Kieron Branagan, CEO at OpenJaw Technologies
"Chinese brands are integrating experiences across all touch points and channels to create a seamless and immersive experience, often leveraging virtual reality and 3D imaging to build continuous engagement along the entire consumer journey."
Quote from Kieron Branagan of OpenJaw Technologies in an article about the technical prowess of China web platforms on PhocusWire this week.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.
So many of the modern digital achievements were born in apparent centers of innovation such as Silicon Valley in the U.S.
A consumer's interaction with technology, more often than not, rests in the hands of those that have developed our search engines (Google), social networks (Facebook, Twitter et al) and hardware (Apple).
The modern world has a lot to thank that particular region for when it comes to providing much of the backbone on which the digital world is built on.
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But this is obviously a narrow view - forgetting, for example, the huge role that European brands such as Nokia played in the early days of mobile phones - and dismisses what has happened and what is happening in a country such as China.
Hardware and software providers may have been inspired in part by some of their counterparts in the West but China is arguably at the bleeding edge of pulling it all together for the sake of the user.
The integration of everything that a traveler can need into a platform such as WeChat is perhaps the strongest example so far as to how ubiquitous a single entity can become in the lives of consumers.
The "one app to rule them all" concept in travel is talked about often, yet in the West it is perhaps the aspiration of only a few brands (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple) and they have years of legacy and non-mobile, web behavior in the consumer base to contend with.
As Branagan suggests, it is perhaps where the ultra-connectivity of platform and consumer behavior heads to next in China that is the most important thing to note for brands in the West.
Technologies such as voice, virtual reality and 3D imaging, when they become the norm (and they will), will transform the travel inspiration, search and booking experience for everyone. And they will probably play a massive role in-destination, too - let's not forget that.
It may feel to some that travel brands in the West are too focused (perhaps rightly) on the day-to-day mechanics of operations and competitors to sometimes take a step back and understand what is coming round the corner.
That corner is more than likely going to be signposted "China, this way".
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