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Mobile is key for travel brand CX

News, 01 August 2016

SINGAPORE: For the biggest brands in Asia's booming travel sector, great customer experience is considered the key to growth and maintaining customer loyalty.

An integrated customer experience across devices is also imperative as more and more travellers use their smartphones to search and buy across Asia than ever before.

These are some of the key takeaways from the recent EyeForTravel Summit in Singapore. (For more, including how branded content can engage consumers at the inspiration stage, read Warc's exclusive report: Seven customer experience tips from Airbnb, Booking.com and Skyscanner.)

"About 50% plus of all of our search activity takes place on mobile. Well over a third of our bookings are completed on mobile," said David Peller, Director of Strategic Partnerships APAC at Booking.com. "We try to give differentiated services through mobile than we do through the desktop."

Booking.com's experience shows that, for brands, converting mobile search activity into sales is a major issue. Although search activity is high on mobile devices, the number of mobile conversions for bookings is much lower.

Skyscanner's sales director, Paul Whiteway, put the drop-off down to a poor user experience. Again, a mobile-oriented user experience is important for brands to keep the interest of potential customers through to the point of purchase.

"As soon as you have got additional friction or complexity, there is drop-off. One of these drop-off points is as soon as you redirect the user to a third party website," he said.

For Skyscanner, a focus on facilitated bookings – "or what we call instant booking, or assisted booking", according to Whiteway – has increased the conversion rate of bookings to an average of 38%.

At the same time, an impressive 1,000% conversion rate growth was registered on one of its Australian partners that did not have a mobile booking platform to begin with at the time.

"Facilitated booking is about solving that. You can complete the booking within the specific website… you don't do the booking with us, it's directly with the airline,” Whiteway said.

Data sourced from Warc