Meaningful travel innovations for business travelers have been slow to emerge, but business travel apps are increasingly providing genuine value for corporate travel.
Business travelers, particularly those who travel a lot, have a higher comfort level of making travel plans via their smartphone and with business travel apps, according to a recent survey from travel management company CWT. The survey, which examined the habits of corporate travelers across the globe, provides insight on how business travelers are using online and mobile tools when travelling.
Drivers For Booking Via Mobile & Business Travel Apps
Some interesting insights from the survey include:
- Those who travel more than five times a year are 13% more likely to book on their smartphone.
- Travelers are more likely to book on mobile when they are returning to a destination visited previously.
- Additionally, travelers are more likely to book via mobile closer to departure date, with 62% of mobile bookings happening between one day and one week prior to departure.
To add context to the research, CWT’s Amit Wurgaft, as quoted on PhocusWire explained, “The more you travel, the more you use your smartphone, and that includes booking your flights directly through an app. Booking on your mobile device requires a level of confidence, born from experience.”
Top Business Travel Technologies
The survey also asked business travelers about the technologies they used the most when the traveled:
• The favorite and most used technology was online check-in, which was used by 45% of respondents.
• Online booking tools were used by 44% of business travelers surveyed.
Business travelers, even more so than leisure travelers, value efficiency, speed, and convenience. They don’t want to take the scenic route – getting to their destination quickly with as little hassle as possible is key. One way travelers achieve this is through business travel apps. Even beyond booking and managing flights, smartphones are used through business journeys.
Business Travel Apps Rank High In Expenses
In a recent report from expense management company, Certify, of customer expense habits in the second quarter of 2019, Uber ranked as the top expensed service by far. Uber was followed by Starbucks, with its rival Lyft coming in third. Both of these rideshare services are booked only via mobile app and save business travelers the time and hassle of hailing a taxi.
A more detailed report from Certify on ground transportation highlights a new trend in business traveler local transport: electric scooters. Companies such as Lime and Bird – both of which use mobile apps for booking their scooters – were accounted for in travelers’ expense reports. For confident travelers, scooters offer the option to get from point A to point B affordably and efficiently. Although it is worth nothing that the rules and laws over use of electric scooters differ from country-to-country and even between different U.S. states.
Tapping into the changing and growing landscape of ground transportation in business travel, car rental company, Avis, is investing heavily in improving the business traveler experience. Avis recently spoke to Skift about their efforts to reduce friction especially for those who travel frequently for business. The Avis mobile app aims lets travelers know upon arrival at their destination that their car is waiting for them – eliminating one area of stress for the business travel. The app also allows business travelers to switch cars for different options, sign rental agreements, and soon travelers may even be able to start their car with their phone – without needing to pick a key.
Business travelers’ affinity for app-based services is no coincidence. Business travelers need the ability to make travel plans on the go – between meetings, on the way to the airport, whenever it’s convenient. Companies that offer services providing flexibility and convenience will satisfy business travelers most.
For travel managers looking to provide the right tools for business travelers that match business requirements it could be time to ask – Is It Time To Choose A (Or Switch To A New) TMC?
Business Travel Ripe For Innovation
Corporate travel can be area that is slow to innovate. Companies that meet business traveler needs in planning and even paying for travel on the go, as well as satisfying the demands of travel managers, are apt to be adopted enthusiastically.