Research from Euromonitor has revealed that by 2017 more than 30 percent of online travel bookings by value will be made on mobile devices. As consumers continue to use a number of devices to research and fulfil their travel needs, numero predict that 2015 will be the year online travel companies embrace technologies to offer a more personalised customer experience.
Mobile was highlighted by travel companies as the most exciting opportunity for 2015 in Econsultancy’s quarterly digital intelligence briefing. numero think that travel companies therefore need to ensure their websites are optimised for mobile, to allow for easy navigation, engaging content and a personalised experience. In fact research found that 71 percent of mobile users who encountered a non-mobile-optimised website bounced back to their search results.
According to new research carried out by BuzzCity, surrounding today’s connected traveller, holiday booking habits have changed noticeably. There has been a 50 percent increase in mobile use across business and leisure travellers, with 30 percent of those relying purely on their mobile devices for last minute bookings.
Travel companies have a huge opportunity to use data to personalise the holiday buying experience online and ‘targeting and personalisation’ were highlighted as top digital priorities for 2015. e-strategy reported that 74 percent of online consumers admitted they became frustrated when content appeared that had no relevance to them. numero therefore think that companies need to offer consumers a way to be identified and recognised each time they access sites from mobile devices, creating a seamless, personalised customer experience.
numero believe that mobile optimisation creates an opportunity for online travel companies to utilise location services within their sites. Location services will allow travellers to find the nearest hotels and accommodation available to book. Successful examples of this come from Booking.com. The mobile optimised site is known for its extremely easy to use service, allowing users to easily choose when and where they want to stay, across multiple mobile devices. Having an account with Booking.com also means that users can return and log in to their account and their criteria preferences such as price and star ratings are already saved, helping to produce relevant searches for its users.
Due to the growing popularity of augmented reality travel companies now have the opportunity to provide users the ability to go inside holiday destinations and hotel rooms. Marriott Hotels have extended the user experience by using Oculus Rift developer versions to sell honeymoon destinations, offering newly married couples in New York the opportunity to travel immediately to Marriott honeymoon destinations in London and Hawaii.
numero predict that those travel companies that don’t offer a mobile optimised site will lose potential customers as the connected traveller becomes the norm. The growth of mobile isn’t slowing down and will be a driving force for the travel industry in 2015. numero believe the key to success will be in how travel companies use and interpret data to create an engaging, personalised experience across all devices.