Majority of smartphone owners now accessing travel content via their devices
Wake-up-and-the-smell-the-coffee moment for the tourism industry with data showing for the first time that the majority of smartphone users are using their devices to check out travel content.
The study by ComScore found 51% of owners of mobiles such as iPhone, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices accessed travel-related products, services and other related content on their mobiles in the three-month period ending February 2012.
Furthermore, one in five made a hotel or air ticket booking on their mobiles over the same period.
Four out of five users included in the US-based poll (62% male/38% female, 33% aged 25-34, 22% income $50K-$75K), accessed both air and hotel-related content.
So what are these users doing (percentage is of smartphone owners)?
- Checked airfare prices – 26%
- Looked up a phone number (i.e. airline) – 25%
- Looked at flight schedules – 25%
- Checked a flight status (arrival/delays) – 25%
- Looked up airport information – 24%
- Checked in for a flight – 21%
- Received price alerts for flights – 19%
- Booked a flight – 18%
- Received SMS alerts for a flight status – 17%
- Tracked the status of a checked bag – 13%
- Cancelled a flight – 10%
- Looked up hotel address/directions – 29%
- Looked up/ researched attractions/ things to do at my destination/near my hotel – 23%
- Looked up/researched places to eat at my destination/near my hotel – 22%
- Read a hotel review – 22%
- Compared hotel prices & availability – 21%
- Booked a hotel room – 18%
- Received price alerts for hotels – 18%
- Looked up/researched ground transportation at my destination/near my hotel – 17%
- Cancelled a hotel reservation – 10%
ComScore senior vice president of mobile, Mark Donovan, says the data illustrates the massive importance and influential role of mobile on the travel shopping and management experience. He adds a warning:
“Both OTAs and suppliers need to understand the demographic and behavioral characteristics of these mobile travelers in order to build effective mobile strategies that complement their online presence.
“Failure to develop a strong mobile presence could result in unsatisfied customers and lost opportunities to convert new audiences, leaving brands vulnerable to competitors who adapt more quickly to addressing consumers’ shifting consumption habits.”
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.