Travel must ‘optimise for an app-first world’, research suggests

Travel must ‘optimise for an app-first world’, research suggests

Time spent in travel apps grew nearly 150% between 2014 and 2016, new research reveals.

And worldwide downloads of travel apps in 2016 increased 20% compared to 2015, App Annie’s findings show.

App Annie, an analytics company that focusses on apps, says that the findings show that smartphones are “quickly becoming the public’s favourite travel companion”.

A spokesperson said: “The travel sector ecosystem is being uprooted, with the unbundling of services creating a network of apps for a multitude of use cases all accessible via a smartphone.”

The firm recently produced a report which looked specifically at use of apps within the travel industry, and concludes that travel is already a digital industry and must “optimise for an app-first world”.

It said: “The shift to mobile may be a precursor to wider industry changes. Companies
have the opportunity to rebundle travel services to deliver a better customer
experience and secure a larger role across the customer journey.”

The report looked at apps made for companies from traditional online players such as Expedia, Kayak, trivago and Skyscanner as well as firms which are both online and offline such as Tui.

It also found that European airlines had embraced apps, and that their customers were using them increasingly. For example, it found that 55% of Ryanair’s web traffic comes via mobile.

The report concluded that apps can deepen brands’ customer relationships, have raised expectations for a streamlined travel experience, create new opportunities to reach customers but are hyper-competitive. It also noticed a trend of customers using apps before, during and after travel.

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