More and more travelers are relying on devices, especially apps, when planning their trips, as shared by Abhilash Purushothaman, Regional Vice President, General Manager Asia at AppDynamics
Right now, millions of people around the world are planning or preparing to take a well-deserved vacation after two exhausting and stressful years. For many, this will be their first trip since before the pandemic and they are understandably excited about the prospect of getting away for a week or two.
But no matter what kind of break people are looking for this year – sun and sand, mountains and snow, lakes and wildlife – there’s one key driver that has emerged in 2022, which is the need for seamless digital experiences when planning, booking and travel. on holiday.
Indeed, at Cisco AppDynamics, we recently conducted a global consumer survey that found that 74% of people worldwide now consider digital apps and services essential to the vacation experience.
Digital services at every stage of the holiday experience
Our research reveals that holidaymakers will use an average of 27 digital services and apps. From researching where to go and what to do before you go, to managing bookings, tickets and Covid vaccination status while away – there’s not a single element of vacation people won’t turn to not to apps.
Significantly, people are only relying on digital services for the most critical elements of their trip – airline tickets, boarding passes, hotel reservations, payments and Covid vaccination certificates. 55% say they don’t plan to take paper tickets on their next vacation and will rely entirely on airline and travel apps, digital wallets and email throughout their trip; 82% will trust the apps to prove their Covid status or their vaccination status. Vacationers don’t use paper copies as backup, they place all their trust in apps.
Bad digital experiences have become the holiday nightmare
These results replicate broader shifts that have been seen in many other industries over the past two years, from retail and entertainment to healthcare and fitness. Consumers increasingly depend on digital apps and services in almost every area of their lives.
The pandemic may have forced people to increase their use of digital services while living in lockdown, but people have now come to recognize and appreciate the benefits these services can bring them. Now they are hungry for more.
And as the appetite for digital services has exploded, so have people’s expectations for brilliant digital experiences. AppDynamics’ latest App Attention Index has revealed how consumers around the world have become far more discerning about how they expect apps and, alarmingly for app owners, completely unforgiving. when things go wrong.
Reactions to underperforming apps have become extremely strong and that’s certainly the case when it comes to people going on vacation this year. 42% of people say that if a travel app they were using (such as an airline, train, or hotel booking app) failed, it could potentially ruin their entire trip; and almost as many people feel the same way about payment apps and travel documentation apps – if they don’t work as they should, it could ruin their vacation.
Of course, it’s not just adults who rely on apps while on vacation – kids too. They feel the pain when apps don’t work as well as their parents, maybe more. 57% of people say digital apps and services are key to entertaining kids on vacation and if they fail it could trigger a full-scale meltdown.
Tellingly, research shows that bad digital experiences are now being logged by people as potential vacation nightmares, situations that can seriously sabotage an enjoyable trip, just like bad weather, flight cancellations or noisy accommodations.
Brands need to ensure they don’t slip when it comes to app performance
Such is the addiction to digital services today, people are utterly ruthless towards brands that fail to meet their expectations for seamless digital experiences. In fact, 39% say that if they have a problem with an app while planning, booking, or traveling on vacation, they’ll immediately switch to an alternative.
Moreover, only 9% would contact the company behind a poorly performing application; the others would simply suffer in silence and probably go elsewhere. So even brands that think their app is doing well because they’re not getting any complaints, they could actually lose a lot of customers who don’t get the experience they’re looking for and quietly move on to a competitor. .
Of course, there are a host of factors that make for a poor digital experience for people who use apps to plan, book, and travel on vacation. These include apps and devices crashing, difficulties logging in, payment issues, poor connectivity, and unresponsive pages.
It’s the responsibility of app owners to mitigate any performance issues and these findings should serve as an important reminder of the importance of the digital experience. Brands in this space need to ensure that they provide their technologists with the tools and information they need to manage and optimize IT performance and availability at all times. This is absolutely essential if they are to deliver the digital experiences that consumers demand.
It’s fantastic to see that travel is back on the horizon for people around the world and also hugely encouraging to see that many organizations in this space now have the opportunity to take advantage of such pent-up demand, especially after the challenges they faced during the pandemic.
Now, app owners just need to make sure they’re ready to give vacationers what they want: smooth digital experiences and probably some sun on the beach.