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Preparing for the Next Generation of Travellers – Engaging Generation Z

Move over Millennials and Baby Boomers, there is a new cohort of travellers that is fast coming of age and their influence on the travel industry promises to be significant and even more lucrative than their predecessors.

INTRODUCING GENERATION Z

Born between 1995 and today, Generation Z travellers (or Gen Zers as they are commonly known) represent 25.9% of the population which is already larger than Millennials (24.5%) [1] and this is expected to grow to 40% by 2020 [2]. Despite most not having yet reached the legal full-time working age, Gen Zers already make a considerable financial contribution to the global economy and in the US it is currently estimated at $44 billion [3]. This generation is both ambitious and entrepreneurial and research shows that 72% claim that they would like to start their own business in the future [4]. Generation Z is a segment that has significant revenue potential for the travel industry and its dominance over the sector will continue to expand over the next 5 to 10 years.

A MULTI-DEVICE MINDSET:

A key characteristic of Generation Z travellers is their inherent dependency on technology. Gen Zers are the first true natives of the multi-screen world and have been “connected” to multiple devices practically since birth. On average they multi-task across a minimum of five devices throughout their daily lives, including a smartphone, TV, laptop, smartwatch and iPad [5]. Gen Zers are ultra-connected and expect a consistent and relevant digital travel experience as they switch fluidly between screens and they are frustrated by brands that are not up to speed with their digital presence. In order to meet the expectations of Generation Z, travel companies need to invest in multi-device strategies that allow travellers to seamlessly interact with their brand across any device and at every stage of the travel cycle.

image source: cnet.com

EVERY MOBILE MOMENT COUNTS:

A consequence of having so many devices at their disposal is that Generation Z travellers have notoriously short attention spans – approximately 8 seconds maximum [6]. Multi-tasking across devices is a way of life for these travellers and as a result, they tend to scan digital content rather than spend time digesting it. It is important that travel companies adapt their communications to create meaningful mobile moments that add value to a Gen Zer’s overall travel experience. Short, bite-sized content that is visually appealing will prove more effective with these travellers and communicating frequently in short bursts via relevant push messages will drive engagement. Smartwatch “Glances”  are also a great way to connect with the Generation Z audience with ultra-brief updates and notifications that instruct and inform at a glance without the need to read through lengthy text.

Image source: www.grenoble-airport.com

SELF-SERVICE IS A PREREQUISITE:

Generation Z has grown up in an era of increasing mobile convenience and self-service. They now expect to be able to research, book, check-in, transact, review and manage multiple aspects of their travel all via their devices. Together with their Millennial counterparts, 83% confirmed that they prefer self-service options during travel rather than interacting with staff [7]. However unlike other generations, Gen Zers will not have the patience for travel brands that do not meet their autonomous traveller needs.

IMMEDIACY IS IMPORTANT:

Generation Z is also one of immediacy, preferring instant messaging to phone calls and emails. This has huge implications on how the travel industry manages customer service and other transactions. Gen Zers take high-speed wireless internet for granted and they are obsessed with timeliness, particularly when it comes to problem resolution. Travel companies can appeal to Generation Z’s desire for immediacy by proactively keeping them informed with real-time, contextual travel updates via mobile as they progress throughout their trips. Live mobile chat features also provide the level of 24-hour customer service that the Generation Z traveller has come to expect and demand.

Image source: mobiquityinc.com

TREAT THEM AS INDIVIDUALS:

92% of Generation Z in the US has a digital footprint and having grown up in a data-rich world, they have an expectation of complete relevance and stimulating content [8]. The dominance of social media in their lives means that even more than previous generations, they have a desire to stand out from the crowd and be treated as individuals. This is reflected in how they select their travel products and they seek uniqueness in the brands with which they do business. In order to satisfy this need, travel companies will need to place focus on personalising recommendations and recognising preferences, and everything from booking to payment will need to be easily managed across any digital device, whether smartphone, tablet or smartwatch.

Image Source: www.thedrum.com

Generation Z is already influencing the travel choices being made by their parents and before long they will become the decision makers of the future. It is important for travel companies to start engaging this audience now in order to leverage significant revenue opportunities with this expanding segment. Investments in multi-device, mobile technology and personalisation will be key to enabling travel companies to connect with the ultra-connected Generation Z traveller and to build strong relationships with their brands as they come of age.

To find out more about the topics covered in this blog post or to have a wider discussion about your mobile strategy please contact us to arrange a meeting with with one of our experts.

Sources:

  1. mediapost.com, November 2015, ‘Traveling Beyond Millennials: Get Ready For Generation Z’

  2. CMO.com, June 2015, ‘15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Generation Z’

  3. CMO.com, June 2015, ‘15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Generation Z’

  4. Forbes, September 2014, ‘What Generation Z Entrepreneurs Are Like’

  5. The Mobile Marketer, July 2014, ‘How to target Gen Z, the new consumer on the block, via mobile’

  6. Mashable, June 2015, ‘8-second marketing: How to craft content strategies for Generation Z’

  7. Pew Research, June 2015, ‘Why Interactive Engagement Technology will Transform the Hospitality Industry’

  8. Ryan Jenkins, June 2015, ‘How Generation Z Differs from Millennials

  9. Image Source: www.thedrum.com

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