The global online travel agent market declined from $744.7 billion in 2019 to $595.8 billion in 2020 at a rate of -20.0%, which reflects COVID-19’s impact on the industry.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, we’ve seen how digital adoption in payments and retail commerce has been reinforced. M-commerce is on the rise as every day it is easier for users to shop or book services on their phones. Insider Intelligence predicts m-commerce volume to rise at a 25.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019 to hit $488.0 billion, or 44% of eCommerce, in 2024.
The Growth of Mobile
Mobile payments make it easier for customers to make a decision and complete a transaction. It relieves customers from the pain of carrying multiple credit cards, loyalty cards, and payment checks, by providing a convenient and seamless experience during the booking and checkout process. Also, mobile wallets are viewed as a great opportunity for organisations to engage customers in real time through digital deals, coupons, and discounts.
Apple, Google and Samsung began adding digital wallets to their mobile products as early as 2014 providing a simpler payment process.
Social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram have all introduced “buy buttons” that let shoppers make purchases without having to leave the platform.
Many retailers have introduced one-click checkout to their sites. This method requires shoppers to enter their payment information once.
Airports, airlines and retailers are adopting these technologies. According to SITA’s annual Air Transport IT Insights research, 74% of airlines have stated that they want to allow mobile touchless payment for all airline services provided along the journey – from booking to arrival.
JetBlue Airways offers its customers the ability to use Apple Pay on select flights for in-flight purchases and upgrades to premium seats. This service not only speeds up the payment process for the cabin crew, but also provides the much needed convenience, which passengers seek on board.
When talking about payments we cannot miss talking about the importance of creating omnichannel experiences too.
In the beginning of 2020, Munich Airport became the first airport in Europe to offer a new mobile, cashless payment process for customers. The “Smart Checkout – Tap, Pay & Enjoy” application lets consumers use their smartphones to pay for products right at the store shelf by scanning an electronic price tag, in order to eliminate waiting times at the cash register.
For the payment process, the customer is redirected to a mobile website. In contrast to existing payment systems on the European market, it is not necessary to download the app, which makes the user experience more streamlined.
What Does It Mean for You?
Organisations need to invest in new digital methods of communication and payments.
Here at DMI, we help travel brands drive results that show measurable impact by combining research, strategy, media and creative. We meet our customers where they are in their marketing maturity to help them scale to define short, mid and long-term strategies that improve customer retention and engagement.
Contact us to learn how embracing digital strategies and mobile payments can create value for your brand.