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Closing the Action Gap in Top Travel Apps

Shivkumar M Shivkumar M has over 20 years of experience shaping technology product and GTM strategy. With B2B SaaS expertise across industries, he leads product launches, adoption, and GTM as Director of Product Marketing.
Closing the Action Gap in Top Travel Apps

Travel apps are popular tools for researching exotic destinations, finding flight deals, booking accommodations, organizing itineraries, and reviewing unique experiences. In the U.S., for instance, more than 137 million travel app downloads were recorded in the second quarter of 2022. Still, even the best travel apps face intense competition in a market dominated by a handful of industry leaders.

To remain competitive, travel apps must keep users engaged even when they’re not traveling or planning a trip. Boosting engagement will establish your app as one of the best travel apps on the market and prevent churn. So, let’s look at three proven strategies to improve interaction with your app.

Communicate Regularly, But Don’t Overdo It

According to our Travel App Engagement Benchmark Report, the best travel apps see an average of 12 app launches per active user monthly.

App use typically spikes when users are actively planning a trip and then drops when the trip is over. But knowing exactly how frequently users launch your app will help you develop a communication strategy that encourages app engagement in a meaningful way.

Push notifications, SMS, and in-app messaging are key ways to create a sticky and unified user experience. When tactfully applied, they’ll bring users back to your app and increase retention over time. However, you must know when and how to leverage each messaging channel. Sending too many messages—or irrelevant ones—could cause users to opt out of receiving in-app and push notifications.

Let these best practices guide your communication frequency and timing:

  • Only send notifications when it provides clear value to the user.
  • Personalize messages with the user’s name.
  • Personalize messages according to a user’s interests and behaviors.
  • Include a sense of urgency in the message to encourage users to take action.
  • Include a clear call to action (CTA) that tells the user what to do next.
  • Keep messages concise and to the point. They should also hook the user to click and learn more.
  • Send notifications at the right time for the user based on their location and time zone. Avoid sending notifications in the middle of the night or during busy hours.
  • Find the right balance between engagement and respect for your users’ time.

Remove the Blockers That Prevent User Conversions

The average time to action measures the time it takes new users to move from onboarding to deeper app engagement. Travel apps see approximately 36% of new users converting within their first week of onboarding. While this isn’t terrible, it is somewhat bleak compared to other industries. For instance, 76% of fintech app users convert within the first week.

Setting yourself up as one of the best travel apps requires removing any obstacles that hinder the user experience, and therefore, conversion. After all, a complicated user interface that’s hard to navigate or requires too many in-app forms is a sure way to frustrate users, leading to uninstalls.

User Behavior Will Reveal the Blockers

Collaborate with your team to closely examine every step of a user’s experience so you can spot the roadblocks that keep them from converting. For instance:

  • Are pages loading slowly? Even a one second delay in how your website page or your app responds can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. And 40% of users abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load*.
  • More importantly, are your website viewers using mobile devices? If your website isn’t already mobile friendly, you’re in big trouble. Mobile devices generate close to 59% of web traffic worldwide*. A poor website experience for a mobile user means you’re losing out on a tremendous chunk of potential new users.
  • Are users having difficulty finding information?
  • Are language or accessibility issues preventing users from completing even simple tasks?
  • Is the interface intuitive and simple to navigate? Or are users spending a long time on a registration screen, unable to continue?

In-app analytics about user behavior can also help you identify common problem areas where users are dropping off. Once you have the answers, make changes quickly. Every day that passes means losing users that are unlikely to return.

It’s also essential to examine how you communicate with new users. Tactfully guide them deeper down the funnel without deviating from their core goal—otherwise, they may assume you don’t offer or understand what they want. Keep messages targeted, timely, and contextual and avoid overwhelming users with too many options.

Offer Perks to Keep Your Users Invested

On average, 13% of new users stay active on travel apps one week after installing and registering. To avoid becoming a single-use app, it’s crucial to convince new users of the additional value you provide. Consider these tips to keep users engaged and position yourself as one of the best travel apps on the market.

  • Feature special offers and run campaigns aligned with seasonal holidays and local vacation dates.
  • Offer loyalty rewards for repeat bookings.
  • Educate users on how to earn and use rewards.
  • Use social media to share user-generated content and travel inspiration.
  • Provide personalized recommendations based on users’ past travel preferences.
  • Make it easy for users to leave reviews and ratings for accommodations and experiences.
  • Share testimonials from other users.
  • Provide interesting and useful information about the user’s journey, destination, or places of interest.

Be Among the Best Travel Apps by Tracking Metrics With CleverTap

Travel has changed significantly. Consumers have high expectations of both their travel providers and their digital experiences. The best travel apps remain relevant, on-trend, and consistent by leveraging the right digital tools—and you can too.

CleverTap’s comprehensive platform allows you to manage your app user experience at scale. Track and compare user groups, recognize feature stickiness, identify your most effective acquisition campaigns, and win back uninstalls. With automated and easy-to-understand data analytics around user behavior and interests, you can optimize every touchpoint and personalize messaging to strategically boost engagement.

Elevating your travel app to the next level is a lot easier than you think. Download our free Travel App Engagement Benchmark Report for the top 10 metrics marketers need to know.


Travel App Engagement Benchmark Report

Learn the top 10 app metrics you need to track and understand how your app engagement compares to your competitors.

Get the Benchmark Report

Last updated on March 14, 2024