McKinsey & Company analyzed data from 15 European countries to better understand emerging travel industry technology and customer needs in the travel sector.
The research points to important trends that indicate how companies should be preparing for a digital future.
- Where business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors have led, business-to-business (B2B) sectors are being forced to follow. The number of Google searches for terms related grew on average by 8 and 14 percent a year respectively between 2014 and 2017, outpacing growth in accommodation, which, across the two industries, is the subsector with the highest search volumes.
- The power of mobile is rising. While online searches in travel and logistics are increasing, so too is the proportion of those searches conducted on a smartphone. In 2017, they accounted for around 43 percent of all travel-related requests. Tablets and desktops combined shared the remainder. The trend suggests the importance of adopting a “mobile first” mind-set, prioritizing quick and easy mobile interactions. Yet rare is the company - even in the most digitally mature B2C sectors - whose mobile channels outperform the desktop.
- In travel, there are as many as 100 pre-booking online touchpoints. No wonder it is so hard to win customers’ attention. When researching travel online, the average customer shifts more than 50 times across channels - desktops, tablets, and mobile devices - chalking up roughly 100 pre-booking touchpoints. That adds up to way too many chances of losing potential customers if different information is given in different channels, customers are forced to reenter the same data time and again, and the sales agent has no record of the information given online. In addition, the majority of touchpoints are not “owned” by the travel company. McKinsey research showed airlines owned fewer than 20 percent of all preflight digital touchpoints. That means companies have to be smart in knowing which of the various search engines, review sites, blogs, and so on are relevant to their potential customers in order to focus advertising budgets effectively.
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