Opportunities for travel brands in shopper’s multi-tasking digital habits

A new report by Verto Analytics on the digital shopping habits of US consumers reveals opportunities for travel companies to shape the funnel around multi-tasking habits, to keep trip planning front of mind.

The general penetration of multi-device shopping habits becomes apparent when we see that only 18% of online shoppers now shop exclusively on PCs. By comparison, 35% of online shoppers use mobile devices exclusively. The majority of shoppers switch between devices as they advance through the sales funnel.

Observing consumers’ interactions with apps during the shopping reveals potential opportunities to engage with travel shoppers as they switch around.

Verto’s app funnel offers context on what apps consumers engage with before and after shopping.

As the author’s of the report states:

“We see the clear influence of search, reference, and social: Google, Amazon, and Facebook are the top three apps used before and after shopping.

 

“Comparison shopping also appears to be an important aspect of the online shopping experience, as indicated by the prominence of Amazon, Walmart, and eBay in our funnel analysis. And the presence of email apps makes a strong case for the role that email marketing and peer or social influence has over the course of a shopping device session.”

One might expect that metasearch sites and OTAs take the place of Amazon, Walmart and eBay in the travel shopping process.

Google results, Facebook placement and email marketing are likely to play a similar role in the travel shopping funnel as they do in retail shopping, based on ingrained habits. Of course, the prominence of Amazon in the shopper’s decision-making process would suggest that Amazon could play an important role in travel bookings any time the company finally decided to re-enter the field.

Verto also presents a category funnel analysis which compares digital content types accessed throughout the shopping session.

“Our category funnel analysis demonstrates that shopping apps are being used before and after other shopping apps in nearly a quarter (23%) of all shopping device sessions that occur on PCs, smartphones, and tablets, indicating the heavy use of comparison shopping, research, and browsing within the context of a shopping session.

 

“While our device session data has shown the importance of email and social marketing as well as peer/social influence in shopping and making purchasing decisions, our category funnel analysis reveals the fact that social media and communications apps are used before and after shopping apps nearly 20% of the time. Meanwhile, search and reference apps are used before and after about 10% of all shopping sessions, indicating that consumers prefer to use other shopping apps as a reference when shopping, as opposed to the standard workhorses like Google and Bing.”

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It’s interesting to find travel apps appear among the app categories used before (1.1%) and after (1.1%) a retail shopping session, ahead of photos, videos, health and fitness.

Verto suggests that brands should carefully consider their content curation and positioning to fit multitasking.

“Our data proves that shopping is firmly entrenched in consumer multitasking behavior, as consumers fold shopping sessions into other online activities as they move across devices and screens. But curation is key—online shopping provides a vast array of brands and products to choose from, and our data shows that consumers cycle through social media, email, and peer-to-peer communications (SMS messages and chat apps) along their path to purchase.

 

Along with peer influence, social commerce, social media advertising, and email marketing could also be playing an influential role in the researching, browsing, and buying process. Understanding which channels are important, and when, is the key to providing a seamless customer experience across platforms and devices for your consumers.”

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Marisa Garcia

About the Writer :: Marisa Garcia

Marisa Garcia is the tnooz aviation analyst. She has covered travel technology, design, branding, and strategy for leading publications, including Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, APEX Magazine, AirlineTrends, and Travel+Leisure. She also shares industry insights on her site Flight Chic. Fly with her on Twitter.

 

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