When considering the changing face of technology affecting industries around the world, one may not immediately consider the world of travel. But when investigating further, it is apparent that technology has greatly altered the ways in which we find and book travel options, from flights to accommodation and beyond. Not only that, but online marketing has dramatically affected the travel industry, providing new ways to think about the world and the industry. Let’s examine how an increase in accessible technology is altering the world of travel, for better and for worse.
Bookings Made Easy
According to tnooz, over 70% of customers prefer making travel bookings via a mobile device. How does this change things for businesses in the industry? For hotels, airlines, and other travel-related companies, it is now a necessity to have a mobile-optimised site and to have options for booking online and via mobile device. The tnooz article also points to simpler click-through processes as being more consumer friendly. Users are much more likely to complete a mobile purchase when the procedure is quick and painless. This presents new challenges to travel industry related businesses, as travelling consumers now have the option of making travel plans right at their fingertips. Companies will benefit from investing in streamlined booking processes for their customers.
As technology has infiltrated nearly every part of our lives, travel-industry businesses have felt a growing pressure to keep up with the changing pace. With complete accessibility to information via the Internet (and with an ever-shortening consumer attention span), airline companies and other travel-related businesses have stepped up their game to meet the intense competition. Marketing campaigns have made their way to Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Marketing has taken on a much more social aspect as well. Airline KLM launched an innovative Twitter campaign which asked fans to select their top 2 destinations. For every share on Twitter, the airline would then lower the price for those selected flights. This innovative idea resulted in a 700% increase in purchases for KLM that very day.
It’s a race to become to most advanced, most efficient, and most exciting brand. Though most airlines now offer online check in to speed up the boarding process, some allow check in through scanning your smartphone and Vueling and AirBerlin both experimented with smartwatch digital boarding passes. These fascinating pushes toward technological advancement are both a great marketing tool and a way for the travel industry to remain in league with (or ahead of) the times.
The instant and constant access to technology, however, can sometimes present challenges. Many travellers have now taken to contacting their airlines directly via Twitter, particularly in the case of delayed flights or other worries. Companies in all industries have been adapting to this change, with many brands handling the Twitter craze with aplomb. Some businesses who respond well to customer complaints or issues have helped boost their own public images, but other haven’t been so lucky.
In a recent news story, a recently boarded passenger on Southwest Airlines tweeted about his bad customer service at the gate. The crew removed the man and his children from the flight and refused to let the family board the plane unless he deleted his tweet, calling the passenger a “safety threat.” Southwest Airlines may have responded too heatedly to this social media insult, but it seems their quick reaction may bring them more unpleasant attention than anything else.
How do you feel the travel industry, or other aspects of the business world, have been changed by technology?