The travel industry was one of the first to embrace the Internet revolution. Now, mobile is the channel pushing the way people travel to the next step.
Mobile phone have been impacting the travel marketing industry as travelers continue to integrate mobile to their travel itinerary. According to a Nielsen study, travel related searches raised the third highest number of follow-up actions per mobile search out of 15 categories. The mobile-travel success may be explained by the fact that mobile devices allow travelers to continue and amend their trip-planning from the first to the last day. The ability to plan the travel itinerary in real time from planning, booking, check-ins, car rentals, hotels and more has undoubtedly had significant impact on the adoption of these smart devices across the industry.
In recent reports, it has been demonstrated that 52 percent of travel bookings made in the last quarter were on a mobile device indicating that smartphones and tablets have overtaken desktop (JiWire’s report), while more than 50% of airlines offer flight search, tickets, check-in and boarding pass were offered via the mobile platform (Airline IT trends, 2013). The mobile channel is undeniably growing fast. Mobile sales are expected to triple between 2013 and 2017, accumulating nearly $50 billion by 2017 (e-Marketer). Moreover, mobile sales are predicted to account for almost for 30% of digital travel sales. The main drivers of such trend are mobile penetration, usage behaviors and the rise in consumer confidence in making purchases over mobile devices.
Considering the above, it is essential for travel brands to have a mobile presence and to think about optimizing their strategy accordingly. It is important for marketers to understand customer journey and to establish a strong mobile presence with mobile-friendly products and services. For instance, based on eMarketers estimations, it is forecasted that travel marketers will spend $4.7 billion in 2016 on digital advertising, which includes both online and mobile. Also, by 2016, more than 60% of airlines will plan new mobile services such as flight re-booking, missing bag reporting and bag status updates.