Travelers in the Age of Assistance

“When it comes to mobile, people don’t just want faster access to information—they want better and more personalized experiences tailored to me based on my location, time of day, and maybe even past interests.” – Oliver Heckmann, Google’s VP.

Travelers in the Age of Assistance

Travelers in the Age of Assistance 560 560 influencesociety

Today’s traveler is both curious and demanding. Enabled by technology, travelers have greater expectations to get what they want effortlessly. When they need information or have a question, they’re looking for assistive experiences that are useful, personal and frictionless.

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With more travelers turning online tor assistance, marketers have a brand new way to connect with customers when they first express intent through online inspiration or research.

Google highlights three consumer behaviors in the era of assistance

1. THE CURIOUS CONSUMER

New traveler use search throughout the decision-making journey to get advice on any type of purchases, and devices. He wants to feel confident when making a decision about the trip he plans to take and is most concerned about finding the best price for his holidays. People are embracing the “know before you go” attitude want to learn as much as possible about products, destinations, and experiences.

After the price, which is consistently the most important factor year-over-year, the ability to compare all options in one place was the most important element for travelers when choosing the best deal. That’s why you absolutely need to understand the traveler behavior by using micro-moments.

 2. THE DEMANDING CONSUMER

When people go online for information, they expect every experience to be tailored just for them. People’s expectations from brands are increasing. They want brands to understand their intent (mobile searches “___FOR ME” have grown over 60% in the past two years).
In the travel industry the “[activity, attraction, or destination] near me” search is now about finding a specific thing, in a specific area, and in a specific period of time (there has been a 3x increase in mobile searches for “NEAR ME” over the past 2 years). If a travel brand tailored its information and overall trip experience based on personal preferences or past behavior, 76% of US travelers would be likely or extremely likely to sign up for the brand’s loyalty programme, and 36% (over 1 in 3) would pay more for tailored information and experiences.

3. THE IMPATIENT CONSUMER

Travelers are making decisions faster than ever before and want help in these decision-making moments. Consumers expect travel brands to intuitively know what they need, when they need it, and deliver it instantly.

In this new world of spontaneity, loyalty among travelers is no longer guaranteed. Only 9% of US travelers “always” know which brand they want to book with prior to researching, even elite loyalty programme members are up for grabs if the price is right.

Let’s not forget the last-minute traveler

In this world of instant gratification, impulse travel shopping is increasing. Globally over the next 12 months, travelers plan on taking more short getaways than longer holidays.

The last-minute traveler has unique needs. Things like a rapid booking flow and an instant connection to customer service can make or break a last-minute traveler’s decision to book a hotel. Why not have a “last minute booking” button on your website, for example?

To close out the view into today’s traveler, another stat jumps out: The number of people that would splurge on an impulsive trip based solely on a last-minute deal – more than 60% of U.S. travelers would consider an impulse trip based on a good hotel or flight deal.

These are very important inputs for travel brands looking to understand how to segment and market to specific subsets of their travelers.

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