With the rollout of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Apple ecosystem now matches most Android phones as far as screen size. As more consumers tote phablets (phone/tablets), travel companies are now able to overcome the overarching obstacle to widespread mobile use in travel bookings – the limitations of the small screen size.
More information can now be placed on screen in a fashion that streamlines conversion – because purchasing is now much more appealing to the user.
This extra screen real estate liberates the device to address more pain points than ever before, as a new whitepaper from Mobile Travel Technologies breaks down how travelers use devices before and during a trip. The company’s June 2014 International Business Traveller Survey analyzed responses from 425 business travelers based in Germany, the UK, the USA, Brazil, France and Singapore.
Uncertainty is the biggest travel concern
Mobile devices are seen as the remedy to uncertainty – or at least a primary tool in the fight for certainty in travel.
While the traveler cannot always control the circumstances, the traveler can pursue updated sources of information that mitigate uncertainty. Prior to leaving home for the airport, the primary concerns are organizational: leaving for the airport in time, having all the proper items, waiting times at security and the departure terminal.
Airlines can help here by providing a simple, straightforward way to see all of this information in one place. Rather than asking the traveling to go to multiple apps to uncover this, airlines (and airports as well, as the entities move into merchandising and marketing directly) could provide this comprehensive overview.
Once at the airport, the informational needs shift accordingly:
The most compelling opportunity to message with in-terminal travelers is around connecting flights, gate access and navigation. This is why new experiments in indoor navigation (see KLM’s latest) have the opportunity to truly remedy an addressable pain point – and thus boost brand loyalty.
Using mobile notifications
The whitepaper found that 65% prefer mobile notifications and alerts – this is the most preferred mode of communications, beating out email (61%), in-app information (47%), personal call (32%) and airline ticket desk (19%). So rather than investing resources in areas of less interest to business travelers, consider implementing successful mobile notifications.
Usage of mobile services to manage travel has penetrated across countries to be the majority in all of the surveyed areas. This means that travel companies must also consider language and cultural custom when it comes time to design and deliver a mobile experience to their customers.
In addition, travelers – especially those on business – are especially sensitive to having device personal space violated or misused. Quick deletions and loss of brand loyalty are only two of the potential blowbacks from “bad push,” or the inappropriate, unintelligent and uniformed use of blanket mobile push notifications.
As far as current mobile push technologies – of which the commissioning company is a provider – respondents were overwhelmingly in favor of targeted, useful messaging. This is the essential piece here for successfully communicating with the mobile traveler: provide a useful, timely and targeted message, and the traveler will be happy.
Compelling, unobtrusive is absolutely essential, and should be matched with a customizable interface so that the traveler can create a personalized messaging ecosystem.
There’s no need for the travel provider to guess at what the traveler wants; simply make it easy for the traveler to opt in and create a tailored experience, and the traveler will stay within the ecosystem. This is a vital piece of an ongoing top-of-mind, share-building drive by travel brands to own the customer throughout the travel journey.
Below is an infographic that breaks this all down into its component pieces (full version here).
NB: Screen size image courtesy Shutterstock.