11 Benefits of Mobile Apps for Travel Businesses
September 03, 2023
If your travel business doesn’t have a mobile app, you may be wondering whether one is really necessary. Developing an app for your business may just feel like another step in your company’s long to-do list, but it can offer much more than meets the eye.
If done right, a mobile app can streamline your business’ processes, improve productivity, create new connections with your target audience, and even boost your business’ bottom line. A lot of businesses in the past decade have bet on investing in apps and have become the world's leading companies as a result, so learning more about apps is a must.
In this article, we'll shed light on the biggest advantages of mobile applications for the travel market, helping you to make a clear, informed decision about whether to invest in one.
Mobile app benefits for travel businesses
While travel apps, just like social media apps, utility apps, or gaming apps, are created primarily to offer something new and convenient for users, they also offer tons of benefits to owners. When done correctly, apps can boost your business in almost every aspect: from customer satisfaction and retention rates to performance and revenue.
Any good travel app functions not just like a tool, but also a trusty and helpful trip companion, offering assistance and relevant information throughout the whole journey. The best part is that this companion carries your logo with pride, and always serves to remind people of your business. A solid travel app will not only increase your reputation, but also make your company much more recognizable and trustworthy in the eyes of your customers.
So, what exactly can apps offer to a travel business? Let's take a closer look.
Increased customer engagement
One of the main travel mobile app benefits is the simplification of the entire travel process. We know that today’s travelers value ease of use and organization, and with the ability to browse trips, book plans, and manage bookings in one place, customers will likely use your mobile app for the duration of their trip and beyond. What’s more, you can use your mobile app as a marketing channel to boost user engagement. Send push notifications about deals, new experiences, and destinations on sale, and offer exclusive rewards and promotions just for app users.
With your app on their personal mobile devices, users will feel closer to your business. And with the right tools and mobile features, they’ll keep your app on their phone and keep you front of mind when booking future trips.
Leading nicely on from the previous point, your mobile app is a key marketing tool that you can utilize to build a stronger brand. Simply by having your app on customers’ phones, your brand has a constant presence in their everyday lives, which is very different from desktop users' experience. After all, mobile devices are extensions of our personal space nowadays. Every time users scroll past your app, they're reminded of your brand.
A good mobile app can even become more popular than your desktop or mobile website. Think of a mobile app for your business like it's your brand’s shop window and curate the experience you want users to remember you for.
Personalized customer experience
Another major travel app development advantage is the opportunity to offer tailored communication and excellent customer experience. Once they have your mobile app on their phone, give your customers special treatment by using information about their previous trips, likes, and interests to tailor what they see.
For example, if you know that a customer previously booked a trip to Meribel, your app can show them a trip to Chamonix. Or if you know your customer has young kids, your app can recommend kid-friendly hotels and family activities, and other relevant products.
There are plenty of other app features that will create that personal touch. For example, interactive maps can let users plan their own routes based on what they like — maybe it's good food, cool sights, or lesser-known spots.
Allowing users to connect their social media accounts with your app can also help them feel a part of a wider travel community. Or you can gamify your mobile app with unique challenges — give rewards for seeing certain sites, or offer points for getting involved in local activities. There are so many ways to create awesome customer experiences that will leave users raving about your app and your business.
The next advantage of mobile business application development is streamlined processing of transactions. With options like Google Pay and Apple Pay integrated into your app, users can pay quickly and securely in just a few taps. No more shuffling through credit cards or typing in long card numbers. The quicker they can pay, the quicker you earn.
With your own mobile app, you can also provide electronic receipts and the best way to store them. No more digging through emails or files to find lost receipts. It's right there on the customer’s mobile device, easy for them to find, and always available through your app.
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As a business owner, we know you want a leg up on the competition, not least for the reasons we’ve already covered. A branded app can help you get ahead. While apps are more common than ever before, there are still plenty of travel agencies without one, and these companies are losing out on huge growth and brand potential.
Apps are superior to websites in so many ways. They can be used at any time, in any place, right from mobile devices. Make it super convenient for travelers to use your services, because that convenience could be the deciding factor when choosing between your company and another one.
Studies show that 48% of all smartphone users are comfortable with researching, planning, and booking entire trips through a mobile app. Allowing travelers to book trips on the go using your app means more impulse purchases and less chance of them changing their minds.
