Sure we know that mobile shopping is all the rage and consumers are demanding more capabilities on their smartphones and tablets, but just how relevant is this to the travel industry? The answer is very.
According to a recent mobile study conducted by Tealeaf, ‘when it comes to booking a holiday, the need for a physical location has almost disappeared.’ The use of mobile devices and their abilities are quickly diminishing the need for offline marketing outlets.
So how exactly are travelers using their mobile devices when shopping for hotels? This study gives the inside scoop on everything from how consumers are looking for and booking hotels, as well as their mobile device preferences along the way.
Here are our top four consumer behaviors to consider when creating your 2013 hotel marketing plan:
1) Mobile websites > mobile apps
The preference for mobile websites over mobile apps is consistent between US and UK shoppers which does not surprise us. An app will only attract shoppers that know of it and are willing to go out of their way to search and download it as opposed to a mobile website that can pop-up with the ease of an online search.
2) Smartphones are used mainly for travel research
This study shows that travelers are using their smartphones at the beginning of the shopping journey. This is congruent with the findings of a recent Google study revealing that smartphones were the most common starting point when beginning to plan a trip.₁
3) Tablets are used more for purchases
Today, approximately one in ten people own tablets and many are using theirs during the shopping journey. As it appears in relation to above, travelers are researching on smartphones and proceeding on to booking through their tablets.
4) Travel research shows the most fragmentation
The above trends are true and dominant, but it is important to realize travel shopping still shows variety. Many travelers do research on smartphones and many do book through tablets. But many doesn’t mean all. Travelers are still using various types of platforms and various types of devices throughout the shopping journey.
Because of this, hotel marketers need to strive for – or maintain – a consistent appearance across all platforms and devices to appeal to travelers of all demographics.
Most importantly, remember that 61 per cent of mobile customers are likely to skip over a site that is not optimized for their smartphones and tablets.₂ Before addressing these trends you must ensure your mobile site is optimized and providing a shopping experience that retains consumer interest. Download our Checklist – Make a Move in Mobile Marketing: A Total Optimization Checklist to see if your website lives up to shopper expectations.
₁ The New Mulit-Screen World (http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/library/studies/the-new-multi-screen-world-study/)
₂ How to Use Facebook for Mobile Marketing (http://cdn1.hubspot.com/hub/53/How_to_Use_Facebook_for_Mobile_Marketing.pdf)