Technology

Opinion: Agents need to keep up with mobile booking trends

Pressy Sankaran

The Australian summer has drawn to a close and Autumn blues start to take hold, so the travel is on the mind of Australia.

It’s one of the busiest times of the year for Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and travel suppliers; in fact, new Criteo data saw a huge spike in travel booking activity at this time – up 65 per cent in Q1 2018 compared to Q4 2017.

In an increasingly competitive industry that is quickly being dominated by digital platforms, businesses looking to capture the audience’s attention need to have a more holistic view of the path the purchase.

With mobile usage figures on the rise across the board, consumer reliance on mobile devices and apps is key for travel players, especially at this time of year.

Mobile booking is on the rise

There’s a mobile phone in almost every pocket in Australia, which means there are literally millions of potential customers for OTAs to reach.

The use of mobile devices varies across the wide range of travel categories, including booking flights, accommodation, transport and activities, but mobile now accounts for nearly half (45 per cent) of bookings for OTAs.

While desktop remains the primary OTA booking source (55 per cent), travellers are a highly mobile audience and the number of car and hotel bookings made on mobile devices has seen a significant jump in the last 12 months.

According to Criteo data, 40 per cent of car bookings and 39 per cent of hotel bookings are made via mobile device – both figures up 10 per cent year-on-year.

The use of mobile for travel bookings is not industry-wide however; travel suppliers see a much smaller portion of bookings from mobile than OTAs – a mere 16 per cent, compared to 84 per cent of desktop bookings.

The importance of understanding cross-device

When someone is shopping online for a new pair of shoes, it’s unlikely they’ll be looking at just one pair on one website from one device.

This is compounded for travel where people will be spending hundreds of dollars on flights, accommodation, and activities.

People are going to be spending more time shopping around, so understanding their journey is crucial when monitoring customer behaviour and prioritising marketing spend.

Maximising customer spend and ensuring high levels of customer engagement comes from having an accurate view of the devices they’ve used to reach each point.

28 per cent of OTA bookings are preceded by a click on another device; for suppliers, this figure is even higher.

Despite a lower share of mobile bookings, suppliers have a larger share of cross-device transactions (32 per cent), highlighting the value in data collaboration between companies, which has the potential to make up for lower mobile performance.

Apps are soon to be the preferred method of booking

With the use of mobile devices on the rise, it seems obvious that the use of apps would rise similarly and, travel players with booking apps make nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of their transactions on mobile devices.

Whether it’s the availability of the booking apps or simply increased consumer confidence, this figure has jumped a massive 41 per cent over the last 12 months.

For OTAs and suppliers looking to capitalise on last-minute bookings, app optimisation is the key.

We know that 41 per cent of last-minute traffic and touchpoints are made on apps and an incredible 89 per cent are made on mobile devices.

Beyond committing to booking on apps, our data also shows that mobile travellers are spending more via apps than they would booking on desktop.

In fact, travel advertisers with an app are likely to see a conversion rate five times higher than through a mobile browser.

Ultimately, the modern traveller is confident in booking via apps, but still uses multiple devices throughout their purchase journey.

The key for OTAs and suppliers in 2018 will be taking steps to ensure a seamless customer experience across all devices.

With customer mobile confidence on the rise, these modern travellers have the potential to drive higher value business for organisations who take the time to understand and interpret their customer data.

Pressy Sankaran is the Head of Criteo ANZ

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

“It was a tough choice”: Qantas reveals preferred aircraft as part of BIG Project Sunrise update

Will it be Boeing or Airbus sending Alan Joyce an oversized Christmas hamper this year? All is revealed here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

New Accor hotel to sit atop a Bunnings

by Christian Fleetwood

We’re unsure what kind of traveller will take advantage of this whacky partnership, but somewhere, a travelling handy-person is jumping for joy.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Europe’s “greenest airline” flight shames business class with confrontational video

This airline says business class should be banned due to seats producing significantly more emissions per flight than economy.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

STUDY: Growing safety concerns among Aussie travellers an opportunity for travel agents

Travel agents have an opportunity to promote lesser-known destinations where people can still maintain a sense of safety, according to this new report.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Rescuers recover six bodies after White Island eruption

New Zealand authorities have begun the process of retrieving the bodies of the remaining victims of the tragic volcanic eruption on New Zealand’s White Island.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Tourism Fiji’s new Aussie boss, Helloworld resignation + MORE!

Wanna know what some of your former colleagues who you worked with years ago are doing now? Well, our Flavour of the Week wrap may or may not contain the answers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

At least 30 flights cancelled as Jetstar workers walk off the job

by Ali Coulton

Jetstar’s mammoth weekend of strikes has officially kicked off, with thousands of passengers expected to be affected in the coming days.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Milo the cat found after two months missing in a US airport

We’re not usually ones to exaggerate, but this story managed to thaw the cockles of our cold, end-of-week hearts in such a huge way that we’ve been reduced to puddles on the floor.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Globus’ new agent portal, Excite shows agents luxe Singapore, Silversea rewards agents + MORE!

Are your weekend plans looking somewhat lacklustre? Feel free to live vicariously through all these recent fantastic famils and events that agents attended.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aloha Friday Wrap: All that’s happening on Hawaii’s Big Island in 2020, Hawaiian Airlines flash sale + MORE!

It’s with great sadness that we announce this will be the last Aloha Friday Wrap for 2019. However, it’s with much joy that we can reveal it will be back in 2020!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Hawaiian Airlines launches epic flash sale!

Hawaiian Airlines has launched an epic flash sale, with fares from Sydney or Brisbane to Honolulu from $799 return.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Travel Counsellors agents explore Kauai and Oahu

Ten Travel Counsellors agents travelled to the islands of Kauai and Oahu this week on a famil with Hawaii Tourism Oceania.

Share

CommentComments