We use the smartphone so many times in our everyday life. Why not plan and book our vacation with it? More and more travel organizations and tour organizers see the benefits in smartphones. Booking.com, Momondo, Trivago, Checkfelix and TripAdvisor are only some of the companies that already own an app to make it easier for their customers to plan their next trip.

As we have already executed many successful projects for our customers, particularly in tourism, we want to take a closer look at this vertical and support you with helpful knowledge from a comprehensive study done by (PDF here).

Source: think with Google – How Mobile Shapes the Customer Journey

Source: think with Google – How Mobile Shapes the Customer Journey

Research: Smartphones are essential counselors – before, during and after the trip

New research by Google has analyzed the connection of smartphone usage and all phases of vacation planning. The results were published under the name “Think Google: How people use their phones for travel.”

Main results:

  • The smartphone is the perfect travel partner throughout all the phases of the customer journey.
  • If an app or mobile page is preferred, depends on the situation and the value for the user.
  • Three things are always essential:
  • High speed, easy use, and little storage space needed.

50% of all smartphone users are turning to mobile websites for inspiration and information about different destinations. At this stage, all offers and suppliers are compared. 31% of all leisure travelers and 53% of all business travelers will book the vacation already mobile: flights as well as accommodations. Finding activities at the vacation spot also happens via mobile: people are looking for activities on their phone, but only after the arrival at the destination. Users decide what they want to do and where they want to go once they have arrived.

Looking at the numbers below, you’ll see that xamoom is the ideal solution to offer two of the three top activities on the smartphone. Offers and information on site are the operational areas par excellence where the xamoom platform can demonstrate its strengths. Exactly at the moment when users are looking for tips and advice – at the location – the right content can be offered.

App or mobile website: it depends on the situation!

When talking about mobile offers there will always be one question to answer: Is it better to develop an app or should we provide a mobile website? The results of Google proved that apps and mobile websites are used for a different purpose – both have their eligibility.

Users turn to an app mainly to make bookings or tickets, for example, the boarding pass for the flight. In an app, everything is available with only a few clicks and it is stored. Another reason for using an app is the possibility to gather loyalty points or bonus achievements. If users are rewarded for their interactions, they are more likely to book there.

On the other side, there is a mobile website. Mobile web offers are used to search for activities. Users click through different pages to look for different possibilities. Restaurants and events are rather researched on the mobile web.

With the xamoom platform, the management of both solutions is possible on a real-time basis: contents can be adapted constantly, offers can be updated and will perfectly be displayed on the device. In addition, we have developed a feature that makes it possible to collect bonus points also in the mobile web and not only (but of course also) in an app. With this functionality, it is not necessary to invest immediately in the production of an app and, nevertheless the interaction with the consumers can be raised in an entertaining way.

Discounts and recommendations are triggers for downloading travel-apps

The internet is full of websites where people can get information about the forthcoming trip.  So why do users install an app? 36% download an app to simplify steps during their planning. Instead of clicking through hundreds of websites, they open the app and find all the information they need. More than 30% download a certain app because it was recommended to them or because discounts are thereby granted to them. Only 18% of 500 participants are ready to pay for an app if it provides the right content and has a good rating. For many of them, it is also important to be able to use all functions of an app and not only those of the free version.

The most essential functions of an app are:

  • The app must be easy to use
  • It should have a clear structure and menu, which you can click easily through
  • It must provide a good and clear content

Other points why people use an app:

  • Good offers
  • Helpful push-notifications

If we develop an app for our customers, we pay attention to all of the above-mentioned points – and numerous other ones.

The fact that content is king was clear to xamoom from the beginning and it is also a focus in our development process. Content is in every form – from picture to video up to audio-files – integrated and maintainable and loading at a high pace.

Psssssst: push notifications as a new feature at xamoom

Some news which we spread here: Besides beacon notifications, we are now able to send also push notifications to app users via the xamoom platform. For a low surcharge per month you can communicate with your users not only at the place of the event but also stay in contact after the vacation. (And we all know: After the vacation is before the next vacation)

Google also evaluated what kind of notifications showed the best response:

Conclusion: Companies must be on the smartphone of the traveler – with relevant content!

The smartphone has become a constant partner during the whole vacation. Already for the planning of a journey users turn to their phones. Different suppliers will be compared. 31% of all vacations are already booked with the smartphone. On mobile websites, the users are looking for activities for their trip. To book a flight or to collect loyalty points an app is preferred.

Many travel providers offer their own app. Which reasons animate users to download an app? The most frequent reason is the fact that an app simplifies steps of the booking process. Other reasons are recommendations of friends or family and discounts which are granted.

With content based on the xamoom platform you can reach your guests when they are planning a trip with vouchers and – even more important – when they have arrived at your region, hotel or sightseeing activity and offer not only information but multimedia content, gamification elements and tips what else to see (and where to spend time and money).

Are you curious now? If you know somebody, who knows somebody who works on his mobile strategy, let him know, that you know somebody who can help and offers valuable input and solutions.

P.S. Keep to our blog, shortly there will be the next article about traveling in a mobile world.