Pictured: Dan Caplin
The third annual BrightOn Travel conference took a close look at the impact of mobile on travel. Dan Caplin, from CWT Digital, the travel technology firm that organised the event, urged delegates to seize the opportunity. Lee Hayhurst reports
Building a responsive site is just the start of making sure you are ready for the shift to mobile, CWT Digital’s managing director told delegates.
He said the “mobileaggedon” predicted in April when Google released its last major algorithm update did not really materialise as many firms had responsive sites.
But he added: “This really is the first step to a good mobile strategy, it’s certainly not the final step.
“On mobile you have to tap into the right moment of the buying process with accessible content and booking journeys that are seamlessly integrated across all devices.”
Caplin said mobile behaviour revolves around “micromoments” as people use their mobiles to move themselves along the buying process.
Bookmarked and integrated browsing history, graphical interfaces, social plug log-ins and saved sessions are all allowing a more personalised experience.
“This kind of optimization is the next step to a better mobile strategy, it leads down a path of higher conversions in the future in the mobile buying journey.
“It’s all about tapping into those micromoments in the holiday buying process.”
Caplin predicted greater app use in the future, particularly with the rise of wearable technology allowing more push notifications with relevant offers.
These would be confirmed and bought via a thumb print, or a retina scan, added Caplin, but he warned:
“There is a balance – the challenge is not annoying our customers but adding value with our communications.”
And Caplin reminded delegates about the continuing value of the core function of a mobile phone.
“It was designed to communicate and make calls with one another. A lot of consumers still pick up the phone to make their purchases.
“However, purchases will be better integrated by voice or video through wearable technology.
“There is technology available that allows the call centre agent to take over the browsing experience and the customer to be taken through the steps of the booking process.”
Caplin said the technology to do all of the above was available today and yet it is still not widely used in travel.