Virgin Holidays is ramping up its mobile capabilities with booking functionality to be introduced to a newly-created website.
Enquiries and searches to the operator’s Vhols website from mobile and tablet devices are up by 37% in the last 12 months to account for more than half of total visits.
The operator is expecting similar growth this year with new mobile site – m.virginholidays.co.uk – developed by specialist mobile agency Incentivated.
It features a fully optimised mobile version of the Virgin Holidays website, available on both Apple and Android-enabled phones.
Mobile payment functionality will be added in March to be followed by a Virgin Holidays Cruises mobile website the following month.
Head of e-commerce Ross Matthews said: “Mobile and tablet are without a doubt major priorities for us in 2014.
“Overall, they account for over 50% of our search traffic now, and in the last two years we’ve seen the number of customers using them as their primary research channel increase by 190%. Increasingly customers tell us they are also comfortable using multiple devices to purchase.
“Alongside the creation of digital-only brochures – the first of which, for our ski programme, launched in November – it represents a further step towards meeting the kind of multi-screen-based, super-convenient, always-available and highly sharable expectations our customers have.”
Company research has shown that its website is now the primary lead generator for all of its sales channels.
During the current peak sales period, almost three quarters of the enquiries received by its sales centre have been generated by visits to the web.
An online appointment booking system is being introduced across all stores following a successful trial.
Matthews added: “We’re busy turbo-charging all aspects of our digital proposition to ensure we meet our users increasingly multi-screen, cross device browsing needs.
“The launch of our new Virgin Holidays mobile website, featuring key destination and hotel content and live search and pricing, is a key step in what will be an exciting year of developments from us this year.
“It’s further evidence of our commitment to provide unrivalled customer choice at the points of entry, research and purchase.”