CarTrawler’s Chief Product Officer, Peter O’Donovan presented at CarTrawler’s annual Partner conference in the K Club, with his talk centering around the consumer shift to mobile. Peter demonstrated how CarTrawler products are designed to capitalise on this aspect of the modern traveller. CarTrawler’s Product Lead, Alan Mathews supplemented Peter’s talk with a live demo in which he seamlessly integrated a car rental SDK into a generic partner mobile application in less than two minutes. It is easy to use products like this which illustrate how CarTrawler is resolved in catering to the evolving needs of airline and OTA partners in the mobile space.
Mobile as the the most reliable area of future growth
Peter spoke of how the market is aggressively moving to mobile and highlighted the urgency of following this curve. ‘Across travel and car, over the next 3 years, 70% of growth will come from the mobile area.’ He caveated the fact that every 1% of demand that shifts from desktop to mobile, costs a business overall and every time this occurs, there is an opportunity for leakage. Peter spoke of the necessity in consistent examination of this trend in order to deliver solutions which enhance the mobile experience and aid in dissipating leakage. ‘Entitlement kills; and particularly when it comes to mobile the onus on us is continue to understand customer’s problems and surface solutions for them.’
‘Make painkillers, not vitamins.’
As Chief Product Officer, Peter spoke of how his core focus is on three key areas, which are all angled in the direction of producing consistent iterations of improved product for mobile. Peter’s first area of consideration is his team’s fixation on solving customer problems. He spoke of the necessity in delving down into a granular level on what the precise job is that your customers expect your product to do for them. When you focus on the problem that is expected to be solved, this opens up an entire universe of solutions, ‘by focusing on problems you are asking what the aching pain is for customers when they use your product. Focus on painkillers rather than vitamins.’
Peter’s team comprises of over 120 product and technology professionals who unearthed five key themes when delving into the problems they are tasked with solving for partners and customers alike.
- Trust – Peter spoke of how the user dislikes nothing more than being mislead. He alluded to the dearth of industry focus on mobile which has contributed to the lack of trust that users experience within mobile applications. This is reflective in users’ actual experience in that 50% of users who make their final booking decision on mobile then place their mobile down in favour of desktop. As a result of this lack of trust, companies are experiencing leakage at this stage in the booking funnel.
- Value – Peter’s team found it essential to demonstrate the level of value available to users. Their task is to engage in psychological techniques to nudge the user in the direction of the value presented to them. He spoke of this in the context of insurance, a step in the flow which is traditionally difficult to raise conversion in. The team found that even the most marginal of changes can make a significant difference in conversion. Value must be articulated in a meaningful and digestible manner throughout the booking process.
- Flow – The flow of a car rental or ground transportation booking should be inherently intuitive and this is more of a pressing necessity on mobile. Peter referenced the importance of ‘reducing cognitive overload,’ by focusing on specific tasks. In mobile this is not always about fewer steps. Peter gave an example relating to insurance conversion, where the team shifted insurance onto its own step. When insurance conversion jumped as a result, it was found that the rationale behind this is that users are willing to accept an additional step, provided that it delivers value to the user.
- Payment – The point of payment is one of the biggest drop-off points for conversion on mobile and this harps back to the idea of trust. Peter emphasised the importance of ensuring that the payment process is no more complicated than it needs to be. The flow must ensure that the display clearly details the fees which go on to deliver more value. This is an imperative step in the overall aim of improving conversion on mobile as currently mobile conversion accounts for only a third of that on desktop.
- Performance – Peter’s team are focused on performance for two audiences. The first is that of the user in that the speed of the site is enhanced for ease of use. The second is that of the speed in delivery on these product features and improvements. As mobile is the biggest area of future growth, CarTrawler’s feature developments need to be prepared for this market, therefore the speed of delivery is paramount.
Focus on world-class delivery
The second core focus for CarTrawler’s Product and Technology team team is on delivery. The 120 strong team have changed the way in which they work in order to deliver the optimal results. In order to achieve those core deliverables for users and partners, the team must be able to collectively ideate and draw applicable and scalable solutions.
To cap off Peter’s talk and to illustrate the tangible returns that CarTrawler’s Product and Product Engineering teams are developing, a live demo was undertaken. Alan Mathews is CarTrawler’s Product Lead for mobile products and took the 140 strong crowd through the easy to integrate technology solution which has been designed to be as seamless as possible so that airlines and OTA’s can immediately capitalise on the advent of mobile usage. Alan demonstrated how the CarTrawler native SDK is a full car rental flow which can be plugged in to any native mobile application. He showed how speed and ease of use is a key feature, allowing a company’s developers to install a native SDK in a seamless two step process which takes just a couple of minutes. Peter praised this new development and reiterated that the SDK could aid greatly in reducing resources and time for in-house developers. The CarTrawler native SDK is a tool which capitalises on the emergence of mobile rather than shying away from it and is a straightforward way for airlines and OTA’s to prepare for this shift in customer behaviour.
Interested in learning more about CarTrawler’s native SDK and what it can do for your business? Visit www.cartrawler.com/partnerships
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