Mobiles and iPads wade in to the heart of travel search: discovery and inspiration

Remember just a few years back, before Apple decided we all needed a mobile-laptop hybrid and connecting to the web via a device was a rubbish user experience at best?

Nostalgia – for a moment.

Since then mobiles and tablets have made their presence felt in various parts of the travel purchase funnel, with all manner of apps arriving on the scene, often at the search and booking end of the cycle.

But some data released from 101Holidays over one million visits has shown that non-desktop or laptop devices are accounting for a third (A THIRD) of traffic.

This is a massive jump from previous years.

101Holidays is nowhere near the booking element of a product – it exists purely for what its co-founder Mark Hodson says is “early-stage research”.

In other words, the part where consumers are looking for inspiration about a destination or products and services.

Hodson found that the share of traffic coming from devices has jumped from 13% in the five months to September 2011 to 33% over the same period this year – a 20% leap year-on-year.

This is ties in with many snippets of anecdotal evidence of consumers idly using their tablets or phones to browse for information when sitting in front of the TV or on their way to and from work.

It is easier for users to conveniently and quickly (and lazily) open their device rather than fire up a laptop or move to a desktop computer. Makes sense.

In terms of specific devices, Apple iPad dominates as well as the iPhone – 53% for the tablet devices (up from a third the previous year), with 85% coming via iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

And what about how long users are spending browsing the site? Almost three minutes on iPads, one and a half on iPhones.

So, what is the biggest takeaway from the data (by the way: Sunday is the most popular day for browsing on devices)? If a site is not optimised for such devices, you could be losing out massively if users instantly have a poor user experience when trying to use a brand for inspiration.

NB: More data and analysis on 101Holidays. FYI: Almost 80% of the traffic was from the UK.

NB2: Tablet beach image via Shutterstock.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Wiki Mobiles

    We see comparative patterns. Not shocked by huge increments in portable movement but rather was stunned at the relative appearance from iPads!

  2. Michael Cullen

    “53% for the tablet devices (up from a third the previous year), with 85% coming via iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch” – surely one of these figures is wrong (my guess is the 85%)?

  3. Rob

    We see similar trends. Not surprised by massive increases in mobile traffic but was amazed at the proportional visitation from iPads!


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