If you’re a travel brand in 2018, there’s a pretty high probability that you’re building or indeed fine-tuning an app offering for your business. “The ultimate goal for travel brands wanting to make the most of mobile disruption should be to build an app that meet customers’ basic travel needs” says Richie Masterson, Head of Commercial Integrations at CarTrawler.
So what are the really important aspects you should be focusing on – the key differentiators that your customers will love? After all, tech-savvy customers can very quickly and easily determine whether a mobile offering adds value. Apps that make their lives better will be used, while those that do not will be quickly discarded. We’ve put together a best practices list by talking to Richie Masterson and drawing on our experiences of innovating for mobile:
- Start with security: We know it sounds a bit basic but make sure you start with building good security infrastructure into your app. A mobile retail platform will almost certainly involve sensitive customer information which you need to keep secure. Provide sophisticated transaction security on all platforms, but deliver simple payment options.
- Adopt a user-centric view from the start. Apps don’t live in a vacuum. Bring customers into the process early, even before the first line of code is written. “Professional external testing is not as common in tech companies as tech companies pretend. We invest quite a lot in it. It’s expensive but we feel it’s worth the cost. We involve them in the initial development ideas and really listen to their answers. We don’t stop listening either as user patterns constantly change,” explains Masterson.
- Functionality: Eliminate the number of steps and anticipate customer needs in order to produce better product relevance. “Customers want results right now. If they run into difficult-to-use pages or sub-optimal UX, they simply abandon. Our solution has been to reduce the cognitive overload while providing contextual affordance”, says Ritchie Masterson.
- Personalise your app service and interface: Utilise past searches to provide more passenger-specific offers that meet a customer’s needs and increase your incremental revenue. “Mobile is the most intimate way to interact with your customers as it allows you to tailor your offering at any stage of the travel process whilst speaking in the voice of your brand. This will help you better engage with your customers – driving conversion, revenue, profit and brand loyalty respectively”, explains Masterson.
- Remember the post-purchase customer. Think about how your mobile product can support your customers on their onward journey? The relationship doesn’t end at the point of sale. You have a better chance of mitigating against the risk of customers deleting your app by enabling useful post-purchase solutions such as digital ticketing.
- Don’t forget marketing. A mobile phone has become a standard accessory for all travellers. However, in order to drive a successful increase in your mobile product usage, you’ll need to entice customers with attractive deals and perks. Highlight how an app can be faster and easier than mobile web. Particularly for more immediate requirements such last minute travel and on-demand ride hailing needs.
- Simplify social sharing: Mobile customers love to share their experiences and their purchases are often driven by social connections and social influence. Make sure your app caters for the needs of influential, socially-connected consumers.
- Unlock the potential of clever collaboration. Identify and work with companies who have similar strategic goals to your own so you can leverage synergies for mutual gain. Internal collaborative partnerships also count. Improve the way individual business units work together. Those responsible for loyalty, marketing, sales and pricing can have a profound impact on the end product, performance and utility outcomes.
CarTrawler have developed a way to turbo-charge your native app by offering an easy to implement, full mobility solution. Enhancing your customers app experience by enabling the following capabilities:
- Rent a car
- Pre-book a transfer
- Hail an on-demand taxi
If you wish to find out more about the CarTrawler Native SDK, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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