The growing importance of mobile first strategies for travel agents

think mobile first

Figures don’t lie about it, the mobile first strategy is on the verge to become hot! Online travel agencies are performing the best in the travel industry when it comes to mobile bookings. Some numbers according to statistics from Travel Tripper: The online travel agencies’ share of mobile bookings is nowadays 45%. Next to that, the amount of mobile bookings increased with 61% in 2017. Also the use of travel applications by customers has increased with 41%. Last but not least, a large majority of people also researches trips from a mobile device. (Berelowitz, 2018)

These numbers explain the growing importance of having a smooth mobile platform in order to give an excellent online customer service. First of all, let’s look at the definition of a mobile first strategy. According to Investopedia, a mobile first strategy means that the website and application of a travel agency primarily is designed for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices and that it will be prioritized over desktop versions. The advantage of having a mobile first strategy for travel agencies is the creation of a greater engagement among users. It is also easier for travel agents to connect with these customers, since smartphones contain a lot of personal data that can be used to personalise experiences for their different customers, which can lead to a better user experience. (Investopedia, 2018)

The key of mobile first strategies is quickly giving targeted information to the mobile users. Webpages should be loading fast and low bandwidth. Besides that, the website should easily integrate with other supporting and facilitating applications that are familiar to the customer in order to make sure payments are being done fast and easy (Investopedia, 2018). A good example of that is Expedia, nowadays one of the most valued online travel agencies with one of the highest rated applications by ‘’Top Ten Reviews’’ (Bommer, 2018). They provide a simplified booking process by only asking for name, email and credit card details what makes it a user-friendly experience. On top of that, Expedia provides an option to send the booking confirmation via text, which makes it even more convenient for mobile users. (Berelowitz, 2018)

In the travel agency industry, ‘’connect’’ is an important verb. When customers are on the go, they need to have instant access to a live travel professional of the agency they booked with to alter travel plans. That is exactly when the mobile first strategy for travel agencies comes in perfectly, because it is more likely that customers would bring their phones on holiday and not their laptops. (Travel Leaders Corperate, n.d.)

All in all, the fact that makes the mobile first strategy growing in importance is that 54% of leisure and 69% of business travellers do not book their trips via mobile devices (yet), due to mobile limitations or mobile usability (Solis, 2016). When travel agencies with a mobile first strategy focus on these limitations and make it easier for customers to book via mobile devices, customer engagement will increase!

Bibliography

Berelowitz, S. (2018, February 6). Important mobile booking stats for hotels in 2018. Retrieved from Travel Tripper: http://www.traveltripper.com/blog/important-mobile-booking-stats-for-hotels-in-2018/

Bommer, B. (2018, August 1). Best Online Travel Sites of 2018. Retrieved from Top ten reviews: https://www.toptenreviews.com/services/home/best-online-travel-sites/

Investopedia. (2018). Mobile First Strategy. Retrieved from Investopedia: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mobile-first-strategy.asp

Solis, B. (2016, September 14). Why travel needs to design mobile-first customer journeys. Retrieved from tnooz: https://www.tnooz.com/article/articlearticlesolis/

Travel Leaders Corperate. (n.d.). The benefits of being mobile first. Retrieved from Travel Leaders Corperate: https://travelleaderscorporate.com/the-benefits-of-being-mobile-first/

 

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