Think about the last time you went to the supermarket. Did you use a self checkout or did you have someone scan and bag your shopping for you? Here at Triptease we've been thinking about 'technology for technology's sake' - when tech advancements rush ahead of what consumers want or are ready for. In the world of travel, however, all the trends point towards travellers wanting more and more technology in their lives.
While 61% of us consider friends, colleagues and relatives as useful resources, when it comes to making the booking nothing seems able to conquer the power of the web. Figures released by e-Marketer today show that 79% of Brits use the internet for making travel arrangements with 27% using the second biggest channel - the lowly telephone.
What the research doesn't take into account is that many hoteliers see phone bookings as part of their online mix. Often a 'call for more information' number on a website will be tracked to show that the booker has come from looking at the hotel online. Businesses of all industries will break out their reporting by channel but what's more interesting, and indeed more crucial is a 'single customer view'. It's something our Chief Tease, Charlie Osmond, talks about regularly as part of his role on the British Airways Advisory Board.
The single customer view we see for travellers is a rudderless ship being steered through the murky seas of making a booking. Talking to friends, doing a meta-search, browsing through OTAs, checking Airbnb, looking at the hotel website: where does one start and where does one finish?
Although some markets lag behind with poorer internet connections and a lower propensity to spend on travel, it's safe to say that if things continue as they are, we will only be booking our travel online by the end of this year in the UK at least. The next question will be: how do we become even better at it?