More Consumers Turn To Mobile To Research, Book Travel

Smartphone-Flight-App-AMore than half of consumers used a mobile device to book travel in the last 90 days, What’s more, 44% said they are willing to spend more than $500 when purchasing travel via mobile.

The findings, by location-based mobile ad platform JiWire, were based on a first-quarter survey of 1,300 randomly selected customers across the JiWire network of 315,000 public WiFi locations. Almost a quarter (23%) made travel-related purchases on a smartphone, and 29% through a tablet in the last three months. The balance booked travel on a laptop.

That’s roughly on par with an eMarketer study at the end of 2012 showing that 28% (of m-commerce shoppers) had booked travel via smartphones and 34% on tablets.

When it comes to researching travel, almost half have done so on smartphones and tablets, versus 56% on laptops. Not surprisingly, leisure travelers are more influenced by promotions and discounts, while business travelers are more interested in receiving loyalty program benefit. Apps in general were favored over mobile sites for booking travel.

Specifically, travel aggregators and branded airline apps were considered “important” by roughly a third of business and leisure travelers compared to only 10% of aggregator and airline sites. About two-thirds of consumers make reservations for their current trip while traveling, and 56% make reservations for future trips.

Overall, in the first quarter, mobile devices made up 60% of WiFi connections, up from 45% a year ago. Smartphones accounted for 38%, and tablets, 22%, while laptops fell to 40%. Tablets continued to be the fastest-growing device for the second straight quarter. They are used most commonly in airports (28%) but have become more prevalent in hotels (23%), malls (15%) and cafes (13%) in the last year.

The iPhone was the most widely used mobile device on the JiWire network (32.4%), followed closely by the iPad (31.1%). Apple’s iOS platform ran on 69% of devices, with Android claiming 28.5%. The company says its network reaches 55 million unique users monthly on smartphones, tablets and laptops.

1 comment about "More Consumers Turn To Mobile To Research, Book Travel ".
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  1. Scott Snyder from Mobiquity , May 23, 2013 at 1:22 p.m.

    The mobile bookings numbers in the JiWire and eMarketer studies are on par with what we found in our research. We are finding that more consumers would prefer to book via mobile, but that slow and complicated sites and apps have them booking online for the most part. Consistent with those findings, we are seeing more and more brand revenues hurt by these issues, as 35 percent of travelers won’t book with a site again if they have a poor mobile experience. Additionally; the high impatience and anxiety of travelers as mobile users make it critical that mobile travel websites and apps are quick/easy to integrate naturally into the traveler journey. Our infographic illustrates more of our research surrounding the missed revenue opportunity for brands, and can be accessed here:

    Scott Snyder, Mobiquity

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