Getting mobile web basics right in travel is still a target rather than an achievement
As we got towards the end of 2011, many people were asking me what I thought was next in the world of mobile and whether I had any predictions.
Alongside my Tnooz Predictions 2012, where I pondered whether Apple might cosy up with Kayak, my response was that companies should focus on getting the basics right first (develop a coherent mobile strategy, create mobile optimized versions of their websites) before even worrying about what’s next.
I’m a big advocate for creating native or hybrid apps, depending on the type of engagement you desire with your customer (a topic for a whole other post), but creating a mobile optimized website is pretty much a must these days, considering how much search and browsing is done on mobile devices.
It seems a recent report from L2ThinkTank bears out my view.
The report focuses primarily on luxury brands, which they refer to as the Prestige100 (though I’m not quite sure how Macy’s makes the list – but I digress).
Though the report is limited to luxury brands, it’s my impression that the results are at least directionally applicable to the overall state of mobile maturity across various sectors.
Their research shows that many of these brands are not yet mastering the basics, as indicated by this chart recreated by eMarketer:
So what are the takeaways for the travel sector?
In many ways the results don’t differ much from what I had noted ten months ago in a previous article for Tnooz.
The only companies that fit into the Prestige100 were luxury hotels (one might have thought that carriers such as Singapore Airlines or Emirates, or luxury cruise lines like SilverSea, might have made the cut, but alas, no).
Intercontinental made the “Gifted” class and, as a whole, the “hospitality” segment averaged a score of 86, which falls into the “challenged” category.
The good news is that it puts the hospitality sector as the second highest rated industry, behind retail, but also shows there’s still a long way to go. And I would further speculate that the scores for the non-luxury hotels would come up even a bit lower still.
NB: The report from L2 is available is below:
Glenn Gruber is a contributing Node to Tnooz and senior mobility strategist at Propelics , an enterprise mobile strategy firm.
Previously Glenn was AVP travel technologies at Ness Technologies, responsible for developing the company’s strategy and solutions for the travel industry.
Prior to Ness he held leadership roles at Symphony Services, Kyocera and Israeli startups Power Paper Ltd and Golden Screens Interactive Technologies. He also writes a personal blog, Software Industry Insights.