Once a customer has booked a trip, use your mobile app to upsell additional services. Promote experiences, upgrades, rental cars, or travel insurance with targeted push notifications or in-app messages. A major benefit of mobile app development is obtaining the ability to send targeted, carefully-planned and non-intrusive notifications to strike while the interest is hot, increasing the value of each booking.
Similarly, with a mobile app you could introduce a loyalty program to keep travelers coming back. Offer points for reviews, referrals, or frequent bookings through your app that can be redeemed for travel credits or gift cards. Incentives inspire repeat purchases and word-of-mouth marketing.
Improved customer service
One of the biggest advantages of travel app development is the ability to take customer service to another level. With in-app messaging and chat features, your customers can contact you round the clock, and they’ll thank you for it. They’ll appreciate quick responses to questions and the ability to change their plans should issues arise. No more waiting for email replies or sitting on hold.
Travelers can also be notified automatically by your app if their flight or tour booking changes, so you can minimize queries and chaos before any contact. You can also message travelers in-app to wish them a great trip as they head to the airport, or welcome them back when they return. They’ll appreciate that nice touch.
Customers expect quick, smooth service, and apps can support that.
Data collection and analysis
Data retrieval is yet another advantage of travel mobile application development. Apps give you access to so much behavioral and demographic data (like preferences or buying habits) that you can examine to see what your customers really want and what they like. See which of your app's features are most popular and focus your efforts there. Or see how people move through the in-app booking process to spot which areas they get stuck on. Data doesn't lie — so let the numbers provided by your app guide your optimization efforts.
With apps, it’s also super easy to collect direct feedback from travelers. Create in-app surveys to get ratings and reviews on specific features and analyze reviews from mobile app stores like the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to address common complaints or suggestions. People appreciate when companies listen to them and make changes based on their feedback.
Reach new audiences
In the travel space, the ‘inspiration phase’ is when travelers explore their options and gather information before making a booking. This is a crucial time for travel agencies to act and capture the attention of potential travelers, and an app can be of help here.
On average, travelers view around 141 pages of travel content in the 45 days leading up to their booking, and almost three in five travelers do not have a specific destination in mind. That just goes to show that this really is a prime time for agencies to showcase their offering, and with a mobile app that’s easier than ever.
Hotel mobile apps like to use 360 views and other interactive functionality to help users make their decisions during this phase. 360 views allows travelers to virtually ‘step into’ their destination or hotel from the comfort of their own homes — through this immersive and realistic app experience they can navigate hotel interiors, view rooms from different angles, and get an overall feel for their trip before they’ve even set foot.
The point is, mobile apps give you access to so many features — both major ones like 360 views and smaller, more subtle touches — that can be the difference between potential customers converting or not.
Cost reduction and sustainability
Another important advantage of mobile apps is that they can cut expenses by automating administrative tasks, reducing reliance on paper documentation, and streamlining business processes related to bookings, reservations, and customer interactions. That makes apps perfect for companies wishing to minimize their operational overheads.
On top of that, a travel app can enhance the sustainability of your business by promoting eco-friendly practices and reducing the environmental impact associated with traditional paper-based operations, which is great for everyone.
Lastly, our favorite reason to create mobile apps is simply because we’ve seen them transform so many businesses into thriving, modern, responsive players. Today, people spend more time on mobile apps than on desktops or laptops, and using an app for travel purposes feels like second nature. In other words, mobile apps are what travelers expect, so they’re what your business needs to provide to keep up with demand.
Bring your business into today’s age and show that you’re responding to customer needs.
Just make sure to create a user-friendly app interface that customers will really enjoy — one that is intuitive and feels comfortable to use. After all, customers are used to certain mobile app designs by now — they know how to find certain buttons and where to look for menus.
Ready to unlock the benefits of mobile applications for the travel industry?
Zoftify has all the expertise you need. Schedule a call with us, and let’s get to work.
Benefits of mobile applications for customers
Mobile apps are beneficial not just to businesses, but to customers too, with all the personalization, interactivity, and convenience they offer. The best part is that it goes all the way around: providing so many app features and advantages to your customer base increases overall customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, which in return benefits your business.
