Travel Planning and Purchasing Has Evolved on Mobile

Jaclyn Loo / June 2017

As travel planning shifts to mobile, consumers expect to find relevant information faster than ever before. Today, having a fast, easy-to-use mobile experience is critical. And the marketers who provide the best travel websites and apps are more likely to drive bookings and create long-term value.

Consumers rely on mobile devices for more travel-related information than ever before. Recent Google data has shown that there are already more searches on mobile than desktop for select travel categories, such as family holidays and luxury travel.1 And when it comes to planning holiday activities, mobile devices are giving travellers increased flexibility. Many travellers are willing to plan activities on the fly, while they are at their destination.2

As travellers turn to mobile more, there are three realities brands should consider:

Travellers are researching and converting on mobile

Many marketers assume that travellers only research and book on mobile when they have an explicit need. In fact, 31% of consumers who used mobile for travel-related activities in the past month looked for travel information on a daily basis.3 The most common mobile travel activity is looking for discounts or offers. And when they find what they’re looking for, these consumers are willing to convert on mobile – in the 90 days prior to being surveyed, they spent an average of US$299.50.4

Travel Planning and Purchasing

On mobile, immediacy trumps loyalty

Over 90% of travellers using mobile devices will switch to another site or app if their needs are not being met.5 And 79% of mobile travellers say that when researching on their smartphones, they are looking for the most relevant information available, regardless of where it comes from.6

Consumers want faster experiences

Fifty-three per cent of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.7 Travel brands’ mobile pages, on average, take 10.1 seconds to load. The travel category as a whole is also lagging industry benchmarks for mobile page weight.

Travel Planning and Purchasing

Travellers are exploring, researching and making travel-related purchases on mobile devices. And they have come to expect a fast, frictionless, helpful experience. The brands that can deliver that experience will win.

Jaclyn Loo Updated

Jaclyn Loo

Contributor, Travel Marketing at Google

Sources (6)

1 Google Internal Data from Insights Finder Category Trends, based on search query data for the past three years, ending Jan. 2017.
2 Google Survey, US, “Summer Travel 2017”, base: n=823 US online consumers who are thinking about at least one leisure trip this summer, Feb. 2017.
3 Google/Ipsos Media, US, “Travel on Mobile”, base: n=500 US consumers 18+ who used a smartphone for travel in the past month, Oct. 2016.
5 Google/Ipsos Connect, US, “Travel Playbook Omnibus 2017”, base: n=2,268 US travellers 18+, April 2017.
6 Google Data, Global, base: n=3,700 aggregated, anonymised Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, Mar. 2016.

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