Performance advertising technology company Criteo recently revealed its Travel Flash Report. The report highlights the increased use of mobile devices in consumer travel planning and purchasing worldwide (a travel trend this writer is still to exploit, and perhaps might, if he could get out from behind his desk). The report provides insight on both the share and value of bookings generated from mobile devices for travel websites, including airlines, hotels, car rentals, cruises and apartments, and the impact this has on marketers’ advertising campaigns. Listen up, hospitality honchos.
Globally, mobile bookings are growing faster than desktop: 20 per cent versus 2 per cent over the first six months of 2014. Smartphones and tablets account for 21 per cent of hotel bookings, with peer-to-peer apartment rentals the category with highest mobile penetration (34 per cent globally). Overall, the value of mobile bookings is increasing in every area except for accommodation (like me, you probably prefer to sit comfortably in an armchair and thoroughly interrogate your chosen digs, and fair enough, too). The average booking value was 21 per cent higher for air travel and 13 per cent higher for car rentals, but 30 per cent lower for hotel bookings on mobile devices than desktop. This would stand to reason, as it is easier to ‘travel on the go’, than ‘stay on the go’ (good one, Carl).
Regionally, the Asia Pacific region leads the way with more than 20 per cent of travel bookings made on a mobile device, with Brazil and Germany at less than 10 per cent. With a 42 per cent increase, Latin America has the most significant seasonal growth in online bookings for travel advertisers. This coincided with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil (obviously).
“Mobile is the driving force behind the exponential growth in online travel booking and sales, and that’s only set to continue in the second half of this year and beyond,” said Jason Morse, Vice President of Mobile Product at Criteo. “With smart phones and tablets in nearly every consumer’s hands today, travel marketers need to think strategically about developing a highly effective omni-channel marketing experience. That means ensuring the entire consumer experience – from the ads to shopping carts – is mobile optimised. Determining budget across desktop and mobile must be completely fluid because consumers are making decisions in real-time, requiring that the booking experience be streamlined and integrated with mobile-friendly payment systems to ease the all-important path to purchase.”