Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Mobile Should Make Things Easier, Not More Complicated

The Travel industry has been discussing mobile for years now, and though no-one can deny the mobile revolution is well and truly here, large parts of the industry are still behind. While researching for EyeForTravel’s upcoming Travel Distribution Summit North America, it’s evident that mobile is still an area where we as an industry need to grow

The smart phone in essence is the marketer’s dream come true, it is in our hands at all time (I know I for one am guilty of holding text conversations in the middle of face-to-face conversations, much to my friends’ annoyance), it is solely ours, we do not share our phones amongst our family or friends to use, which means that all browsing, researching and bookings can be assigned to us. Why then is travel technology so behind?
There are of course plenty of brands taking the leap forward and investing in new and exciting ways to use the technology – mobile payment being one of them. Yet for each brand that offers one-touch booking (because what is mobile if not a platform to make things easier for the consumer?) there are 10 who insist you type out your full credit card details on tiny phone buttons, which not only increases the margin for error, but causes inordinate amounts of frustration – frustration that will then be directed at your brand. Your mobile booking strategy should make it easier for consumers to book, not more complicated.

We as an industry should be actively pursuing this; after all, the technology is there, Passbook and Google Wallet being just two popular examples. Looking at it from the consumer’s perspective, when booking quickly (according to GuestCentric “60% of smartphone [hotel room] bookings were for same night or next night stay” Source: Travel Daily News) would you rather a slow clunky service that requires the entering of countless details, or a slick easy few clicks?

As the booking window shortens, so does the consumers’ patience – thus it is imperative the process becomes quicker. Not only will a poor mobile booking platform harm your brand image, but you can be sure if you don’t keep up, your competitors will be snapping up your potential consumers and losing you bookings.

To learn more about mobile booking and the impact it’s having on the travel industry make sure you attend the Travel Distribution Summit: North America 2013