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New research from Criteo and Phocuswright identifies three key mobile trends changing the digital travel market

Digital is more than a trend in travel, it is a tidal shift, and mobile is the newest wave. According to new research from Phocuswright and sponsored by Criteo, at least 85% of travelers turn online for one or more segments of the search, shop and booking process.

Phocuswright’s survey was extensive and encyclopaedic in its depth – spanning more than 8,000 travelers in eight countries. Here, we’ve extracted three of the report’s most relevant trends that impact today’s digital travel marketers and point to tomorrow’s travel plans:

Smartphones and tablets are eroding desktop's dominance across the search and shop segments of the travel booking journey.

In the US, 18% of travelers shopped for travel on their smartphones, and another 18% shopped on a tablet. In emerging markets like China, more than half browsed on phones alone. Mobile devices have decreased desktop’s share of travel browsing to 65%. However, approximately 90% of travelers across most markets still reported booking their last trip on their desktops.

Smartphone and tablet bookers are more likely to be frequent travelers - a lucrative segment for travel brands.

US travelers who booked via smartphones were 47% more likely to have taken three or more trips in the last year. To make sure these high value travelers book again and again, travel brands must make booking via mobile websites and apps completely seamless. After optimizing for bookings, consider mobile-specific incentives to ease common travel woes and build brand loyalty, such as mobile boarding passes and special perks at check-in.

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Online travel agencies lead in mobile shopping and browsing, but travelers still trust airlines most for mobile booking.

Online travel agencies (OTAs) and suppliers (airline and hotel brands) have different strengths related to mobile and how they are perceived by travelers. OTAs are perceived as offering more choice and price flexibility, and as a result led suppliers by almost three to one in mobile shopping and browsing across most markets. However, travelers showed an average of 12% more trust in suppliers. Trust correlates strongly with booking: the survey shows that suppliers led OTAs in flight bookings in every market but China.

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For these stats and more, check out Criteo and Phocuswright's full report, The Mobile Effect: Disrupting the Competitive Landscape in the Digital Travel Market now!

The article was written by, Daniele Beccari, Head of Travel Products and Michael Froggatt, Senior Research Manager

Categories: Performance Marketing