Booking holidays and making travel plans via mobile devices has become less a niche alternative and more the exclusive standard for millions. The appeal of being able to book even the most far-flung and complicated journeys with just a few touches on a tiny screen is huge to say the least. But at the same time, facilitating all this on the part of the business isn’t easy.
So if you do happen to be operating a mobile travel site, here’s a quick breakdown of the most important features you need to ensure are included:
First of all, the vast majority of consumers booking pretty much anything these days will not take a step further, unless customer reviews are visible. If it hasn’t been recommended by others, chances are they won’t go anywhere near it.
This is a simple additional feature, which automatically brings to light the destinations, products and services that the customer in question has recently investigated. Great for those who left without booking, but have come back with an interest in doing so.
As it stands right now, there probably isn’t a mobile travel site available with a calendar quite as intelligent and easy to use as that of Skyscanner. You need to make it spectacularly easy for your customers to instantly see not only availability but price fluctuations and where the best bargains can be found.
Incredibly important for two reasons. First of all, the customer in question may not know exactly how to spell the name of the place, hotel or airport they are looking for. Secondly, if they do, it takes far too long in some instances. Lastly, there may be airports, destinations or hotels they haven’t thought of, which they may be interested in when suggested by the software.
If you have any kind of customer sign-up policy or service available, this should be used to automatically populate as many fields as possible when making bookings. Name, address, date of birth, telephone number, nationality and perhaps even travel document information – the less they have to type in manually, the better.
Maps and GPS
It’s becoming more and more popular to largely ignore listed results when it comes to things like hotel searches. Instead, customers prefer to look at maps and base their decisions on where the various accommodation options are located. Show them where it is and tell them exactly how to get there.
A simplified payment process can make the difference between a constant stream of semi-impulse bookings and quite the opposite. As previously mentioned, autofill can come in handy here, remembering the details of each customer from previous visits and allowing bookings/payments to be completed with just one or two clicks.
Last but not least, pricing needs to be made as clear as possible the very moment the search results are displayed. These days, the standard is to present the total price of whatever it is that’s available, rather than a portion of the price for which mathematical calculations are required. For example, when searching for a double room for 9 nights in London, customers generally want to know the total price, rather than the per-customer per-night price.