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Posts tagged ‘Mobile’

Farewell Boomers – Travel Changes for Ever

November 24, 2013

VaultPad

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Music: Slow Dirge

I am a Baby Boomer. Born in 1953. I vividly remember the day on November 23rd 1963 when my headmaster – Fr McHugh came into the breakfast room at my Boarding School and told us what had happened in Dallas the day before. Most of us were too young to know the impact but the whole school (we were Catholics) were horrified that someone who was so well known would be assassinated in such a callous manner. At Mass that day prayers were said for Jackie, Caroline and John and the American People.

And now the passing of the torch from the generation that this event – in so many ways – defined, to the new generation. Yes it’s time for the Boomers to leave the stage. We have had a good run. My g-g-generation has had the power to control the market for consumerism. We defined the video experience. We have now raised children. We Made love, not war and we Turned on, tuned in, dropped out and we then dropped in again. Now Peyton Place has been replaced by Game of Thrones. We settled into becoming the amazing consumer engine. We found personal peace. We worried about the planet and did nothing about it. And we travelled… oh how we travelled.

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Growing up I was a very lucky person. I had been round the world by the time I was 4. Visited countries and seen things most people could only dream about. I still do it… must have been part of the gene pool that I inherited.

Henry Harteveldt and his team at HudsonCrossing have done it again coming up with a defining report on the handing of the torch from Boomers to Millenials. You MUST read this.

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So dear friends – its been a GREAT ride. As my peers head off into the sunset – we will be very important – we just wont define how the world buys travel. I have a WHOLE LOT of learning to do and I promise to do the best I can to provide you with these insights

 

Thanks for reading

Cheers

Timothy

Timothy’s 10 Characteristics of Today’s Traveller

November 23, 2013

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The 2013 Google Travel Study conducted by Ipsos is out and I am not enthused. Regular readers will know that I have a low opinion of surveys. At one time I was a stats person so i can’t fault the technical methodology (most of the time) with this year’s in particular. But I don’t think the consumer behaviour bears out the expectations that one can draw from Google’s and its conclusions.

Squillions of people are going to quote liberally from this study to make their points to spend more money on Mobile, Social and Video. Some will even use the “data” to support whole manners of business ideas and even the odd startup or two. But for me here is how I interpret the information that is presented.

Indulge me – this is how I interpret the report and why I think its high time we started thinking for ourselves rather than being pawns in Google’s game.

Timothy’s 10 characteristics of the traveller:

  1. Lack of trust – everyone lies on the web – reviews are never fully honest.
  2. Inspiration and Planning are NEVER linear …duh – what is this “funnel” anyway?
  3. Search is so screwed up in travel that I cannot get what I want when I want it. It’s a terribly frustrating process
  4. Collaboration is often mistaken for validation (and vice versa)
  5. Millenials are vastly different from Baby Boomers – Everyone is different, Geographically, Ethnically, Age-wise, me-wise.
  6. I always use multiple devices  AND multiple browsers in planning – frequently because I need to cross reference information.
  7. Video is a load of baloney. I don’t use it to watch videos – I do it for ways to see if the vendor is lying.
  8. Mobile does not equal a guy on the street booking a $4000 trip on his smartphone.
  9. I really need a place to capture, store, sort and process the things I find online that I want to bring together. No one does this.
  10. I am always looking for planning another trip – mostly the ones I will never take.

Do you agree with me? Well you don’t have to but I do want you to think about it. Read the report, even if it is a low grade work in my opinion. Then try and think about how the ever changing punter out there is being badly serviced. AND why the products and services most players have in the market are really poor and getting not better but actually worse. 

Finally please consider the “data”. if you are thinking of going into spending a load of cash on mobile – look very hard before you do. I am SO TIRED of being told how wonderful mobile is. Look at #8 above. Mobile is really about the user being untethered. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t use the Laptop. Do read the study by Expedia and this should help give you some context because that is based on some hard data. Google should be ashamed to put out this garbage.

The link to Google’s study can be found here.

Expedia Comscore’s study can be found here.

Cheers

Timothy

Mobile Web – Frustration or Paradise?

February 17, 2013

VaultPad

Way back in the 1990s the world’s first true global roaming phone was the Motorola Timeport. I recall one of my colleagues at the time was SO frustrated with the experience that he went home one day and got a hammer and nail and drove a stake through the heart of the errant device.

