Customers’ preferences are shifting towards self-service, amid the growing trend of super apps and a change in content retailing, according to a new report by Travelport highlighting the trends that may shape travel experiences in 2020.
Customers in control
Several trends highlight that customers are moving towards self-service options, with 55 per cent of those surveyed preferring to hear about travel disruption via digital communications rather than speak with a person on the phone. This is especially important when it comes to Gen Z, the future business traveller, and managing their high expectations through technology.
Super apps are spreading west from their established base in South-east Asia. Super app tech giants such as WeChat, Grab and Go-Jek give their users a one-stop shop to communicate, shop online, book travel, bank, find a date, get food delivery, and pay for anything within a single, unified smartphone app. Travel brands that want to deliver holistic mobile customer experiences need to think about how they engage travellers within these super apps as well as in their own mobile channels.
In 2020, research shows that there will be an accelerated rate of change in the way travel is retailed and purchased online. This includes wider and more complex multi-content reach, more enriched and comparable offerings, more focus on relevance than magnitude, and increase in automation that enables customer self-service.
Commenting on the trends, Fiona Shanley, chief customer and marketing officer at Travelport, said: “These insights into the forces which will shape travel experiences as we start a new decade show we’re seeing rapid change in content retailing, particularly online, and an evolution of mobile travel as we all increasingly depend on our devices to help us navigate the world.
“It’s clear to see customers are driving change across the travel industry with new topics, such as the environmental impact of travel. And when an agency could successfully employ a ‘bot’ show, the 2020s will be another era of rapid change for travel.”