UK travellers most likely to suffer from ‘app-nesia’ finds Google study

By Travolution

By Travolution

Travel apps, while popular in the UK, are among the most forgotten once they have been downloaded according to latest research from Google.The study, conducted with independent research firm Ipso, looked at the behaviour 1,200 UK app users in three business verticals; shopping, restaurants and takeaways and travel and holidays.

It found that one in five installed apps are then forgotten, yet in travel that figure was one in three (33%) – a phenomenon dubbed ‘app-nesia’.

Nearly half of respondents said they use an app when they want information quickly, compared to 17% who prefer a mobile site.

People tend to turn to mobile websites when they want more in-depth information, with 49% of those surveyed admitting they prefer a mobile site for this reason.

Apps were seen as simpler, quicker, more personalised and useful for fast transactional tasks:

The study found:

• For simplicity of navigation, 50% prefer an app, but 31% prefer a mobile website.
• In terms of speed of loading, 46% believe an app is quicker, while 29% say a mobile site would win.
• When it comes to ease of use, 51% prefer installed apps because logins are pre-entered.

Max Macintosh, agency head of Google UK, said: “A great app encourages brand interaction, is easy to navigate and is quick to load.

“But as our research shows, this won’t necessarily guarantee that customers will keep coming back.

“For successful ongoing app engagement, businesses can use push notifications, ensure apps appear in organic search results and link search ads and results to relevant pages in apps.

“Of course an app is a complement to, and not a substitute for, an optimised mobile site. When users want to compare options, gather information or go into greater depth, a mobile website comes into its own and should remain a top priority.”

Google’s tips to cure ‘app-nesia’?

Make the app engaging in the first place.
A good app mirrors or exceeds the best features of a brand’s mobile website – or even desktop site. Marketers should think about what the app is there to do – and then make sure it does it exceptionally well.

If the forgotten app is already a good one, brands have an opportunity to remind people about their relevance as nine in ten of those who have forgotten about their travel and holiday and shopping apps said they’d use them again.

Use push notifications intelligently. 
Push notifications can bring users back – as long as they’re employed shrewdly. Push notifications which send a very specific reminder or incentive get the best results. To do this, brands and agencies need to track in-app activities, create segments and target accordingly.

Advertise using rich media, search and display.
Advertising shouldn’t just focus on driving downloads; it also has a big role to play in re-engagement and ideally should send users straight to the most exciting or relevant page. As with notifications, tailoring the message to the audience is key.

It’s now possible to target people who already have an app versus those who don’t, as well as to provide different messaging when someone engages with ad content.

Measure, test, iterate and be prepared to start again.
Apps provide an exceptional opportunity to harvest data points – but only if customer event and third-party tracker tags are in place. Then it’s essential to find the right key performance indicators for the brand and its audience. Then use insights to adjust or even overhaul the offering.

MSC Cruises announces return to UK next year

By Hollie-Rae Merrick

MSC Cruises is returning to the UK next year with a short series of ex-UK sailings from Southampton.The line will base Fantasia-class ship MSC Splendida in Southampton for six sailings, having pulled out of the UK market this year.

Among the sailings will be MSC’s first round-Britain itinerary starting in a UK port. Previous cruises had embarked in Hamburg.

Giles Hawke, MSC’s executive director for the UK and Ireland, said he hoped the “staggered return” of ex-UK sailings would be built on in 2017.

“A lot of our guests and agents have been asking us to base a ship in the UK,” he said. “People love travelling with us and want to embark in the UK with us.”

The line’s 2016 programme also includes new northern Europe cruises and longer Mediterranean sailings.

During the summer season, MSC will offer 270 sailings across 22 itineraries, made up of nine core seven-night Mediterranean itineraries, seven Med sailings of between nine and 12 nights, and new Baltic and Norwegian fjords cruises.

For the first time, a Fantasia-class ship will operate the Dubai winter season, with Bahrain making its debut on the itinerary.

Over the past year, the line has focused on fly-cruise, but the 2016 programme also includes cruise-only prices.

Hawke said: “We have responded to feedback by making cruise-only an attractive option for those who wish to make their own arrangements or for agents who want to create their own packages.”

For simplicity, cruise-only fares for European itineraries will be set £150 lower than fly-cruise packages, and £400 lower for the Caribbean and Middle East.

Upgrades from outside to balcony cabins on Fantastica fares are also available for £50 a person.

Bookings before August 31 will qualify for savings of up to £300.

The 2016 brochure has a new look and feel, with more space dedicated to each itinerary.

It also includes four pages of information about the four ships MSC has on order.

New chief executive appointed for Carnival UK

New chief executive appointed for Carnival UKDavid Dingle has been appointed chairman of Carnival UK, with current executive vice-president of operations David Noyes (pictured) taking over as chief executive.

Noyes will have operating responsibility for P&O Cruises and Cunard from October 1, and both he and Dingle will report to Carnival Corporation president and chief executive Arnold Donald.

Donald said: “This moves allows us to strengthen further our overall leadership in the critically important UK marketplace, while also promoting from within to leverage the skills, experience and capabilities of our executive team.”

Dingle, who became chief executive in 2007, joined P&O Cruises in London in 1978 where, after holding a series of commercial positions, he became managing director in 2000. At the time of the merger of P&O Princess Cruises plc and the Carnival Corporation in April 2003, he became managing director of Carnival UK.

Noyes joined Carnival UK in 2011, in his current position.  Prior to joining Carnival, he worked in the UK travel industry for 25 years, mainly with British Airways, where he was responsible for BA’s worldwide customer services operation, and latterly with Gray Dawes Travel as chief executive.

Elaine Holt will join Carnival UK on October 1 as David Noyes’ replacement as executive vice president operations following a career in the rail, road and airline industries. She has led a series of transformational programmes as executive chairman of East Coast Mainline and before that as managing director of First Capital Connect.  Most recently she has acted as a non executive director of the Highways Agency.

Dingle said: “David Noyes is exceptionally placed to lead P&O Cruises and Cunard into the future and grow the business for the next generation. Elaine brings with her a strong blend of operational and customer services skills and will be a very valuable addition to our executive team.”