People are reliant on their mobile phones for information even more than normal when they travel. Consumers are consistently on-the-go and marketers need to adjust their strategies to suit consumer behavior. Brands and marketers need to recognize travel search patterns and optimize mobile marketing brands for mobile devices, whether it be their mobile website, app or general online presence.
According to Google, 69 percent of mobile users spend extra time, no matter where they are, researching travel ideas. Of those users, half of them return to the topic and research further on a different platform. Those queries are more than just a way for consumers to waste time in a waiting room or in line at a grocery store. Those search terms lead to further research and discovery.
Mobile search volume becomes relevant for companies when it comes to brand loyalty. Google found that 72 percent of smartphone users appreciate relevancy of information over brand presence. If consumers can find relevant information from one brand quicker than another, they’re likely to go with the first. Consumers value accessibility and relevancy, which brands need to pay attention to in order to retain customers and convert new ones.
According to Google, half of millennial travelers say they found a new travel company while researching on a mobile device, which was the most common way to find a new brand. This information reinforces the need for travel brands to have appropriate and engaging mobile presences. Without a mobile presence, travel companies have just lost 69 percent of mobile vacation researchers and the half of millennial mobile users who discover new brands.
According to eMarketer, more than 51 percent of travel booked will occur on a mobile device this year. When a consumer is looking to book their travel exclusively from their smart phone, apps like Avis Now will ensure brands with mobile presences are accessible for those mobile users.
Hotels are no exception. La Quinta worked with Google Hotel Ads to improve its mobile pages and found that about 33 percent of people who book do so from a mobile device. Consumers researching hotels while traveling wouldn’t find those pages had they not been search-engine optimized. Same-day hotel reservations made from a smartphone are at 65 percent, a rate that La Quinta wouldn’t have been able to be part of without the optimized pages.
Apps allow brands to create enclosed, branded spaces optimized for consumer ease-of-use. Many services that were previously complicated are now digestible enough for everyday consumers.
Last month, Avis launched their new mobile app, Avis Now, in order to try to connect with traveling millennials. This means that the entire car rental process occurs within the app, with the exception of picking up the car and showing a license. The company is looking to leverage technology to cater to a new generation of customers, says the CEO Larry DeShon. With this app, Avis has the potential to convert millennials who might have previously avoided renting a car because of the complicated process.
Airline brands are integrating responsive design into their sites and focusing on app development. Delta offers different apps for the various stages of the travel process and United Airlines offers an in-flight media platform, which passengers can access from their own device. Beyond just searching for and booking flights, these airlines are ensuring that mobile devices are a part of the entire travel process.
Searching and planning travel on mobile devices has become the norm for many people, especially millennials. Brand loyalty is never the sole decision-making factor and was recently replaced by relevancy and accessibility. When users cannot find the results they’re seeking, many of them are prepared to pick the most convenient brand over their favorite. As a result, an online presence, both engaging and relevant, means more to most mobile users than ever before. Brands need to recognize the importance of mobile and react appropriately by creating their own optimized spaces.