The importance of apps
IT consulting firm Applause recently conducted a global survey on travel and hospitality apps. The survey showed that 92 per-cent of respondents had at least one travel or hospitality app on their mobile. However, it also revealed that 27 per-cent thought the apps had been unhelpful in managing recent travel challenges.
Further problems identified with the apps were:
- Being unable to find the information they were looking for (18 per-cent)
- Very slow response times (13 per-cent)
- Localisation problems (12 per-cent)
- Difficulty using payment sources (11 per-cent)
It is important for the industry to address the problems with their apps. Here’s a reminder of why they are so important.
Increase ancillary revenue
Apps provide the perfect opportunity for generating revenue outside of ticket sales. The app provides an access point through which to sell more products and services at all stages of the customer lifecycle. These ancillaries could include parking, lounge, fast track, duty-free, or food and drink.
Self-service has become a large part of the airport journey. The most popular iteration of this is check-in. More and more passengers opt to check-in off-airport and even baggage drop is becoming self-service in some airports, see Alaska’s electronic bag tags and Efficient technology at Changi Airport. Apps can play a significant role in facilitating this transition towards self-service throughout the airport journey, giving passengers more autonomy and simultaneously helping to bridge staffing gaps.
Shape the customer journey with real-time information
Through giving the customer relevant, real-time information the customer journey can be enhanced. This is a topic that was touched on in an interview with IBM’s Dee Waddell, see here for his insight. Through real time information, customers can enjoy a convenient prompt or respond quickly to any changes in their journey.
Apps are a useful way for airports or airlines to personalise their approach towards the individual user. Previous transactions and behaviours can be used to suggest new actions for the user. This can create an enhanced overall experience for the customer as well as the potential to increase revenue for the industry.
Gather data and gain feedback
Through tracking how a customer uses the app, more can be understood about who the passenger is and what they value. The customer’s various products, services, destinations, and spending patterns will be accessible and can be used to develop loyalty.
Apps also provide a convenient way for passengers to provide feedback on their journey. This is a useful tool from which airlines and airports can adapt to increase passenger satisfaction.
Having a loyalty programme that can be integrated onto an app gives customers a convenient way to check on their points and claim the rewards. They can also be a helpful way to remind customers about rewards or incentives to keep customers engaged.
Additionally, this can be utilised by airports for wayfinding and optimising retail opportunities. Fore example, alert passengers on the length of the security queue or which restaurants have space free.
Apps are everywhere. They benefit the users and have the potential to significantly benefit airlines and airports too. While surveys are still showing customer dissatisfaction with travel apps, this presents an opportunity for brand differentiation.
For articles on one of the most prolific apps in the aviation industry, the airasia Super App, have a look at AirAsia introduce holidays to their Super App and AirAsia announce partnership with 12Go. AirAsia will be at the upcoming Aviation Festival Asia.
Article by Jess Brownlow