A recent industry report from Skift found the vast majority of business travelers are using mobile devices while away from the office. The report found that 90 percent of business travelers expect Wi-Fi access at hotels and 86 percent expect it at airports. Moreover, 95 percent of business travelers have a smartphone and 64 percent own a tablet. Some travelers bring as many as four devices with them when going on a business trip. While these findings may be predictable, the way business travelers are using their mobile devices is surprising.
Using Apps to Get Around
The apps business travelers are using aren’t for work. Instead, they’re the same ones leisure travelers use -- ones that help them get around. (Business travelers may already have the software they need to complete their work duties and, therefore, not need work-related apps.)
According to a report published in Adweek, business travelers want apps to help them:
locate places to eat (32 percent)
look up flight information (18 percent)
find local transportation (10 percent)
manage everything via an all-in-one app (18 percent)
Some respondents did want apps that could be used for work, such as apps for expensing (9 percent) and apps that provide offline access (7 percent), but these were less popular.
The same study used social media mentions to determine what apps business travelers used most often and the results confirmed that travelers are looking for travel-related apps rather than work-related ones. According to the study, the most popular app developers were:
Google, which is most popular to look up information (543,261 mentions)
Concur, which combines travel apps (38,014 mentions)
Expensify+, which generates expense reports (17,908 mentions; an exception)
AmEx GBT, an international travel app (13,659 mentions)
Egencia, Expedia’s app (11,248 mentions)
BCD Travel, is a corporate travel app (10,775 mentions)
Moving Toward Sharing Apps
Sharing apps didn’t show up in the report published in Adweek, largely because businesses are slower to adapt than individuals. A New York Times article, however, shows ridesharing apps like Uber are becoming more popular. As companies adjust their travel regulations to embrace the sharing economy, more and more business travelers will be embracing the convenience and savings these apps offer.
So tell us, what apps do you find most useful when traveling for business?