Mobile Growth: How It Affects Airline Travel, Hospitality, and the Overall Guest Experience

Beginning even before the start of 2018, mobile has been on, not only every digital marketer’s mind, but also on the mind of the consumer. And, the message and trend for this year is: go mobile or go home!

Marketers are shifting their focus toward crafting content, websites, booking engines, and more to cater the growth of consumers using mobile devices as their go-to resource. As marketers begin to optimize their strategies, first we need to know the facts.

According to comScore:

  • In the U.S., 71% of total digital minutes come from mobile devices.
  • In the U.S., 87 hours/month dedicated to browsing is spent on a mobile device (compared to the 34 hours/month of browsing completed on desktop.)

According to Google Statements:

  • More than 50% of search queries around the world come from mobile devices.
  • The leading category in mobile search volume is food & beverage.

And, these numbers only continue to increase. As you can tell, mobile search is no joke. Here are some additional mobile trends to keep an eye on for the 2018 year and beyond.

  1. Mobile-First Indexing – This is a must in order to maintain a strong online presence. In 2016, it was announced indexing would be based on a company’s mobile site and this continues to be this case in 2018 and beyond.
  2. Micro-Moments – Defined as certain moments during the day when consumers reach for their smartphone to find or research something with 96% of users reaching for their phones when these micro-moments hit.
  3. Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) – A.I. is showing the potential to help marketers better personalize the consumer experience, on a new and completely different level.

With all of this information taken into consideration, how is the overall growth of mobile playing into the development and improvement of airline travel and overall hospitality? The authors of IdeaWorks and Cartrawler report about consumers and mobile interactions had this to say:

“The proximity and portability of mobile devices ensure smartphones and tablets are becoming trusted travel companions. No leap of faith is required to assume mobile will overtake personal computers as the primary choice for the self-booking of personal and business travel. Statistics indicate we are very nearly at that point of transition.”

Now let’s dive in a little deeper and discover how the overall mobile growth, present, and future, is affecting the overall guest experience.

Mobile Growth and Airline Travel

We are already aware the majority of travelers by air are using airline mobile apps to complete check-ins, baggage drop-offs, and boarding. But what about bookings? There are few airlines that are making the most of this potential.

What can airlines do to enhance mobile engagement and make the most of their platforms?

  1. Mention their mobile app on the homepage of their site.
  2. Provide a noticeable link on their site.
  3. Take advantage of paid ads for promotion and awareness.
  4. Offer promotions, bonuses, and discounts for first-time application downloading.
  5. Combine forces with the hotel industry to enhance the overall guest experience.

The goal is to provide the airline traveler with the information they need while on the go. Which part of the mobile experience will help them more quickly find solutions to their problems or questions?

Mobile Growth and Hospitality

We all know how much consumers enjoy being able to get something done through their mobile device rather than having to fire up a desktop computer or even their laptop. This especially applies to the travel and hospitality industry. At IMI, we work with a large number of clients in the hospitality industry, giving us an inside scoop when it comes to mobile sessions and actions taken. It’s no surprise the majority of organic sessions are completed through a mobile device.

Mobile-Friendly Websites

What does this all mean for the overall guest experience? Firstly, mobile-friendly websites have changed the way guests look at hotel consideration. Maybe potential customers are planning a last-minute trip and want to research availability, services and amenities, reviews, and more while on the move or during some downtime. The majority of these potential customers need an easy, simple, and mobile-friendly site that can allow efficient research and exploration to reach the ultimate goal of booking or completing the call-to-action.

Hotel-Focused Apps

Hospitality digital marketers are able to monitor and study customer behavior better when it comes to hotel-focused mobile apps. Through mobile devices and applications, marketers can gain better insights and predictions when it comes to consumer preferences. What are pages on the site useful for potential customers? Are users reading our blogs? When are guests booking rooms?

Self-Serve Stations

Mobile growth also promotes self-service through hospitality. When someone books a hotel for business or pleasure, the last thing they want to do is stand in a long line to get what they need. Mobile-friendly websites, as well as hospitality mobile apps, allow the guests to self-serve simple requests such as check-ins, room service, restaurant reservations, and much more. With all of this combined, the ultimate goal is a long-term customer relationship.

All in all for a great guest experience, whether through airline or hotel bookings, both industries need to be on the lookout for opportunities. Although some companies in both industries are leading the pack, while others are taking the backseat and standing by, mobile strategies are no longer an option. They are a necessity when it comes to satisfying the travel consumer and enhancing the overall guest experience.

Let’s talk.