How seriously should airlines be focusing on mobile platforms to reach travelers? This IATA report predicts that by 2021, mobile will be the sole channel by which passengers, travel agents, and other users will choose to connect with airlines. Airlines run the risk of obsolescing themselves if they don’t have a strong mobile strategy. Otherwise, alternative mobile solutions will step up to fill in the travel technology gap (Google being the likely culprit).
Who do airlines really want selling their tickets, marketing to their passengers, and making ancillary revenue?
Build it and they will come
The same IATA report reveals that passengers are exhausted by the search required to book their journey. The stats show:
- 45% of business passengers believe they use too many websites and apps to find flights
- 41% of leisure passengers want flight shopping to be as easy as shopping for a mobile phone online
These numbers are only for searching and purchasing flights. Consider the added research needed to secure ground transportation, dining options in destination, tours and entertainment suggestions. Research by Expedia estimates that travelers use an average of 38 digital tools, including search engines, OTAs, and airline sites, just to book a single trip. This only goes to show that airlines are in a prime position to provide something their customers are excited about having: namely, a single app solution to manage their entire journey. As well, customers reveal that they would appreciate an app that could provide customized service, meaning one that could make personalized offers based upon their unique customer profile.
Travelers want to give you their business
As we discussed in this blog post, consumers are more likely to be loyal to an airline that is able to personalize service for them. In fact, they’re so eager to get this higher level of service that even they’re willing to relinquish personal data. This makes sense once one considers all the associated parts of the journey beyond the flight itself. Travelers are looking for excitement in their destination, or an opportunity to treat themselves beyond the necessities of travel. They are looking for someone to make suggestions about what to do, where to eat, where to stay, how to get there, etc. They are looking for extras. They are in a moment where airlines can exert influence over their customers to push them towards discretionary spending. And if airlines aren’t going to provide an end-to-end concierge service to their customers, their customers are likely to seek it elsewhere.
Owning the entire travel experience
Airlines need to consider how they can provide this top level of customer service while also ensuring that they’re getting as much revenue as possible from each transaction. And because of what we’ve discussed about the rise of mobile spending and planning, airlines need to implement a solution that is built around the mobile experience. Airlines can make significant revenue when they own a greater share of ancillaries. It's essential to have an enormous amount of global content available. And it’s even more essential that they have a Travel Personalization Platform to market and push content to travelers at the optimized moment in their journey.Contact us to learn how your passengers can easily find content through your airline’s app. As well, you’ll discover how the platform leverages machine learning to provide optimized offers to your travelers to drive attachment and conversion.