Forgotten travel apps are a blot on the landscape of the travel and holiday sectors, according to new Ipsos UK research.
The research included a survey of 400 users online in each of three verticals: Restaurants & Takeaways, Travel & Holiday and Shopping.
The number of users forgetting at least one app in the category sits at 49% for travel and holiday, the highest of any sector.
This makes a modicum of sense given the periodic and temporary nature of travel. However, this also highlights a challenge for those travel apps seeking to inspire consumers to make an actual travel purchase.
There appears to be significant opportunity within the restaurants & takeaway category as well, given the fact that the vast majority — 80% — search within this category but don't have any apps installed.
For travel, the periodic nature of the product again rears its head, as the category has both the highest number of apps installed and the fewest searches in that vertical each month
For those 33% who have apps installed, there are real re-engagement opportunities to ensure that the users come back to a forgotten app rather than downloading a new one.
Travel also has the highest number of apps forgotten, at 33%, which again points to the one-off nature of the vertical. Users download an app for a specific use, trip or function, and then it slips their mind without ongoing engagement.
When asked whether they would consider using an app again, 90% of respondents would re-engage with a travel app and 83% would do the same with a restaurant/takeaway app.
So its really a function of figuring out how to remind users that the app exists in an easy and lightweight way that doesn't invade privacy or rely on ill-timed push notifications.
This statistic means that app makers must not only have a download and awareness strategy but also a re-engagement strategy for those users that might have simply forgotten about a particular app amongst the many.
In order to more fully grasp what a re-engagement strategy should look like, consider the reasons why a user downloaded an app in the first place. This insight then allows for a re-engagement specifically focused on why the user wanted the app to begin with.
In order to more fully grasp what a re-engagement strategy should look like, consider the reasons why a user downloaded an app in the first place. This insight then allows for re-engagement specifically focused on why the user wanted the app to begin with.
One strategy was using a paid search ad for users researching particular categories: nearly 10% of respondents said that a link from a search engine would re-engage them with an app.
Another strategy is to consider linking out to a mobile website for more in-depth searches, as nearly half of respondents preferred mobile web for deeper information gathering uses while another half of respondents felt apps were better for quicker, transactional type of activities.
Both of these tactics would be very well suited to the thriving app ads business, where companies pay for ads on other apps.
Another way to address these challenges would be to invest in a full app index of any app available on Android.
Google has recently announced that it will offer direct links into apps for mobile searches, meaning that those with apps downloaded will be served search results directly linked within relevant apps.
This is a huge engagement opportunity that's worth the investment.
Regardless of approach, it's very clear that travel and hospitality tech must not neglect to deploy a re-engagement strategy following the upfront cost of the initial app download.
NB: Question mark image courtesy Shutterstock.