I remember begging my dad to buy me a mobile phone as a kid. At just 6 years old, he gave in and bought me a little Nokia – the kind with the black and white screen that could cut through concrete without breaking. It lasted all of 10 minutes before I misplaced it and he vowed never to buy me one again.
The short period of time I owned that phone is a fond memory. I played Snake on repeat, hid under the covers at night and rang the one number I had saved (my dad’s house number – even he didn’t have a mobile phone at the time), and everyone thought I was the coolest kid on the block.
Fast forward 17 years, I have owned more mobile phones than I care to remember, Snake is but a distant memory and my contact list is cluttered with people I haven’t spoken to in years. Back then, owning a phone was uncommon, but today, not owning one is just bizarre. I mean, how on earth are people supposed to get in touch without your digits?
The tables have turned
The 21st century has seen mobile phones transform from, basically nothing, into a device that most people can’t leave the house without. Even at social events, there’s at least one person that can’t help but constantly refresh their Instagram feed or reply to hundreds of messages on WhatsApp, accumulated in the short space of an hour.
The beauty of owning a mobile phone is that you’re available 24/7, as well as open to finding any information within a matter of seconds. Research by Sony and O2 has revealed that 75% of people even use their mobile in the bathroom, which explains why so many of us are guilty of dropping our phones down the toilet and trying to salvage them by placing them in a cup of uncooked rice!
Now travel brands must change
It has been proven time and time again that many consumers prefer to search for and book holidays using a mobile phone device, and travel brands need to embrace the mobile phone revolution in order to successfully tackle the online market and win the business of online travel shoppers.
Tour operators and OTA’s must understand that, in most cases, the decision to make a purchase is spontaneous and can appear whilst on the toilet, waiting for a bus, or somewhere equally as random. Our mobile phones go everywhere with us.
Catering to customers that predominantly use their mobile phones over any other device is simple.
Make sure your website is user-friendly and fully-responsive across all mobile devices. As a mobile-user myself, there’s nothing worse than a website that forces me to zoom in and out because it’s too big for my iPhone screen. I usually find myself abandoning such websites and paying my good friend Google another visit to find information from a different source.
Implement a booking engine into your website. Booking engines are great because they allow travel brands to accept bookings around the clock, which is perfect for those late nights at the local pub when a last-minute trip to Barcelona seems like a great idea. Not sure whether to take that leap? Check out our Travelflow range for more information.
If adopting online booking technology isn’t the right route for your business, make sure your contact details, and other call-to-actions, are in clear sight across your website. If the prospective customer is serious about the booking, they’ll save your details and contact you during office hours.
During the buyer cycle, mobile users constantly surf the web to find all sorts of information. From the best deals and reviews to top-rated restaurants, bars and tourist attractions in selected destinations, make sure your website is rich with informative content.
The most successful brands are those that understand their audience and go above and beyond to enhance the user experience.