Travel predicted to be losing billions due to poor mobile experience

Almost two out of five mobile shoppers have abandoned a travel booking on a mobile device due to poor user experience.

Perhaps the only up-side to the 38% figure is that the clothing and food shopping sectors have higher abandonment rates (60% and 41% respectively).

The figure comes as part of a study by US-based Jumio which estimates that in the UK alone some £2.7 billion was lost last year to travel companies after consumers scrapped a booking.

Better performers than travel in other sectors in the ecommerce world were electronic goods (30%), financial services (25%) and online gaming (24%).

Jumio reckons business have “heeded the warning” from earlier reports and mobile abandonment rates have improved by 10% over the course of the last two years.

CMO Marc Barach argues:

“But, experiences are still far from being as seamless as they need to be in order for retailers to stem the tide of lost opportunity.

With particular resonance to the travel industry, Barach says:

“While consumers were less likely to say they’d abandoned a transaction that involved opening an account, as compared to making a purchase, this may be in part because these transactions typically require some degree of forethought and commitment, particularly in financial services.

“These businesses still need to keep factors such as ease of use and security top of mind to maximize the number of users who complete their transaction moving forward.”

So what else did the report uncover?

Usability is one of the core problems facing consumers, with one third reporting apps or mobile sites being slow to load.

Navigation and payment process (26% and 27%) also featured strongly in the list of reasons for abandonment, with screen size blamed by 21%.

There is still a dependence on more familiar machines, Jumio found, with 27% of shoppers claiming that they attempted to complete their booking later but on a desktop computer, with 22% trying again on the mobile device.

Lastly (and controversially!), Jumio found that men have arguably more patience with their mobile devices, with almost three quarters attempting a transaction another time, compared to 63% of women.

NB: Angry mobile 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. Glenn Gruber

    Not having the full report to review or the methodology, I have a couple of thoughts. 1) I’m glad to see that Jumio is using performance as a measure of UX. Too many people look solely at design when they think of UX. But that aside, I wonder if survey design had anything to do with the responses. Native apps are usually especially responsive, whereas mobile web is notoriously inconsistent and usually much slower. So it may be a conflating of apps and mobile web that creates a false positive for this response. Although many companies are using MADP like Xamarin and Appcelerator which generate native binaries and are usually quite snappy. Those that use hybrid style apps built with Adobe PhoneGap/Apache Cordova are generally slower in comparison. So companies should be very mindful of the platform technologies they select. 2) the payment issue can also be pretty easily resolved using mechanisms like Apple Pay for making in-app purchases both incredibly easy and secure. 3) I don’t know if the report differentiates between big ticket purchases like airfare from US-Europe — which generally take place in advance and with a lot of planning — versus spur of the moment purchases like tours & activities or HotelTonight type stays. I’m sure there would be a big difference if you segmented the stats along those lines.

  2. Timothy O'Neil-Dunne

    Frankly this is not exactly true. Consider if all these sales actually took place. Many providers would sell out. Shopping cart abandonment rates are not a sign of a failed booking. I would posit that they are the signs of a distrusting consumer who wants to have verifiable results. If providers actually put out results that were trustworthy – the results would be slightly different. Abandoned carts are a sign of interest. They should be honoured and treasured.

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @timothy – there is nothing in the research at all to suggest that reliability or trustworthiness of results is anything to do with the abandonment rates. As Jumio outlines, poor UEX (navigation) and concerns over payment processes are the main sources.

      • Timothy O'Neil-Dunne

        I have to disagree. The study doesnt ask in my view the right questions it focuses on the issue of UX not on what I feel is perfectly valid. Hence I disagree with the study’s methodology and conclusions




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