With unprecedented growth in mobile use this year, there is no denying that we now live life from the palm of our hands. For the first time ever, mobile activity has surpassed desktop time, yet people don’t reach for their phones quite so quickly abroad, the one place you really do need information on the go.
Increased data-roaming charges in the New Year threaten the use of sites that facilitate the travel experience. Half of Brits already find mobile use too costly while away but that doesn’t stop us wanting to connect.
There are inexpensive options for staying in contact, including data-roaming packages, local SIM cards and social media. However, there remains a tribe who prefer the instant gratification of mobile internet use, so the pressure mounts to make browsing quicker and more user-friendly for an increasingly demanding breed of mobile customer.
Internet users are ruthless: if a site isn’t optimised for mobile, if it isn’t fast, dynamic, and easy to navigate, the potential customer base diminishes. If customers can’t book easily, travel sites can wave goodbye to low bounce and conversion rates.
Rather than having a mobile site or app and a separate desktop site maintained independently for one company, next year will see the continued rise in responsive sites. A responsive site means that all URLs are the same, making sharing links easier. There is no http://m. alternative for each page of content, thus reducing the overheads in duplicating information. This technology also lowers bounce rates.
FYI, Google favours ‘responsive design’, so those who choose this band-wagon will find their sites better indexed. In short, it’s fair to say that the travel market will be forced to join the party next year with an influx of responsive sites for anyone who wants a look in.
Take a look at some of the industry’s frontrunners: