Travel industry

Is Booking.com the most persuasive mobile website in the world?

This question refers to a similar article published by our esteemed contributor Paul Rouke last year.

In his article asking whether Booking.com is the most persuasive website in the world Paul discovered that over the years Booking.com has continually evolved and refined its online experience, adding the fundamentals of persuasive design in order to gain a competitive advantage.

By using visual appeal and retaining the user’s attention through clarity, strong visual hierarchy and utilising one primary action per screen, Booking.com provides a compelling user experience.

However in light of new research looking at top mobile travel sites, I’m going to investigate whether this persuasiveness translates to the mobile experience.

12 insanely beautiful travel and leisure websites

I don’t know about you but I’m getting sick of the bitter wind that’s barreling its way down the streets of my adopted city with all the lip-chafing might of a hard-skinned rhino.

It’s definitely time to escape, even if it’s just a psychological one rather than a physical one. After all, temperature’s just a state of mind, right? Right?

Mobile use for travel and holidays rapidly becoming the norm

One in four people use their mobiles to book (28%) or pay (24%) for their daily commute, a figure double that of 2013.

This is according to new research from BuzzCity revealing the habits of today’s connected traveller. Not yesterday’s though, that traveller just read a book or did a crossword.

10 essential features for travel websites

The time between Christmas Day and January is peak holiday booking time, as anyone who saw an ad break on Boxing Day can probably attest.

In fact, a recent report by Hotels.com predicted that traffic to UK booking websites would peak at 8pm on 28 December, a Sunday night which for most people would be their last evening before heading back to work the following day.

How Hyatt uses mobile to improve the customer experience

This time last year, our own Ben Davis reviewed Hyatt’s multichannel web presence taking in everything from its desktop site, social channels and mobile apps.

Ben found its digital presence didn’t really mark the luxury hotel chain out from its competitors, but instead provided reliable, easy-to-use functionality, nothing more and nothing less.

Hyatt has just announced the launch of revamped mobile app and mobile site with many new features, so now seems like the perfect opportunity to revisit the brand’s small screen concerns. 

Ryanair’s new mobile app frustrates and delights in equal measure: review

Whilst compiling examples for last week’s 10 essential features for mobile travel sites I was struck by how much I enjoyed using Ryanair’s new app.

Being as I only had to room to mention it briefly in the above mentioned article, I feel it deserved a deeper analysis.

The app was launched last month and was covered by mainstream news channels nearly as much as its much needed website redesign last year. 

The app continues Ryanair’s huge cultural revolution, although both the website and the app redesign haven’t been without their technical hiccups. We’ll talk about some of the reported problems with the app below. 

In the meantime, let’s take a look at Ryanair’s ever-improving mobile presence…

A look inside Amtrak’s excellent content marketing strategy

Amtrak is the intercity train service run by The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, connecting more than 500 US destinations and three Canadian provinces.

According to The Make Good in its piece on content marketers that are ahead of the curve, Amtrak has seen a rise in train ticket sales that perhaps goes against the dominance of air travel in the USA. 

This is in part thanks to its recent content marketing push. Amtrak has redesigned its blog, including an archive of photography that stretches back over four decades of its existence, upped its social media game and has begun sponsoring trips by writers and photographers in order to create engaging content for the company.

Let’s take a closer look at the best of Amtrak’s content and channels.

Big Data: The long road to enlightenment

At this year’s Digital Cream event in London we hosted a series of roundtables discussing big data and, more specifically, ‘data-driven marketing’ alongside senior marketers in the industry.

The three sessions gave us a fantastic opportunity to talk about key issues in big data as well as tackling both widespread and sector specific problems.

Big data is such a contentious issue these days, mostly down to the overuse in marketing headlines and sound-bites. However, there was a serious desire from all attendees at Digital Cream to get to the crux of how the big data landscape is shifting and how to survive it.

The overwhelming view was that big data cannot be ignored and proactive steps must be taken to remain competitive. The only problem was – how?

How can travel operators provide a first-class digital customer experience?

Online holiday bookings at a record high. According to the latest ITB World Travel Trends Report, 65% of all holidays are now booked online, compared to just 24% that are booked via travel agencies.

Mobile travel bookings are also on the rise, with one in five UK holiday-makers now booking holidays using a mobile device, according to a recent survey by Tradedoubler Insight Unit.

As competition moves from the high street to digital channels, it’s now more important than ever for online travel operators to ensure customers have the best possible experience across all channels.

Broken links, payment problems, poor navigation and a lack of information can force customers to competitors’ sites, ultimately losing business. To avoid this, online travel operators need to take action fast.

Hotel websites prove to be well prepared for boom in mobile search

In May there were 2.5 million searches for hotel-related keywords on Google.co.uk, of which 522,115 were made on mobile devices.

According to a new report from Greenlight Digital, queries for hotels in domestic destinations accounted for 54% of all searches using desktop and 59% of all queries made using mobile devices.

And with 33,100 searches the term ‘hotels’ proved to be the most common query, accounting for 6% of all mobile searches.

Stats from Google show that 55% of mobile search conversions take place within an hour and the use of mobile search is constantly growing, so it’s too big an opportunity for hotel brands to ignore.

But are they properly set up to take advantage of this user behaviour by optimising for mobile? I searched for the term ‘hotels’ on my Android smartphone to find out…