Mobile – The Digital Device of Choice for Booking Travel

It’s no secret that mobile device usage has skyrocketed in recent years, but smartphones and tablets are no longer used just to play games or to communicate with family, friends, and business associates. Consumers – who were once reluctant to pull the trigger on purchases with mobile devices – are now doing so at an ever-increasing rate. This is especially true in the travel industry where eMarketer predicts nearly 52 percent of all digital travel bookings in 2016 will be made on a mobile device – up from 43.8 percent in 2015.

And if you think only the cheap bookings are made on mobiles, by 2017 30 percent of all digital travel bookings by value will be made using a mobile device.

Why mobile matters

Mobile devices have become the multipurpose tool in the palms of our hands, and provide access to a world of digital choice. For consumers, mobile devices offer almost-instant access to information and reviews, as well as the ability to make purchases practically anywhere – whether on a quick break at work or lying in bed watching their favorite program on-demand. In this swipe left, swipe right, quick-scrolling world we live in, brands and marketers only have a split second to garner attention, and when you do get it, you don’t want to squander the opportunity because of a bad mobile experience.

Creating a seamless experience across all devices and platforms is no small task. Most of you have probably been in the position where you wanted nothing more than to give your money to a retailer, but the mobile shopping experience was clunky or it wasn’t readily apparent how to complete the purchase process. Something that may seem like a minor detail to a business, can be frustrating to consumers and lead to lower conversion rates or unhappy and unsatisfied customers. That’s why it is imperative to get the mobile experience right.

Fostering loyalty

Fortunately this is something that many companies in the travel industry have figured out. It’s just as easy to book a room or a flight on your mobile device as it is on your laptop, and much more convenient and often faster than making a booking over the phone. Many airlines, hotels, and online travel agencies spend a lot of time and effort creating an optimal mobile experience – both online and with mobile apps – because the industry is extremely competitive, and loyalty and repeat business are at a premium.

Something particularly important for travel and hospitality brands to consider when optimizing the mobile experience is how the content will be received in different languages and markets where their customers reside. Getting everything else right so that a consumer makes a purchase on your mobile app or site is hard enough. Travel and hospitality brands should not make it harder to reach their multilingual global audience by only offering their mobile content in a limited number of languages.

One brand that has had success with a dedicated mobile experience is HotelTonight, a popular mobile-first, last-minute hotel booking service service with 14 million app downloads to-date. HotelTonight makes it possible for users to quickly and easily book hotel stays of up to five days, within a week of their stay. The company  localized its mobile app to allow for expansion into 27 countries with the help of a cloud-based translation management system, and continues to focus on high quality and translated market-relevant content, visual imagery associated with each country, and of course, a welcoming and smooth mobile experience.

Learn from the experts

Join Smartling and EyeforTravel on Wednesday, December 2 at 12 pm EST for a free webinar: Powering Loyalty Anywhere and Revenue Everywhere… with Technology. The webinar will focus on the travel and hospitality industry, and feature Juan M. Cárdenas, Director of Localization, Hilton Worldwide, and Bryan Lopuck, Localization Project Manager, HotelTonight, discussing how each brand successfully provides the personalized brand experiences that inspire loyalty in the millions, and how technology is essential in order to reach a multilingual global audience more efficiently and effectively.