2014 is predicted to be an even more successful year for e-commerce. Businesses worldwide will continue to integrate mobile into its traditional activities and other trends such as gamification, personalisation and others will boom even further and the tourism industry will see a big change again in the course of the new year. Already, many tourism marketers are excited to what the new year will bring and what the industry can expect. Already, consumers are increasingly using a variety of digital devices in their every day lives and with Christmas approaching, especially tablet adoption and usage is expected to increase even further worldwide (Econsultancy 2013).
In 2013, mobile really emerged as the future in digital. Throughout the tourism industry, consumer engagement on mobile increased as did sales both from Smartphones and tablets. Already we see that tourism businesses and tourist boards are rethinking digital by integrating tablets into their sales efforts and providing tablets throughout hotels or travel agencies showcasing travel products on tablets in store. This will even further increase in 2014, as consumers will be more and more accustomed to using tablets to get inspired and increasingly, consumers will purchase services and products when travelling on Smartphones and tablets.
The Think Tank team also sees 2014 as the year where everything moves into the mobile space. Many destinations are now taking the decision to go mobile first and are embarking quite bravely onto the mobile journey that is of course both rewarding, as engagement through Smartphone and tablets on tourism websites is much higher than when accessing through a computer. However, this mobile first approach can also be quite challenging for a destination, as a lot of thought about the user experience, design and functionalities need to be made before going fully mobile.
Gamification is the second big trend for 2014 and already the tourism industry is very keen to get deeper insights into consumers playing games and how this can be also applied to different tourism contexts. Enhancing the overall tourism experience before, during and after a trip are essential. Without a doubt, gamification is certainly a trend that many destinations so far are not considering to step into in 2014, but many that already have launched a gamified app such as Stockholm sounds app are very excited about the opportunities of the app and how consumers will embrace the new form of a city guide.
It will be very interesting to see which destinations and tourism businesses will embark on a mobile and/or gamified journey in 2014 and what problems, success and implications this will have for their overall digital marketing efforts. The Think Tank team is certainly excited about the fact that 2014 really puts the consumer at the core and the tourism industry aiming to work heavily on adding value to existing experiences and existing use of digital technologies and applications.
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