The need to have a mobile app for your travel business was never more urgent. The number of travel apps for iOS and Android platforms are increasing each day. Today, tablet and smartphone users spend massive amount of time to research and plan out their next holiday destination or the location for their next business travel on their mobile devices.
In fact, there’s a massive surge in the number of mobile bookings being received by travel firms, with a colossal increase of over 1700 percent during the last 5-6 years.
As a consequence, the revenue generation through mobile devices took a leap from 1% to 18% during the same period. And there’s more to come: it is projected that over 40% of users research about their upcoming trips on their handheld devices.
And so: you will agree that mobile devices are the future of travel industry and, therefore, there’s hardly a tint of doubt that travel agencies just can’t survive the next 5 years without a mobile app.
But then, just getting your app out there without a thought and strategy behind it is like asking for trouble. Simply put: to drive superior sales experience, you’ve got to deliver rich user experience which comes from a high-quality app that features ease-of-use and some classical features.
That’s why we are here with this list of top 5 must-have features for a travel app in 2018:
1. Offline access is a must in 2018
When someone lands at any overseas venue, the first thing expected is that he or she will look out for nearby restaurants, hotels or places-to-visit.
While geolocation and navigational features are the core of every travel app, you should consider getting a step ahead of the game by making your mobile app more user-friendly. One way to ensure this is by providing both online as well as offline access to your users.
Having the ease to work offline is one of the most sought after features of any travel app. And native mobile app development makes sure this feature works accurately even with no internet connectivity.
2. Social media implementation
A travel application is a personal utility for each traveler and, therefore, providing customers the convenience of a personal account is a must. And when you consider this, you can collect more details regarding the user during initial sign up/registration process, which can come handy in the longer run for understanding user behaviour and in retaining them.
Now when we talk about user registration, including the ‘social media’ login features such as “Sign up with Facebook”, you can accelerate the registration part along with getting an access to social media profiles of your users which can help you in providing a rich personalized experience and deals to every customer.
Besides, in this age of seamless social media, most people share their journey and traveling experience with their friends and other close ones via social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It means you can make the most of their social media craze as a direct source of promotion for your business.
3. Search & filters options to help users find popular places of attractions
Provide your customers a user-friendly tool that can help them effortlessly find all important information pertaining to hot and happening events in a location, city attractions, popular places, sightseeing, and much, much more. At the same time, given the swarm of popular places in any tourist destination, your users might find it difficult to see what they fancy if you don’t provide them with a good search filter functionality.
In addition, one of the most fancied part of any travel experience is to find and explore non-tourist places and spots to visit. Therefore, including a ‘recommended by locals’ feature in your travel app will certainly get a drift.
There are several useful tools, too, that you might consider including in your travel app; for instance, Facebook Places and Google Places APIs provide access to a humongous database of sightseeing, services, places to visit, etc.
4. Hotel & flight booking
All leading travel apps offer booking services, too, and you must consider including a built-in flight and hotel booking functionality having a loyalty program in it. Users can easily choose and book a hotel room and flight tickets for their upcoming trip with just a few fingertaps in your travel app.
Moreover, in alliance with hotels and airline companies, you can offer loyalty programs to your customers for special discounts and deals. And to accentuate your promotional campaigns during early business years, you can offer referral and joining bonus to the customers.
It will definitely inspire more and more users to switch to your app.
5. Navigation & geolocation
After touching land on a far-off place, people first look to get comfortable with the new location, understanding the region and finding nearby clubs, hotels, casinos, restaurants, etc.
Therefore, you app just can’t do without a geolocation feature. Though it increases the overall cost of mobile app development , the geolocation feature is a must, no matter if you’re just developing an MVP.
For implementing this feature, you can use Google Maps SDK for both Android and the iOS platform for adding the map in your application itself with handy features such as navigation and routing.
A travel app is the lifeline of a successful business in this age of mobile technology. Irrespective of the size of your business, having an Android and iOS mobile app can be a fruitful investment, certain to boost your ROI and customer retention.
When developing a mobile app for your business, ensure you include these 5 must-have features that are destined to help your app get noticed.
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