Did you know that 87% of travellers use a travel app or the internet for a bulk of their travel planning? In a world which is more connected than ever, it is now easy for people to travel and visit new places. All information can be found at their fingertips. The travel and tourism industry has now embraced the technology age by making use of mobile concepts and functionality. However, small-scale travel and tourism companies and startups may find it difficult on where to start when it comes to their mobile app strategy. We are here to help.
Below, you will find some pointers on what to keep in mind while finalizing your mobile app strategy.
It is now possible for us to personalize an app based on users’ preferences with the advent of Big Data. Users are also welcoming personalized offers and prefer a good booking experience so that their time can be saved. While it is good to personalize the app for your users’ trends and preferences, too much personalization will affect the brand’s online reputation. You do not want to come across as a brand that considers their users as just several data.
Customer engagement is closely related to personalization. With the increase in mobile apps, it is now possible for brands to be connected with their customers more closely. Also, the mobile app is one of the best ways to increase customer engagement. As mentioned earlier, with personalization, it is now possible for brands to forge a closer relationship with their customers. Brands can now offer special packages and discounts to customers. At the same time, care should be taken so that the attempts at customer engagements do not reach a saturation level where the user simply does not respond to them.
With technology being made simpler day by day, it is now possible to develop mobile apps at a much lesser cost than earlier. However, you have to keep in mind that with these quick technological advancements also some modifications to the mobile apps. The apps will require constant updating and reconfiguring to keep up-to-date with these advancements. It could be expensive and time-intensive if not taken care of properly and could affect the digital identity of a brand.
Data Consumption and high-speed internet
We need to understand that the users might not always have their data connection on. Especially the travel apps, which users might need to use while commuting where there is a higher chance of not having access to a data connection. The apps should not stop working when there is no coverage. A good cache is necessary for travel apps. It is also important to keep data transfer very compact so that the app is accessible even where the data transfer is not fast and unpredictable.
Make sure that you keep the UI/UX design clean and understandable. Some elements to take care of while designing the UI/UX are calendar popups for when users have to input dates, layout changes when users change from portrait to landscape mode and back, clearly visible action elements like submit buttons while using virtual keyboards, etc.
The apps should be synched to make sure the user does not need to log in every single time or have difficulty in accessing stored data. As mentioned earlier, it is not possible that the users might have access to a strong data connection and so it is easier for users if the saved data is readily available.
Users install many mobile apps on their smartphones. Moreover, most of them need permission to access details like contacts, photos, location, etc. however, people are becoming wary of apps that request too many permissions. Make sure that your app requires only the permissions that are needed. App installation rates go down with additional permission requests.
GPS related functionalities are one of the important things to test for in travel apps. It helps you understand if your app has any useless features. Of course, you need to test all the features and make sure everything works fine. However, sometimes your app can end up having features that users might not end up using and it is better to remove them. The apps’ performance should also be tested in the field and not just in-house so that you can understand if all features perform well. Since travel apps are made for users from all across the world, you have to make sure that the app is not mistranslated.
Now that you have an idea, regarding what all you need to keep in mind while developing a travel app, here are some of the features that users look for in a travel app:
- Ticket booking
- Hotel booking
- Car rental
- Travel related Insurance
- Search for places, hotels, activities, attractions
- Map features – GPS
- Flight check-ins
- Flight delays
- Check weather
- Travel related shopping
- Find free Wi-Fi
- Currency conversion and exchange rates
- Track travel expenses
- Packing check-list
- Payment gateways
- Customer care
- Social media sharing
Depending on what pain-point your brand is looking to solve when it comes to travel apps, you can include the necessary features. Do you have any more features in mind? Make sure to comment below in our comment section.
The best way to understand what users like in a travel app is by checking out the popular travel apps available right now. Study your competition. Below, you will find a few of the most useful and popular travel apps in India.
MakeMyTrip is one of India’s most popular online travel app which provides services such as flight/ bus/ rail tickets, hotel reservations, international and domestic travel packages, etc.
Airbnb is one of the most popular travel apps in the world. It provides users with options to help them explore places as a local. It provides users with many options to choose from concerning their stay, experiences, adventures, restaurants, etc.
Couchsurfing is for users who prefer homestays over hotels. It helps users connect to a global community of travellers through its social networking solution. The platform is a gift economy where the hosts do not charge for lodging.
Google maps could be considered one of the most useful apps when it comes to travelling. It is a mapping app that helps users finds directions. It now has a lot of additional features like ‘Your timeline’, location sharing, saving for offline, etc.
It is evident that travel apps are here to stay and it is changing travel habits. Technology has a huge impact on the travel and tourism industry. A lot of care and consideration needs to be given while developing a travel app so that it stays relevant and competitive. Do you have an idea that you want to convert into a mobile app? Contact our business consultants here.