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Travel industry must adapt to mobile-driven market

30 March 2015 - 12:11 by Paul Tissington

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Businesses that offer British consumers the functionality to book holidays and make other travel arrangements online will have to prepare for their industry to be taken over by smartphone and tablet browsing habits, according to a new study from Econsultancy.

Over a fifth of the travel companies questioned in the survey said that m-commerce presented them with the most exciting opportunity to grow sales and to improve customer satisfaction this year.

Analysts also asked industry insiders to highlight the trends that they believe will impact the market in half a decade's time, with mobility slipping down the priority list to be replaced by personalisation as the most popular and important aspect of travel sales in 2020.

This change in priorities which is likely to occur over the next five years will be as a result of the growing saturation of m-commerce services in the UK's market for safe shopping online. This means that by the end of 2015 there should be even more ways in which consumers can enjoy travel shopping from their portable devices, even if some of the market's largest players have yet to embrace mobile-optimised sites or launch dedicated apps.

Other influencing factors which will come to prominence over the next five years include big data, through the use of which travel companies will have the ability to analyse high volumes of information and to provide better experiences to customers as a result. Location-based services are also going to be a higher priority, although they will still be seen as a future prospect by a small number of travel retailers, perhaps because they can be complicated and costly to operate.

For consumers, the experience of booking a holiday online should become easier, regardless as to the type of device they happen to be using.