Are Travel Apps Dead? Free Report on the ‘Future of Apps’ (Travelport Digital Sponsored Post)

Sponsored Post, Technology

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…

  1. 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.
  2. 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 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……

iOS support

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.

Get Cranky in Your Inbox!

The airline industry moves fast. Sign up and get every Cranky post in your inbox for free.

11 comments on “Are Travel Apps Dead? Free Report on the ‘Future of Apps’ (Travelport Digital Sponsored Post)

    1. I read the words, got to the end, and didn’t have a clue as to what I just read. Not one of the top posts, to be sure.

  1. APPs are more the younger generation mode of operating their life since they don’t know how to do things on their own or in other ways.

    Older people still want to be hands on and do things themselves, still talk to a person to conduct business, still walk into a bank to see where their money is and so on.

    Will APPs be the downfall of future generations who will not know how to survive unless there is an APP to do something?

    1. Unless you are looking at greenbacks in a safety deposit box or your wallet, “your money” is a bunch of electrons somewhere.

      I’ll get off your lawn now.

      1. I know that, but walking into a bank and seeing a physical location makes you feel you know where your money is at and connect with the people managing it for you. Using an online only bank does not. Plus older people like doing business face to face.

        1. Nor all older people (I’m over 70) need to do routine business face to face. On line banking and investing free up time for more important things – golf, travel, going to the ball game.

  2. I think the article is speculating about whether or not the trend of “everyone must have an app” is coming to an end, since more and more can be done via the web browser on smartphones. But it thinks not yet and that can’t happen until Mobile Safari allows push notifications (macOS Safari does); until then you need to have an app to push notifications to users.

    In the travel area, I don’t think the death of apps is near. For me having data stored offline is useful when my phone is in airplane mode. Not just during the flight, but also when I’m overseas since often I don’t get a local SIM card or buy the international data package, so I leave my phone in airplane mode the entire time and rely on wifi and offline data. Things like TripIt (to store my itinerary details), Google Maps (has a feature to download map data for offline use), XE (currency exchange rates) all become useful when they store data offline, but would be useless without Internet connectivity if they only existed as mobile web sites.

    1. TC – No we don’t. We’ve talked about an app before, but we’ve yet to find enough of a reason to justify the development cost. It may happen someday but so far, we don’t need it to serve our customers just yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cranky Flier