Consumer behaviours are changing. A recent Google study showed that consumers are taking longer to purchase travel, and 80% of those consumers start online, using multiple platforms to research destinations and then find the best deal.
In a live interview session at the ACI Asia-Pacific/World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition, Lucy Werner explained that anticipating travellers’ needs and providing a seamless user interface has become more important than ever. Mobile devices are driving change and have replaced guidebooks. The majority of travellers use services such as Google maps as their starting point, rather than a specific app, highlighting the need to push information to consumers exactly how and where they want it.
The mobile experience has also become richer with augmented reality and virtual reality providing enhanced information throughout the entire travel journey. Consumers are more price sensitive than ever, they want a good deal, but they also want personalization. With personalization and a good experience comes brand loyalty. There is also a need to balance personalization with intrusiveness; defining what’s helpful versus what is too much, taking into account demographics and privacy restrictions.
With the need for greater integration across platforms comes a challenge – the average customer abandons a transaction after a three second wait. Younger populations demand an experience that delivers booking within 5 clicks. The workforce needs to keep up with the demand for digital talent that understands technology and customer experience.
Lucy concluded that we are at the beginning of a journey. In the not too distant future, especially in the Asia Pacific region there are major opportunities for digital innovation. We can expect a world of super-apps and digital ecosystems, where the consumer gets the right information at the right time, across multiple platforms, personalized to their specific preferences.