If in 2016 your travel marketing strategy doesn’t focus on mobile, get your engines running.
That’s because last year ‘conversion rates have grown 88% on mobile travel sites’. Almost two times as many travelers as in 2014 have used their mobiles to make a purchase last year.
Is your travel website ready for mobile browsing and purchases?
The quote above is from a Google study in which they analyzed the behaviors of travelers when using their mobile phones.
Memorable finding: people are not doing long research sessions anymore, on any device. Instead, they research and plan their travels in multiple short sessions. It’s what Google calls ‘micro-moments’.
We use our phones hundreds of times per day to search for mini pieces of information. And travelers are doing it perhaps even more. From discovering where a city is located, to reviews about a restaurant or finding a taxi, their journey is filled with mobile ‘micro-moments’.
Here are the four stages of a traveler’s purchase journey and what your tourism business needs to do to be present in their micro-moments of browsing.
1. They want to get away
This is the first stage in a traveler’s journey, when they start thinking about their next vacation. Or business trip, or weekend getaway. Or surprise day-trip to a nearby spa. You get the point. Near or far, they start dreaming. And the next second they pull out their phone from their pocket and start searching for ideas.
Google’s study found out that at this stage, these are the top 2 questions travelers search for:
- What to do in [destination]?
- Where is [destination]?
Make sure you have the answers to these questions on your website. Don’t assume that people dreaming about coming to your location from across the world know just as much as you about it. Where is [city]? might sound redundant, but answering this question on your site is relevant for your target. Afterall, do you know where Papeete is and what you can do in this (popular) travel destination?
In travel marketing terms, create ‘travel intent’ content.
Write a series of posts that respond to a traveler’s dreaming stage, when they are searching for ideas and inspiration about new places to discover. Since only 18% of travelers plan to revisit places they’ve been to, it means most travelers are not familiar with the region where you offer accommodation or experiences.
2. They want the trip to be perfect
After the dreaming and exploring phase, prospects start to think about logistics. How to travel to your destination, where to stay, what to do around.
The study results show that mobile searches for flights increased by 33% while searches for hotels are up by 49%. The mobile phone is now a primary device to plan a trip and book flights and hotels.
Make it easy for travelers to find you from their mobile phone, and to understand your brand’s unique offering. Provide mobile-optimized content that answers all their questions and persuades them of your offering. The easier it is for a prospect to consume your information on mobile, the more time they will spend on your site, resulting in a higher probability of a purchase.
3. They want to book it
Booking is the most important step for your business in a traveler’s journey. Now their hand is on the wallet, and they’re pulling out the credit card, ready to buy your service.
But so many travel businesses still offer a difficult and confusing booking process on their mobile platforms. That’s why, according to Google’s study, ‘46% of travelers who do mobile travel research say they made their final booking decision on mobile, but moved to another device to make the booking’.
It’s essential to create a smooth mobile booking process. Include mobile-optimized texts suitable for all screen sizes, brief security information for higher trust, big enough data boxes and a purchase summary easy to read or edit.
It’s all about the strategy of ways to present the content. All about which bits and pieces of content must be included to respond to all the necessities of a traveler at the booking stage.
4. They want to make the most of it
The fourth and final part of the consumer’s purchase journey is during the actual trip.
At this stage, travelers have landed in an unfamiliar place and they heavily use their mobile for information to help them get familiar with their current location. The study confirms: ‘mobile queries per user from hotel properties have grown 49% since last year, with many including the phrase <near me>’.
This is another chance to stay present in the traveler’s mind and on their mobile screen with useful information, on location. If you’re a hotel, provide detailed tips about all there is to do around it. If you’re an airline, help the traveler figure out their next move once they step off your plane.
As a tourism business, provide useful information about anything the traveler might want to know, like transportation options, recommended local shops, or special events in town. Help your customer become familiar with the place, so they can have a memorable experience.
Are you ready to answer your travelers’ questions at these 4 stages with mobile-optimized content?