Travel companies no longer have a choice between making a mobile website or developing an application because they need both to maximise sales.
In a presentation at the Travel Distribution Summit Europe, Robert Define, director of product strategy for cars and insurance at ebookers, claimed many companies can benefit from both channels.
Define should know, he built ebookers mobile strategy from scratch. “For us, prioritisation and planning has been key,” Define said. “We wanted to avoid previous mistakes and set out a multi-year mobile strategy aligned with our business strategy.
“That way we could build a seamless multi-channel experience so every time customers come to ebookers they have an experience that is less jarring and more cohesive.”
After some experimentation, Define discovered that mobile web and apps dovetail perfectly without cannibalising one another’s sales. He said this was because the two services fulfilled different needs.
The mobile website will attract new customers who may not have used the service before while the app provides conventient and easy bookings for repeat users.
The numbers also differ between the two categories. Ebookers sister site, Orbitz found that 65% of their mobile users booked through the mobile web while 35% booked through their app.
Define said having two distinct customer bases meant a broader mobile strategy has the potential to generate more bookings.