Adobe finds more evidence desktop dominates US travel booking despite mobile growth
Adobe found that although 52% of consumers browse travel experiences via their smartphone or tablet, only 21% of travel sales occur on portable devices.
A new study from Adobe shows that the scale of mobile travel search growth over the past few years is not reflected by a similar increase in bookings.
The Adobe Mobile Travel Report, released today, analyzed more than 15 billion visits to major US travel, airline, and hotel websites between 2014 and 2016.
It found that 52% of consumers browse travel experiences via their smartphone or tablet. December 2015 was the tipping point, according to Adobe’s methodology, when phone and tablet searches exceeded desktop for the first time.
However, despite this number, only 21% of travel sales occur on portable devices, with the bulk of travellers switching to their desktops to actually book a trip.
Specifically when it comes to travel and hospitality websites, conversion rates for desktop are more than three times that of smartphones and two times that of tablets.
Matt Asay, VP of mobile at Adobe, said low mobile conversion rates mean travel companies should focus on making the transaction process as easy as possible.
“The brands that have been super-successful have really taken a mobile-first mindset to their apps and sites,” Asay said. “They know where users are, entering payment information is a breeze, and everything is taken care of for the user.”
But at the same time as mobile is growing, so are customers’ expectations and demands. Adobe surveyed more than 1,000 US respondents and found that only 44% are satisfied with apps. Mobile websites fare only slightly better, with a 48% satisfaction score. Simplification of tasks was cited as the most important feature of the mobile travel experience (65%).
Mllennials (30%) and Gen X (34%) cited having a personalized experience as important.
Tablet browsing also took a hit with only 10.1% of visits to travel sites coming from tablets, compared to 41% from a smartphone. That’s a 13% decline year-over-year, according to Adobe, the result of consumers shifting away from tablets as more smartphones are equipped with bigger screens.
Adobe’s new report also touched on keyless hotel entry, which is being rolled out extensively by brands such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Worldwide. Amongst heavy smartphone users, 77% reported satisfaction with the keyless technology.
Given that travellers now consider their smartphones to be the most important item they travel with,ahead of toiletries, travel brands need to roll out better mobile offerings, and quick.
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