It is estimated that from 2010 to 2016, smartphone travel researchers will have more than quadrupled in number–from 17 million to 72 million. Similarly, smartphone travel bookers will have gone from 8 million to 36 million. So why the enormous gap between researchers and bookers? For starters, the travel marketing industry has not fully committed to mobile booking.
However, Orbitz and Travelocity have claimed that 60% of their mobile bookings were from same-day visits. This means that people who researched on their phones (perhaps because these users are on the go and looking for last-minute deals) booked 60% of the time. And this is not just limited to booking flights. It can also encompass hotels and rental cars. So if you are in the travel business and have been considering a mobile app that will allow users to research, why not also integrate mobile booking? We know that the volume of search is present; it’s just how to get users from the research to booking phase.
Here are some ideas:
1. Make it easy… very easy. Consider ways to shorten the purchase funnel. The implementation of one-click purchasing (similar to Amazon’s) will cut down on the amount of pages the user has to visit and information he or she has to input; therefore, the user is more likely to convert (and the smartphone is less likely to stall).
2. Set up alerts. If your customer base is looking for deals, allow them to set up alerts when carriers, hotels and rental car companies are running specials at specific locations.
3. Offer up bonus content. Content like customer reviews, photos or recommendations on what to do once they’ve booked are an added bonus of utilizing the mobile app as opposed to the website or another travel site.