Today, about two third of the booking volume is made via online portals – but mobile booking is growing rapidly
The travel industry is a competitive space, with airlines trying to keep up with consumer demands while providing comfortable and convenient experiences. As the latest Statista research shows, traditional offline channels play a minor role whereas the newest technology is more and more important in the way travelers are researching and purchasing their journey.
Today, about two third of the booking volume is made via online portals. Especially flight bookings via online (desktops) are highly common throughout Europe: About 52,2 % of the UK passengers and 49,6 % of the Spanish travelers book their flights online. Germany (48 %) and France (42 %) follow closely behind.
Mobile bookings grow 8 times faster than the overall market
But there is also another significant technical trend. Since more and more customers are adopting the mobile approach – mobile bookings grow 8 times faster than the overall market – the time is now to extend mobile services into the travel environment.
Those results confirm that consumers are extending their travel research and booking across multiple devices. While most of the customers in Europe find mobile inspiration on social media (up to 83 %) and compare prizes on that device as well (up to 67 %) more than half of them also complete the checkout process (57 %) via smartphone.
It is important to provide customers with personalized digital offerings
Beyond online booking, the real impact of digitalization for service providers in the travel industry goes further than the use of the booking device: If airlines know the preferences of its passengers, they can customize digital offerings. Thanks to the digitalization of many booking systems, companies can easily bring into the experience passengers preferences such as seat reservations, meal choices and other upsell opportunities such as lounge access, oversized luggage, and personalized check-in at airports. The benefits for the travel industry are quite clear: Not only will the processing be speed up; but automated control and security can be provided as well as fraud protection and a general economization.
So why not offer customers special offerings while booking their next flight – by just sending an alert to their mobile regarding extra conditions for their favorite meal or oversized luggage? Or offering the passengers a navigation within the airport?
More and more travel booking platforms will allow convenient and individual processes
Summarizing the above, it can be said, that air travel will go mobile: Not only will almost all airlines create a mobile ecosystem for any kind of customer service connected to flight by 2018. But knowing your passenger and reacting to it will be the key for success. The data collection during the customer journey of travel bookings will allow deep insights and enable extremely simplified, automated and individual processes.