Mobile browsing continues surging in popularity, according to the latest research from web-design and digital specialist Nucleus.
The research, which follows a February study that found a similar increase in mobile browsing, shows that mobile browsing of travel websites has more than doubled in the past 12 months – to an average of 20.5% of all traffic.
The rate of penetration is slowing, but it’s still up 17.8% since January. The iOS platform continues to dominate, retaining an 85% share, while Android has surprisingly made no progress at all from it’s previous 8% share.
Perhaps the most poignant of all these new statistics is that the lion’s share of mobile traffic is going to luxury sites – such sites are on track for over 30% mobile traffic by the end of 2012.
The writing is on the wall that user behaviour is shifting from desktops to mobile devices. Mobile internet browsing is on a steep growth path and that brands who ignore this will be compromised, as users will choose to browse and dwell on sites that cater for their device of choice at the time they browse. Impulse browsing is increasingly on mobile devices.
While the research had a limited sample of ten travel websites, with 2.2m visitors, it still points to a fundamental shift in the demographics of mobile: high income consumers are increasingly turning to their smartphones and iPads to browse and make purchases, meaning that travel brands must follow suit to capitalize on this behavioral shift.
Creating brand experiences that are compelling on tablets (largely iPads) and smartphones (largely iPhones) is becoming a pre-requisite for all brands and especially so for luxury travel brands, where we expect 30% of ALL web browsing to be via mobile devices by January 2013. Next seasonâ€™s peak booking period will be strongly influenced by how acceptable it is to browse and book via an iPad or iPhone â€“ Appleâ€™s iOS has an 85% share of mobile web browsing. Why Android users do not browse websites in the same numbers remains a puzzle, although recent releases of improved Chrome browsers may make a difference.
Luxury travelers continue to be a lucrative demographic, despite ongoing global economic concernes. Expedia Media Solutions has some eye-popping numbers relative to the luxury travel bookings on their site:
- 70% more likely to book an international package
- 58% more likely to book multi-destination trips vs. a single destination
- 80% more likely to pay $400-$499/night
- 32% more likely to travel without children
- 75% more likely to be business travelers also
- 38% more likely to book 31 or more days in advance, 44% more likely to book 8-14 days in advance and, 24% more likely 3-7 days, 20% less than 3 days
- 66% more likely to book a package over $2,500 to $5k
- 39% more likely to book a vacation of 10 or more days
- Over 15% of Expedia mobile hotel bookings are made for luxury hotels
Regardless of demographic, the general trend is towards increased mobile browsing, and it’s up to travel brands to keep up with the fast paced change in consumer behavior.