Corporate travel managers are seeing more bookings coming from mobile devices, a new study by CarlsonWagonlitTravel has found.
The survey queried 173 travel managers about mobile habits in corporate bookings, and brought in perspectives from across the globe from a variety of industries. The respondents represented companies with an average corporate travel spend of $75 million.
The overall sentiment is that corporate travelers are increasingly comfortable with booking on mobile, with the report authors estimating 25% of bookings to be made on mobile by 2017. This trend is catalyzed in part because, on a global basis, smartphones are becoming standard issue for corporate travelers. While one would think that this number would be higher, the averaged response to the question on whether travelers carry smartphones was only 62%.
This is likely growing, as the trend towards BYOD continues to dominate the IT policies of surveyed companies. As more people bring the devices they are comfortable with into the workplace, the more likely it is that they would want to use the most familiar apps and purchase processes.
As travelers begin to seek out familiar purchase behaviors on smartphones when it comes to corporate functions, tablets are also enjoying the same ease-of-use prerogative as far as the desire to use devices for both work and play.
This mobility imperative is already impacting corporate travel management, and will only increase in the next two years.
Respondents see this impact as a generally positive one, especially when it relates to increasing productivity on the road and for ease of expense tracking.
Not surprisingly, there are some differences between what travelers and travel managers see as the most important benefits of bringing mobile into the workflow:
One of the most important features besides security and policy compliance, was identified as on-the-go booking. This is the key driver of mobile services over the next few years for the corporate travel management space.
Beyond booking, mobile is the informational heart of the travel experience, with a continuous cycle of trip monitoring being the most essential benefit of the mobile shift according to travel managers.
One final nugget reveals much about the expectations of growth on the mobility side of managed travel. Unsurprisingly, corporate travel managers are far less bullish on the percentage of bookings to be had in the hotel, air and car segments in the next 2 years.
If travel managers want to keep up with the technological expectations of the travelers they are managing, then the cohort had better use this graphic as leverage to ensure adequate future services for mobile-hungry corporate travelers.
The report, which was only briefly covered here as it comes in at an extensive 90 pages, is available here in its entirety.
NB: Pile of mobile phones image courtesy Shutterstock.