As South Africans we are pretty clued up with regards to technology and our mobile phones. Our mobile phones are something that are in constant use and they are changing the face of travel technology for good. Mobile technology is making travel and tourism more convenient for travellers and operators more than ever.
From Google Maps and translation apps, to electronic boarding passes and electronic payments, mobile technology is increasing the ease of booking and travelling constantly. All experiences and travel of course, begin with the booking of the travel destination and experience. Having an efficient booking system integrated into websites and your sales process will have a direct impact on sales and your customer’s brand experience.
Based on the Getlocal Solutions team’s experience, by having a user-friendly digital booking and payment system available on your mobile responsive site, you can expect a sales increases of a minimum of 60%, A mobile friendly website allows a seamless experience when booking and browsing tours and activities online. The ability to book with ease online through a mobile phone or tablet, aligns completely with our “on the go” lifestyles to the tee. Booking and browsing through a mobile device for travel also fits the nature of travel, being fast paced and full of activity. Mobile friendly websites specifically, enhance the convenience of the customers experience. Leading travel agencies have made their websites mobile friendly. For example, Getlocal.Africa, is completely mobile friendly.
James Elstob states “As an online travel agency, at least 75% of traffic is through mobile devices”.
South Africans are also following a huge trend of mobile shopping. Factors like, a greater access to phones and the change in user behaviour contribute to the increase in mobile shopping, G. Du Plesiss (2018). Food ordering, travelling and various other services are on demand available only a click away. Most of the global population is connected via mobile phones, it only makes sense to make your tour operator website mobile friendly while digitising some old outdated booking administration services. In South Africa, at the end of September 2018 there was a smartphone penetration of 81,72%, according to ICASA states Paula Gilbert (2019). If South Africans are making the transition from brick and mortar to mobile shopping for groceries, clothing, and other lifestyle services, booking experiences and travel are not far behind.
1) Cost effective: Making your website mobile friendly includes it being more flexible and cost effective than app development. Although there is a time and place for application development. It is also very costly and can potentially be unnecessary if the website is user friendly.
2) SEO Optimisation: Also known as the "black magic of marketing". But also essential in driving traffic for your website and tour operation. A mobile friendly website drives traffic through to your website. Hub Spot (2015) stated that if your website is not designed for mobile devices, there will be a drop in ranking on mobile searches. This ultimately means that as a customer, you will find it easier to bring up results that are optimised for the device being used, Hub Spot (2015).
3) Site Speed: Mobile friendly websites are faster on mobile devices. Website speed is also allocated and very important to Google rankings. Google stated that as of July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches. This in turn can affect the SEO rating negatively. Many tour operators use website builders like Wordpress and Wix. They are awesome to use and customise to your need, but they also can be slow. In simple terms, a mobile friendly website is the way to go. From the complete surge in mobile phone usage and the conversion to mobile shopping in South Africa. To SEO optimisation cost effectiveness and site speed. At Getlocal Solutions, our teams’ job is to do just that. Converting your Tour Operation to a website that is mobile friendly with an online booking system that will. Give us a call for your free demo or go to our website to find out more about Getlocal Solutions wide offering.
1.) Du Plesiss, G.2018. Bizz Community: https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/822/179452.html
2.) Gilbert, P. 2019. IT Web. SA smartphone penetration now at over 80%, says ICASA: https://www.itweb.co.za/content/GxwQDM1AYy8MlPVo
3.) Hubspot. 2017. Hubspot. Google Algorithm Now Rewards Mobile-Friendly Sites: Here's What You Need to Know: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/google-algorithm-change-mobile-friendly