There is a mobile development going on right now that will stop some of your agency customers from calling you. It is the called a number of things such as Web 3.0, or a ‘travel assistant’ or a ‘travel bot’. But let me back up and walk through Web 1.0, 2.0 and put some context around Web 3.0
Web 1.0 was all about finding information on the web and some companies were able to create business models accordingly. Think Amazon and eBay. There is still a lot of development in this arena around ‘search’ for example. Notice how Google is expanding its services to include a web browser, mapping at street level, etc.
Web 2.0 was a niche play where many firms took hold of social media as a business model (think Facebook, Digg etc) as well as creating venues for plenty of user generated content – such as this blog!
Web 3.0 has variously been described as being organized around the ‘user and context’, or ‘the semantic web’ (as coined by Tim Burners-Lee). If the web 3.0 promises hold true, it means that you as a user will have the context you want, when you want it. For example – travel services on your mobile device.
Consider that Reardon Commerce has already built a ‘personal assistant’ for large corporations that dramatically increased online purchases for a large US based healthcare consulting firm and a 90% rate of preferred supplier compliance. One of the reasons this was successful is because the CTO at the health care firm recognized that consumers of travel (the travellers) want the process to be seamless in the tools they already use – not a policy driven mandate that changes their work flow. The personal assistant on their mobile device made the booking, found a hotel and restaurant, and filed their expense report.
So if that is happening at the large corporate level, can it happen for small businesses or leisure consumers? Well, watch out – Reardon are targeting a US bank’s card customers with a ‘personal assistant’ for delivering reward travel. The ‘travel bot’ will let a consumer make a leisure booking, find the hotel they like, and the restaurant, and maybe even meet with likeminded people for one of the nights they are in that town.
All without jumping across multiple sites and maybe without calling a traditional travel agent or tour operator.