Thank you to Travelport Digital for sponsoring this post and pointing to a new report that the company has put out on the changing face of mobile apps in the travel sector. Here they’ve included a small snippet of the content of the report. You can follow the links below to find out more or download the full report for free.
Over the past 5 years the mobile landscape has shifted under our feet (or more like in the palm of our hand), faster than it ever has before – messaging, voice and AI have moved the smartphone needle so much that the much-loved trademark “There’s an app for that” has begun to feel a bit dated. Could 2017 be the year when we start saying ‘you don’t need an app for that?’
The free “Future of Apps” 2017 report covers:
- Examples of how the use of apps as we know them will change
- End-user research and key data points for the travel industry
- The biggest threat to apps – will bots and progressive apps replace native ones?
- The impact of mobile engagement on brand equity, loyalty and revenue
- Whether travel brands should still invest in native apps
The team at Travelport Digital has put together a 15 page eBook on the whole topic. Below is a shortened excerpt from Section 1: “You don’t need an app for that”…
Bots – Dispelling the myths
Out of all the movements that is driving this new vision of mobile, it’s Bots. “Bots are the new apps”, “Forget apps, now the bots take over” are headlines that have been the bread of butter of clickbait tech journalists around the world. But before getting too carried away in the hyperbole let’s break it down…
- Bots today exist almost exclusively ‘in apps’, whether that be in the behemoths of Facebook Messenger, Skype or Google’s Allo, they are also now appearing in actual apps themselves like Vueling or Pana.
- Bots are not true app killers (certainly not yet) as they only work well when the use cases are clearly defined; i.e. when you ask a question such as “What is my flight status?” or “What is my baggage allowance?.”
Progressive Web – The pros & cons
With over 2000 apps released each and every day and a total of 5.7 million apps now available across the major app stores, app discovery has become increasingly difficult for users. Therefore, anything that can reduce that installation friction and get users to engage and interact with your content has become a mobile holy grail. This is where progressive web comes in. After numerous false starts over the years (remember m.dot sites?) and the old arguments of “you can only do that with a native app,” progressive web apps are the browser-based future.
However, there are two big stumbling blocks……
Whilst progressive web apps work on iOS, functionality like push notifications and offline support, which really enable a connected, end-to-end trip experience, are currently only supported by browsers like Chrome, Opera and Firefox. So until Apple fully supports the central feature that powers progressive web apps, ‘Service Worker’, they will remain a half-promised future for the majority of mobile users.
The famous quote from Flurry Analytics, “It’s an app world, the web just lives in it” has never rung more true as users are spending more time in app vs mobile web than ever before. So if you want to create a solution that users return to month after month, that connects you with your end-traveller at every step and that drives true engagement, loyalty and revenue, an app based strategy is still key.
A new era of app usage
Our mobile landscape is evolving faster than it ever has before. Less than 10 years ago apps used to live on mobile devices only, but they now live on our wrists, in our cars, in our living rooms and even on our faces with Google glasses. While you may ‘not need an app for that’ the reality is apps are not dead, we’ll just be using them differently.
To explore more about this topic you can download the full report “The Future of Apps” here.
While you’re here…
Travelport Digital is introducing a range of new mobile platforms for airlines, TMCs and OTAs. If you’re an airline reader you might be interested in attending their webinar “How to supercharge your airline revenues”taking place on July 5th/6th. The webinar covers changing consumer behaviour, how to succeed in the engagement economy and introduces Travelport Fusion, a new mobile engagement platform for airlines.