Friday, 24th February 2012, 16:38:40
Travel companies who wish to improve their online marketing should consider their mobile access, research suggests.
According to a study entitled Empowering Inspiration: the Future of Travel Search, mobile functionality is key to consumers who are using website information to research their trips overseas.
This is more common among people in the US and emerging markets, as three in ten European travellers state that they have "no interest" in using their mobile phones for travel related activities.
India is one country where a large proportion of people (24 per cent) are using their mobile devices to research destinations online.
The Amadeus-commissioned study, which also looks at what people want to be able to use, as well as what they use already, found that people are interested in harnessing mobile technology for checking in, travel alerts, boarding passes and delay notifications.
In terms of e-commerce travel trends, consumers used online travel agencies websites as search engines, but then used the travel provider for the online shopping transactions itself.
Interestingly, the trend was reversed when it came to booking accommodation.
Overall, the study suggested that, not only do customers want improved mobile functionality, they also want a less frustrating research experience overall.
Many of the consumers who were surveyed reported feeling upset at the amount of "information overload" and anxious that they were not getting the best deals.
In addition, some of the travel companies did not seem to recognise was that a vast number of travellers, in both the developed and emergency markets, do not have a destination in mind when they start their online planning process.
Often, they are looking to be inspired and are flexible when it comes to dates and destinations, as they simply want the best value deal.
It would be advantageous for businesses to cater to this, the study suggested, because attracting shoppers early on in the "purchase funnel" reduces their reliance on search and referral traffic.
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