So how exactly do mobile apps benefit travelers? Let’s figure it out together.
Seamless itinerary management
Mobile apps enable customers to conveniently manage their travel itineraries in one place: from flight bookings and hotel reservations to activity schedules. Providing customers with a single, cohesive platform to access and organize their travel plans will sufficiently enhance overall convenience and reduce the likelihood of missed reservations or conflicting schedules. A good travel app can reduce the hassle and worry of traveling, and offer joy and confidence instead.
Interactive destination guides
The inclusion of interactive destination guides into your app can enrich your user's journey. An app can do more than just providing information about local attractions and cultural experiences, allowing mobile users to explore and plan their activities comfortably and enables them to make informed decisions while maximizing their time at the destination.
Offline access to travel information
One thing mobile websites cannot provide, even on a technical level, is offline mode, meaning that customers often struggle to access critical travel information when they are in areas with no internet connection.
Unlike websites, mobile apps store data locally, offering unparalleled reliability in that regard and ensuring that customers can always view their essential travel information. Even offline, apps boost customers’ confidence during trips.
Mobile check-in and boarding passes
With mobile apps, customers can conveniently check in for flights and access electronic boarding passes directly from their mobile devices. This eliminates the need for paper documents, reduces queuing times at airports, and provides a more efficient and contactless check-in process. All of this convenience offered by an app can enhance the overall travel experience for your customer base.
In-app customer support
Most mobile apps offer in-app customer support features, enabling travelers to access real-time assistance, resolve issues, and seek guidance throughout their journey. Apps today use chatbots (and, increasingly, AI-powered versions of them) to drastically improve customer services by ensuring instant communication, 24/7 availability, and multiple language options. All of this provides a more seamless and stress-free travel experience for travelers.
Customizable travel preferences
Mobile apps enable customers to set and customize their travel preferences, from seating options and room amenities to dietary requirements, ensuring that their specific needs are taken into account during the booking and travel process. This level of personalization provided by an app goes a long way to increasing customer satisfaction.
Exclusive deals and rewards
Travel business apps often provide exclusive deals, loyalty programs, and personalized updates to mobile app users, incentivizing customer loyalty and repeat business. By accessing special promotions and rewards through your mobile app, loyal customers can enjoy additional value, cost savings, and enhanced travel experiences. They’ll reward you with their repeat business, and you can foster successful long-term customer relationships.
Mobile apps play a huge part in how travel agencies operate today. Customers expect convenience, personalized content, and immediate services, and mobile apps can cater to these needs.
Mobile apps offer numerous benefits and are therefore essential tools for travel agencies to stay relevant and thrive in the competitive industry. In a mobile era, embracing app technology is no longer an option, but a necessity to succeed in the ever-evolving travel sector.
The future is in the palm of your customers’ hands. Make sure your business is right there with them.
For what reasons are mobile applications essential for an online travel business?
There are several mobile application advantages for travel companies. They allow for increased customer engagement, offer a personalized experience, and provide simpler payment options. They give a competitive edge over other travel agencies without mobile apps and can potentially lead to increased revenue.
Mobile apps are becoming increasingly essential in the travel industry as more and more customers become comfortable researching, planning, and booking entire trips from the palm of their hand.
What features of mobile apps can benefit travel companies?
Travel mobile apps can increase traveler engagement thanks to push notifications, customized content based on customer preferences, and integrated payment systems for quick and secure payments.
There's also potential for upselling additional services such as hotel upgrades or excursions. Loyalty programs within apps can incentivize repeat bookings and in-app purchases. And referral programs can work as great promotion tools, just like your social media channels.
Finally, offline access to your app will be extremely helpful for customers stuck with no internet connection. Boost their overall satisfaction by keeping them connected.
Are there any disadvantages to using travel mobile apps?
While there are many mobile app advantages, there can be potential challenges as well. Not all of your current customers will be tech-savvy or comfortable using your mobile business app, and those who prefer traditional, offline interactions like phone calls may be hesitant to download it.
Additionally, developing mobile apps that are user-friendly and intuitive requires proper handling. You need to spend time planning and researching before the development stage, consider the cost investment, and think about ongoing maintenance. Here at Zoftify, we work closely with our clients to provide robust strategies and round-the-clock support to manage these challenges.