Destination MobileWe’ve been giving a lot of thought to the travel industry lately, as we believe mobile is increasingly playing a role in how consumers, research, book, and manage their holidays and travel.

Our latest infographic ‘Destination Mobile’ highlights a number of trends and developments – in terms of new consumer behaviours as well as the industry’s response.

One of the most interesting things our research has found is the fact that travel companies appear to have worked out the importance of mobile in the last few months. Of the top 50 travel companies, 60% have created a mobile-optimised site – this figure has grown 25% from just a few months ago (October 2013).

This is a great sign. The changes mobile is bringing to travel in terms of branding are profound. In old, analogue times, consumers used to choose a trusted travel agent and book their holidays through them. When digital came along, the brand went out of the window – price comparison was everything. Thanks to the internet, consumers could shop around for the very best deal from the comfort of their own laptop.

But mobile is bringing the brand back. According to comScoreBritish Airways is the top UK airline in terms of mobile browser and mobile app traffic, with easyJet coming in second. Both airlines have made strides in terms of mobile ticketing, check-in, apps and mobile sites – in other words they’ve invested in the brand’s reputation and mobile touchpoint with the consumer.

In terms of branded apps, it’s fair to say that consumers download a lot of them. But they tend to choose their favourite in each given vertical and just use that one. So, in travel, good branding and a satisfying user experience is essential – get it right and you could find yourself with hordes of loyal users.

The same is true of mobile web. Consumers have very high standards on the mobile web – they’re impatient when it comes to load times and a bad mobile user experience will taint their view of your brand on mobile and on desktop.

As our infographic shows, nearly a third of men aged 45-54 and nearly half of women in the same age bracket have used mobile to research their holidays. This is an age group associated with high standards and disposable income – mobile travel is not just about the young tech savvy demographic, it’s a key touchpoint almost across the board.

And as a touchpoint, mobile appears to be delivering at the bottom line much more than is widely recognised – certainly in this vertical. According to xAd-Telmetrics UK, half of mobile users that search for travel ultimately go on to make a purchase. ComScore says 53% of tablet travel searchers go on to make a purchase; 41 per cent of users searching on a smartphone.

Travel market research company PhoCusWright estimates that in Europe by 2015, a fifth of travel bookings will be completed on mobile.

These are mightily significant numbers, and hammers home the point that integrating mobile into marketing and commercial strategy should be any travel company’s primary priority.

Click here to check out our travel infographic.

Explore what mobile can do for your business – get in touch with us at Yodel Mobile here

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