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How Travel Brands Can Make Micro-Moments Count

The digital transformation we’ve seen over the last decade now means we live in a mobile culture where everyone and everything is connected.

 

Travellers now expect to be able to engage with brands quickly and as consumers we crave brands that demonstrate that they understand ”me” and engage with ”me” at a personal level.

Customers are now making decisions based on mobile content that serves the right purpose at the right moment and with this in mind, it is essential that travel brands look at these moments as opportunities to build personalized, authentic relationships across every touchpoint—across the entire customer journey.

THE RISE OF MICRO-MOMENTS:

When we consider that the average person picks up their mobile device between 150 and 200 times a day it creates a plethora of mobile moments for airlines and travel providers to win the minds of their consumers (over 30 billion mobile moments per day in the US to be exact2). These short bursts are what Google has dubbed ‘Micro-Moments’, each a critical touchpoint in the consumer journey, which ultimately dictates how the purchasing journey will end.

We take a closer look at these micro-moments3 and how airlines and travel providers can leverage these to create contextual and engaging brand experiences for your customers.

‘I WANT TO KNOW' MOMENTS:

The moments when a consumer wants to explore or research a product or the options available to them. In this moment, the traveller is not yet in purchase mode but is still looking for results and information that is relevant, useful and possibly inspirational to help influence their decision in booking a flight or deciding on where to go on their next family holiday or weekend city break.

‘I WANT TO GO’ MOMENTS:

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In these moments proximity is everything and travel brands are well placed to capitalise on this throughout the travel lifecycle as travellers actively look for offers and services that are close to them. This is particularly apparent when travellers are either at the airport or at their destination as travel brands can present offers and services based on their location at that particular time.

‘I WANT TO DO’ MOMENTS:

These are the ‘how to’ moments when people want help with getting things done or trying something new. When we consider the travel industry there is an abundance of ‘how to’ moments for TMCs and Airlines to target such as IROPs and disruption handling – in these moments being there for travellers with the right content and information is key to aid flight rebooking, re-accommodation etc. An airline’s or TMC’s  ability to service these needs and be there for their customers can play a significant role in driving repeat business and long term loyalty.

‘I WANT TO BUY’ MOMENTS:

At this stage the consumer is ready to make a purchase and is looking for help in deciding what or how to buy. To gain traction in these moments it is not only essential that you are there with relevant information when they need it but you also remove as much friction as possible to make the purchase process as easy as possible. Within the travel space ancillary upsell opportunities such as seat upgrades, meal selections, wi-fi purchase or fast track services through security are all examples of providing offers and information that is relevant to your customer in that moment.

It is in these I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy moments that brands can capitalise on the intent driven action of their end-travellers. Therefore it’s important that travel brands consider the following:

KNOW THE MICRO-MOMENTS WHERE YOUR BRAND CAN CONNECT

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By mapping out your customers’ ‘moments’ your business can create a more “joined up” customer experience that better meets their needs. Consider the business traveller who, after completing the first leg of their journey discovers that their connecting flight is cancelled or rescheduled. This moment is a great opportunity for TMCs for example to stay relevant in their customer’s time of need by presenting new flight options, local hotel offers or emergency support.

Note - 65% of smartphone users agree that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information4.

STAYING RELEVANT TO THE MOMENT IS KEY

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Once you’ve identified your customers’ micro-moments, you will need to identify the content that will be the most relevant and useful to them. Imagine, your customer arrives at their destination and you put your brand in the spotlight by providing them with the information they will need most such as an itinerary recap, directions to the hotel, area maps, activities in or near the hotel, dining options or destination guides promoting local points of interest – this type of information is almost sure to influence their next decision.

The key to driving brand engagement and advocacy is to provide positive experiences through relevant, engaging, and useful content at exactly the right moment.

Note - 50% of smartphone users have purchased from a company or brand other than the one they intended to because the information provided was useful5.  Provide timely, relevant and contextual information to keep your customers!

PROVIDE A FRICTIONLESS ONLINE EXPERIENCE

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The nature of micro moments means mobile customers want to know, go, and buy quickly. According to research from Google 29% of smartphone users will immediately switch to another site or app if they can’t find information or if it is too slow6 and of those that do switch 70% do so because of lagging load times and 67% will switch if they can’t get the desired information quick enough7 . It is imperative that your mobile experience is seamless, fast and contextualised.

To remove this friction, airlines and travel companies need to anticipate what their customer needs are and reduce the amount of steps or actions required to meet these needs. Including features such as one touch booking, Apple Pay to speed the booking process, passport scanning and mobile check-in or leveraging built in GPS capabilities can all help to remove friction throughout the mobile experience.

MAKING MICRO-MOMENTS IN TRAVEL COUNT

As consumers we are now more informed, more savvy and more selective about the brands we choose than ever before and we crave brands that demonstrate that they understand ”me” and engage with ”me” at a personal level. This micro-moments we have just highlighted have created substantial opportunities for airlines to better engage the end-traveller, to elevate customer service, communicate in real-time and drive increased booking conversions and ancillary upsell.

The airlines and travel providers that embrace these moments by leveraging digital travel technology will reap the benefits in greater brand loyalty, customer satisfaction and new revenues. So if you haven’t considered this already maybe now is the time to define your strategy around how to address the micro-moments in digital travel?

For more information on how the Travelport Digital product suite can help you make these micro-moments count you can download the EVOM Framework for Airlines or TMCs.

Note: This article has been updated from a previous post to reflect new data 

Source 1: Mobile and App Marketing Trends: Forrester Jan 2016

Source 2: Forrester Research, Vendor Landscape: Mobile Engagement Automation Solutions, November, 2015.

Source 3, 4 & 5: Google, Consumers in the Micro-Moment Wave 2, August, 2015

Source 6 & 7: Google, Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Wave 3, August 2015

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