BVM August, 2016 - page 11

Business View Magazine - August 2016 11
platform, stated that 50.3% of traffic came frommo-
bile devices (40.3% from mobile phones, 10% from
tablets) and only 49.7% from computers. Today, the
generational shift of using mobile devices instead of
computers or television as the primary screen is ap-
parent. Travel seekers certainly aren’t shying away
from the convenience of researching destination of-
ferings on their cell phone. More importantly, they
are just as apt to complete the process by making
an online purchase with their mobile device.
Online sales in Canada are forecast to reach an esti-
mate of C$34 billion in 2018, and the growing use of
smart phones and tablets by Millennials is becom-
ing a key factor in the sales increase. This growth is
also seen in the travel industry’s shift in customer
demand from traditional offline services to online
services, as a new generation of travelers enters
the market.
Statistics Canada reports over 58% of online shop-
ping is travel related. This trend is not only seen
with Canadian customers - Think Travel with Google
reports 72 million Americans in 2016 will research
travel, and 32 million will book travel accommoda-
tions on their mobile phone.
In a nutshell, travelers are busier than ever before,
with no time or inclination to call or sit face-to-face
with a travel agent to inquire about a resort. To be
clear, having a travel agent to generate sales for
your business is an asset, because they have a list
of clientele that matches your specific target mar-
ket, price range and brand. However, you also need
to accommodate potential clients who don’t use
travel agents; the growing demographic that prefers
the online services of Expedia, iTravel2000, or your
website to book a vacation right from their mobile
phone or tablet.
A busy schedule is not the only aspect that encour-
ages customers to “shop mobile.” Social media and
socially-fueled discovery are significantly impacting
online mobile sales. When people browse through
a social media platform such as Instagram or Face-
book, they come across thousands of personalized
images that match their lifestyle, likes, or ideals. This
discovery often turns into a spontaneous purchase
via their mobile device. Social media, being a “spon-
taneous purchase hub,” is a tool that all businesses
should utilize, but many consider it a huge obstacle
– even though it has become the #1 reference point
for travelers to understand brands and their busi-
ness offerings. When used efficiently, social media
can be a powerful marketing tool to influence your
potential clients’ buying decisions.
Internet Marketing Inc. reports that 44% of travelers
are most likely to learn about a new resort brand on
Twitter, and 51% of people agree that Twitter con-
tent influenced their perception of the travel brand
or resort. Social media is also a great tool to gain
earned media from past customers. 76%of travelers
said they posted vacation photos to social network
accounts, which can translate to free advertising
and positive word-of-mouth for your resort or villa;
even more so, if the traveler connects their post to
your social media account. Why would this simple
social media connect or “shout-out” matter? 52%
of Facebook users said their friends’ photos, which
are seen as authentic and not marketer-influenced,
inspired their travel plans.
There are many ways to implement a more mo-
bile-friendly website; a good first step is visiting
Google’s webmaster mobile-friendly test page. This
test will pinpoint areas on your website that need
improvement, and create suggestions on how to
complete the task. Mobile devices will continue to
be at the center of advancement in communications
and technology, and businesses must implement ef-
fective strategies to meet the demands of custom-
ers through enhanced mobile communications… or
face a steady road to extinction.
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