Mobile travel website traffic has grown by 46% in the last year in the UK alone and it’s clear to see that investment in mobile is fundamental for travel websites to continue thriving.
Last year’s market research from Skyscanner showed us that the percentage of UK travellers using mobiles to search Google for flights has increased by 88%. The number of bookings done on mobile in the last year has increased by 79% and this is predicted to double in 2016.
To help you take advantage of these trends we’ve categorised some useful insight into the 4 mobile moments of travel:
“What to do in [destination]?” and “Where is [destination]?” are the two most searched phrases when people are planning their travel. Brits are searching travel on their desktops during the week at work and switching to mobile at weekends. Overall the use of mobile to plan a holiday has increased dramatically.
In 2015, 38% of non branded searches like “Flights to Florida” and “Caribbean cruises” came from mobile devices. They aren’t just using search engines to find inspiration either – Google estimates that 106 million of Youtube’s monthly unique visitors are travellers. Furthermore, 37% of visitors are watching when deciding where to book. That’s a massive reserve of users you could be showing your business to.
This stage is where your customer is the most open to new brands and companies. In fact, only 14% of leisure travellers book with the first site that they come across. At this point they’re still trying to figure out all the logistical details. They want to know how long it’ll take to travel, the costs and the best times to do it.
Tools like Google Search, Hotel Ads and Google Flights can really help you capture the user during their ‘planning moment’. An example of great practice at this stage is La Quinta. They switched to mobile way ahead of the curve in 2012 and they’re definitely reaping the rewards. By optimising their mobile UX they received a 4x increase in their conversion rates. Hotel Ads on mobile drove more qualified leads for La Quinta than any of the other mobile channels.
The most important moment of the 4 stage process. Users are doing most of their travel research on mobile and although their actual purchase is usually made on desktop, their booking decision is still made with mobile. To increase your mobile bookings it’s essential for you to eliminate all the unnecessary steps in the purchasing process.
Increased demand for Book on Google means that they have expanded the availability. Book on Google reduces the friction of these steps by making a seamless shopping experience without leaving the page, and it’s optimised for all screen sizes. It doesn’t stop there, though – it has increased conversion rates by 2x for flight and hotel partners.
As soon as a consumer has touched down on their destination they hit the web to look for places ‘near me’. Mobile queries from people in hotels searching for ‘near me’ attractions has grown by 49% since last year. Google has evolved its search engines to make visualisation and experiencing surroundings more tangible.
Airbnb tapped into its vast hosting community by offering a Hosted Walk that used Google Maps and Directions API to direct users to their primary destination, whilst a voice would chime in now and then to point out attractions around them as they walked. It’s supplementary activities like this that can turn a tourist nightmare into a unique experience.
We always remind our readers how important it is to optimise mobile to its full capacity. It is your next big channel of distribution for services and marketing and these mobile travel website trends illustrate this perfectly. Users are pressed for time and are utilising every spare moment of their day to plan… well, getting away. Be there for them and help whisk them away.