Travel Apps and COVID-19

Posted on Dec 17th 2020 by Miira Vehviläinen
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Living through a time for which not many could’ve been prepared, makes everyone stand in the same line and start from the beginning. It’s not like every company has a backup plan in case of a global pandemic - at least not before COVID-19. But how have different traveling apps taken this time and changed their marketing systems? Or have they at all? Let’s take a look, how the following apps have taken COVID-19 into consideration regarding screenshots and description, in their US App Stores.

I chose to compare six relevant and known apps, which all have the same purpose and category: traveling. They are different in some ways, but all have the purpose, which has probably been the most effected one during this pandemic. 


Airbnb, Google Maps, Momondo, Trivago, Uber, Lyft

After examining these apps in GeekLab's Optilab, which shows me every piece of information from their App Store page, my words are running low on this post, since there is not a word about Covid or health - except in one; Lyft. In its description, Lyft has a very clear part which explains to the user their protocols during this time. The description explains that they want the customers to feel safe and that they have followed the CDC and local health officials, to create safe and proper health measurements. Lyft requires you to confirm that you don’t have COVID-19 or have any related symptoms, you have to wear a mask and have to keep the and your hands clean. You cannot sit next to the driver and the windows have to be open during the ride. Also, they mention that the drivers are instructed to keep the car clean by using the right products.


If you compare Uber and Lyft, it is clear to say that if someone who is really taking precautions, wanting to be sure that the ride if safe and has not yet tried either of the apps, Lyft will be the better choice, since Uber has not written anything related to the description. It goes without saying, that yes, Uber has taken precautions and is likely to be as safe as Lyft, but they are missing a valid ASO tool window for not using the description. 

Regarding the other apps as well, these apps should’ve taken the advantage of promoting, for example domestic traveling, and turn their marketing plan to another direction; to a direction that is POSSIBLE in the first place. Obviously, a brand such as Momondo, cannot really do that, when planes are simply not flying. But Google Maps? Trivago? They had all the right ingredients to benefit from this situation and make them stand out from the rest. Just staying silent and hoping for the best is just staying put and not going forward. Obviously marketing techniques are different depending on where you are and the level of this pandemic is different among countries and some countries have stricter rulers than others. Some countries don’t even allow domestic traveling and some do. But as an example, the first screenshot on these apps, could be a screenshot reassuring the safety and/or alternatives of the moment. It is a small detail to add, but can make a huge difference during times like these.

Miira Vehviläinen
Miira Vehviläinen

ASO Specialist

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