If you’re a travel marketer, you know that when a customer completes a travel booking, their journey is only beginning. But what’s often forgotten is that the connection to your customer and building their loyalty depends on one critical factor: mobile data.
Mobile data means reliability. It means support when you need it. It means access to the best experiences wherever you are going and frictionless travel. But it also means extra expense, which at times, may be cost-prohibitive. Every traveler has either experienced or heard a horror story of coming home to hundreds of dollars in roaming fees while traveling abroad. Even though the average American spends over five hours a day on their smartphone, limited international data usage can make it hard to stay connected. To maximize every opportunity to build loyalty with your traveler, it’s critical to build offline accessibility with your mobile app.
Why Brands Need to Consider the Offline Digital Experience
The digital experience is the primary way that customers experience brands. A travel brand that makes it easy for travelers to get the info they need, even when they’re offline, not only inspires loyalty but can also attract new customers. 76% of people are more likely to recommend a brand that delivers simple experiences according to recent research.
Making content available before, during, and after their journey can provide more opportunities for a brand to build loyalty without relying on mobile connectivity since travelers are still connected to their home networks prior to their trip.
Anticipating a traveler's needs prior to their trip positions a brand as useful and builds a relationship with the customer, rather than as a nuisance. Many travelers want to know what to expect before they travel, such as the weather and places that may be of interest to them. By offering this information before they even leave home while they are still connected, brands can prime the traveler to consider them as a resource, and remind them of the offline features they can still access while they are on their journey.
How Businesses Can Stay Engaged With Offline Customers
With offline usability, your company’s application becomes both more reliable and more exclusive. Reliable in the sense that your app can be used anytime, anywhere. And exclusive in the sense that competitors may not share this offline functionality, allowing your app unique access to customers.
Offline mobile applications are perfect for travelers unwilling to use mobile data roaming, customers in areas with no or weak connectivity and customers who want to prolong battery life.
Travelers Unwilling To Use Mobile Data Roaming
Travelers will be grateful to companies who save them some much-needed cash. Fifty-nine percent of Americans believe travel prices are too high as of 2020. Removing one expense from travelers’ budgets can relieve a lot of worries, creating more loyal customers.
Customers In Areas of No or Weak Connectivity
When we think of travelers “off the grid,” our minds may wander to a single backpacker desperately trying to use our app while sinking shoulder-deep in quicksand. While being lost in the jungle is undeniably a concern, weak connectivity can be irritating in subways, historic buildings, concert halls, and island resorts all the same. Enabling apps to work offline will save your customers from the frustration of unavailable or spotty service.
Prolonging Mobile Battery Life
Nothing is more irksome to customers than apps that mercilessly drain their phone battery while they’re simply trying to get around. Especially when those customers are travelers who don’t know when their next charge will be or if they even have the right adapter. Creating an app that doesn’t rely on network continuous connectivity leads to better battery life. This means less stress for the user, and more time spent engaging with your app.
In a world of smartphone navigation, some of us can’t get to the local grocery store and back without GPS. While exploring unfamiliar places, travelers are more dependent on reliable mapping and navigation technology. Whether you’re in the Irish countryside or a new city, even if you hit a “deadzone,” you will still be able to find your way home.
An easy way to enable high-quality offline mobile apps is to build mapping functionality into the app so customers can access more information with zero data.
Mapbox Offline Maps
Applications built with the Mapbox Maps SDK for Android or iOS can download maps of selected regions to use when the device is disconnected. For travel marketers, this is a useful way to keep clients’ hotels, tours, restaurants, and more front and center - even when people are offline. Marketers can build custom maps to address customer needs and ensure the map is always accessible. For example, they can offer multiple offline routes for travelers who prefer to navigate by foot, by bike, or by public transportation.
With Mapbox, downloaded maps automatically update when re-connected to a data network, so travelers don’t have to worry about their map becoming outdated between excursions. Plus, there is no limit to the map size users can download.
Mapbox Navigation SDKs
Maps and Navigation SDKs for iOS and Android use an offline routing engine that enables users to get turn-by-turn directions without switching to another app. This means travelers’ mobile apps behave as one-stop shops: keeping users connected, even without using cellular data.
The Tools to Make It Home
Travelers – and travel companies – must have the tools to overcome unfamiliar challenges. A lack of mobile data does not present a problem, but rather an opportunity for travel brands to stay connected with an easy fix.
By producing a reliable offline application with the inclusion of Mapbox maps and SDKs, brands can travel with their customers all over the world and create long-term relationships full of future adventures.
Learn more about Mapbox Travel solutions.