6 years ago

Kayak: iPhone users buy travel online, Android not so much

If you want to reach mobile consumers who’ll actually buy travel online, should your company put resources into iOS apps or is Android the better way to go?

Actually you need both, but consider the experiences of travel metasearch site Kayak.

Kayak has attracted more than 10 million downloads of its mobile apps for iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Phone 7 and HP Touchpad, with iPhone and Android notching first and second place, respectively, in terms of apps which have scored the most downloads, says Paul English, co-founder and chief technology officer.

But there is a difference between the commerce proclivities of Kayak’s iPhone and Android users, English says.

In sum, iPhone users buy stuff online and Android users mostly don’t.

By “stuff,” of course, we mean travel products.

“People who have iPhones actually buy travel online and people who have Androids don’t really,” English says.

He wonders whether it is a “demographics issue.”

Regardless of the reason, Kayak’s iPhone users show more loyalty and click through more often than its Android users, English says.

Going beyond the anecdotal evidence, last summer the Hunch Blog published an infographic  detailing a user survey about the demographics’ and other differences between iOS and Android users.

Among the myriad findings:

  •  iPhone/iOS users tend to have more females in their ranks, are older, have higher incomes and are more likely to have American Express credit cards in their wallets or purses than Android users;
  • While Android users are “36% more likely to not remember their last vacation,” on the other hand iPhone/iOS users are 15% more likely to have taken a vacation in the last six months, and were 55% more likely to have used their frequent flyer miles to have taken several free rewards flights during 2011;
  • Also, importantly, Android users tend to favor Honey Nut Cheerios while iOS/iPhone users favor Rice Krispies.

There is it is — the different tendencies and attributes of Android versus iPhone users — and the implications for travel commerce.

Snap! Crackle! Pop!

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Dennis Schaal

About the Writer :: Dennis Schaal

Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.



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  3. Paul Walsh

    These are interesting data. While it’s probably too simplistic to just divide mobile travel purchasers into iOS or Android, the fact remains that as more and more details about the different journeys customers take to purchase become clear, the more interesting conversion attribution becomes. Are iOS or Android reliable indicators? Are there underlying factors that are linked (the browsing experience, as mentioned above, or being used to in-app purchases)? Simple demographics? Interesting times.

  4. Chris (Amateur Traveler)

    For some reason iPhone users also tend to buy more apps (4x more by dollar amount) according to a recent study (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2397918,00.asp) so this is not that surprising.

  5. Dennis Schaal

    Dennis Schaal

    Martin: That’s interesting stuff about the browsing differences between iOS and Android users.

    There’s more on the differentiated e-commerce habits of Mac versus PC users. Orbitz says Mac users book hotels at average daily rates about $20 higher than other users. https://www.tnooz.com/2011/11/18/news/orbitz-ceo-plans-to-revolutionize-hotel-sort-holy-hadoop/

  6. Martin Soler

    We found some similar results when we analysed this. In fact iOS users browse more than Android users. We published an infographic on the mobile trends for hotels and iOS users have about 80% of the market. Maybe the browsing experience is just better on iOS than on Android. Here is a link to the image of the infographic

  7. Craig

    I would probably suggest the correlation results are skewed. Most iOS users are so used to using in app purchase, that booking via this app is second nature.

    Because most Android users do not purchase “in app” very often, they will use the app to investigate, then use a PC or laptop to purchase.

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