Context matters: 52% use travel and transportation apps when leaving home

6 June 2019

Engagement is an important strategy for app marketers, but keeping users engaged whilst their travelling or on-the-go can be difficult.

However, new research by Connecthings provides an insight into what keeps travel and transportation app users engaged and how app marketers can use context to reach users at precisely the right moment.

Based on the responses by 1,000 US smartphone users, the moment when people are more likely to use transportation and travel apps is when they are leaving home. Indeed, 52% of respondents said they used travel apps in that context.

Another 34% said they used “leaving home” as their preferred context for notifications from travel apps. In other words, when a person leaves their home, they may open up a map, search for travel updates or order a cab to travel.

However, many mobile phone owners are unlikely to use an app in the same context as before and thus may want to receive different types of notifications.

For 32% of respondents, being at a bar, nightclub or restaurant provided an opportunity to use transportation apps. However, just 5% said they wanted to receive notifications from such apps in this context.

Responses also varied by demographics with younger generations less likely to reject travel and transportation apps all-together.

Interestingly, Millennials were the most active, with 67% of them using travel apps when leaving home and just 13% saying they never used them. Meanwhile, 58% of Gen Z users said they used travel apps when leaving home and just 9% of them admitted to never using transportation apps.

Baby boomers are more likely to do without travel apps (33%) and are less likely to use travel apps when leaving home (41%).

Context also varied strongly for each generation. Whilst baby boomers prefer to use travel apps during bad weather, Gen X more often chooses to use such apps at transit hubs, whilst Millennials are using travel apps when leaving home and Gen Z when leaving the workplace.

However, just. 19% of users who live in urban areas choose not to use travel apps versus 32% in rural apps, highlighting just how important such technologies have become to a city lifestyle.

The findings provide powerful insights into how travel and transportation app marketers may wish to adjust their strategies in an effort to keep their users engaged and avoid user churn.

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