Have things improved lately?

Well according to most surveys despite the wonderful projections of how we are all going to be mobile in just a few years – there is a very strong undercurrent of dissatisfaction with Mobile based applications and the Mobile web in general.

The Mobile Experience is almost universally a compromise – and frequently not a good one at that. A 2011 Survey by Modapt, Inc. and Morrissey & Company suggested users are frustrated with Mobile Web experience. In this survey the majority of respondents were Smart Phone users. This would tend to indicate that the users were early adopters and savvy technology users. Yet their responses were not that happy.

  • While 95% of respondents reported using advanced smartphones, more than 86% found their mobile browsing experience to be either ‘okay’ or ‘frustrating’.
  • The Big 3 of user frustration are: slow downloads 40%, Difficult to navigate 40%, and Hard to find/read information 20%
  • Nearly one-half (48%) of smartphone users never make purchases via mobile

In a similar study published in August 2012 that confirmed the early results.  Keynote Competitive Research studied mobile behaviour from a much broader sample of US users. The study showed that 60% of tablet users expect to wait less than three seconds to get to a website, while 48% of PC Web users want download speeds faster than two seconds. Smartphone users also have high expectations, with 64% wanting a website to load within 4 four seconds and 82% of respondents wanting the website to load within five seconds. Even more startling is that 16% of users will not return to a site if it takes longer than six seconds to load, with 6% of users opting instead for competitor websites.

While Apps have created small specific applications – the explosive growth of the App market has created a number of cascading problems. Already we have the usual types of problems. Phantom downloads, poor search and even worse badly written Apps. As the barrier to entry is so low – almost everyone has been encouraged to enter the mobile web. This has created a cottage industry of plain awful App writers. Poor security (both with data and just in general) has created an opportunity for a new breed of hackers to steal your data. With Apple’s Passbook now a fixture in the iOS world – there are clear indications that the back door entry into your personal data from badly designed Apps (as well as Apple’s low barrier to certification processes) are going to result in security breaches. We just haven’t seen them – yet. From the Modapt study, Not surprisingly, fully one-half (50%) of smartphone users say they feel less secure about paying for something via mobile browser than desktop browser.

Another big issue is the nature of both Wifi and Cellular data based performance from the network. Wifi 802.11ac performance is now acceptable for most data applications but frequently the problem is not in the local network but in the backbone. The expectation of free wifi that most users have is now tempered with smart acces points having dual speeds. Crippled and OK. Crippled are free, OK is if you pay a premium.But we are to blame as well. Count the number of Wifi enabled devices you have. And then try and turn them on at the same time in a hotel or airport. Even a few years ago I was in a leading e-commerce player in a major market and was appalled to learn that their backbone to the web was not even a 56K circuit, yet they had hundreds of users in their environment. Cellular data performance is just plain awful for data. I have used extensively iOS, Android and Blackberry data devices using Cellular connections around the world. Frankly they all suck.

And then there is the cost. Several times in my speaking engagements I have asked the audience to honestly admit (of those who data roam) if they have ever left their data circuits on and received a large bill. go on admit it – you have too! (Oh yes and I do it frequently. Mostly because I am lazy or just forgetful.)

Consumer expectations and network performance are clearly in a state of dissonance.

Actually i am pessimistic about the network speed issue. 4G LTE the standard of choice for mobile data via cellular is not that much of a performance bump from 3G. Sadly APP and Mobile Web providers have chosen to take advantage of the speed to bulk up their offerings instead of allowing lighter applications to prevail and for the users to get real speed.

Nothing can be more frustrating for a user that to show up while data roaming and seeing a little notice that says. Download our App and get better access faster. In your head you calculate that the downloading the App will cost about $25 and so you wait in line… now even madder than you were before you saw that little sign. And its not just the consumers who are frustrated. Kayak recently abandoned its relationship with one of the current darlings of the Mobile Web. GetyourGuide. Further I have spoken to many players who have spent large amounts of money developing web applications only to be very frustrated with the results. Typical complaints are:

  • Poor adoption
  • Low usage
  • High costs

Google – with so much vested in mobile (not necessarily in mobile e-commerce (MCommerce) have some good advice for you. They even have a website to help you Go Mobile. howtogomo.com

Mobile providers – networks and application systems need to up their game. There is just too much crap out there and that has to change.

Cheers