the sort of seamless customer booking experience that will lower your bounce rate and encourage customers to complete the transaction and seal the deal.
This is more important than ever right now as we appear to be at a tipping point with mobile. For a long time, research has shown us that consumers are researching their flights and accommodation on mobile devices, but then shifting to a desktop computer to part with their monetary details and complete their booking. But the times they are a-changing with a recent article by Business Insider UK revealing that in the first quarter of 2016, mobile accounted for 26% of all worldwide online travel booking and citing figures from Hotels.com which claim that one in three transactions occur on mobile.
Whilst travel brands' mobile experiences are improving, those that are emerging ahead of the crowd are those that are focused on streamlining their mobile booking process with the use of booking APIs. Additionally, by making these APIs available to a variety of partners, smart-thinking travel businesses are also reaping the benefits of increased market distribution and conversions.
We expect to see the booking API trend continue – will you be one of the brands on board?
Our digital solutions and travel technology can help put your business one step ahead of the crowd. For more information, contact us today.