Having the right mobile strategy to cater to travelers is essential.
“Everything we do starts with mobile because our audience is mobile,” says Josh Herman, the director of marketing and public relations at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel. “We don’t think of mobile in silos, talking distribution here, customer service there. It is genuinely at the forefront of everything we do at the property.”
“Everything we do starts with mobile because our audience is mobile,” says Josh Herman, the director of marketing and public relations at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.Share
But delivering a simple and engaging mobile experience to the user doesn’t come without overcoming complex technical hurdles. At the Fontainebleau, that meant prioritizing mobile travelers and replacing the hotel’s older mobile site with a new site that’s responsive and can be used on any mobile device. Additionally, the company sliced nearly in half the number of fields mobile travelers needed to fill out in order to make a booking. All of these moves help explain why the hotel’s mobile traffic is up nearly 300 percent and why its mobile revenue has doubled.
Companies that occupy different spots on the travel supply chain have reached a very similar conclusion: consumers demand a stellar mobile experience, and it’s their job to deliver it.
The list of companies making substantive changes to improve the mobile experience of leisure and business travelers goes on and on, including Expedia and American Express.
For its part, Expedia developed Scratchpad, a product that lets customers access past flight and hotel searches no matter what device they are using. “It is important that we seamlessly connect the user experience across devices and platforms,” says Akshaya Murali, Expedia’s head of product – mobile shopping. “So far, we’ve seen that customers are three times more likely to convert when they use Scratchpad.”
And for the leaders at American Express Global Business Travel, it is just as critical to deliver a complete mobile experience to the business traveler.
“It’s important to think about the role the travel management company plays in the ecosystem, of bringing together suppliers to make a journey seamless for our travelers,” Evan Konwiser, vice president for the digital traveler at American Express Global Business Travel. At GBT, we’re looking at ways to collaborate with our key suppliers so that the traveler is serviced consistently between a hotel or airline app and our own.”
Both customer expectations and technical challenges will no doubt continue to accelerate. But so will new mobile opportunities such as in-app messaging, which could be powerfully integrated into a platform like Facebook Messenger. The result: customer interactions that are far more natural than anything possible via email or text.
“Facebook Messenger makes these interactions conversational, and you’ve seen travel brands such as KLM and Hyatt taking this up early on,” says Mark McSpadden, head of Sabre Labs. “We see these conversational interfaces working in three ways: conversational shopping and booking at the point of purchase, conversational merchandising and conversational service and support.”
Mobile is embedded in the end-to-end travel experience. How does this impact your mobile strategy? How should it? Gain additional insights from the global travel players mentioned here. Download the whitepaper, Mobile in Travel: The End-to-End Impact.