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89% of travel booking traffic comes from mobile – far outstripping m-commerce use in mainstream retail

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Some 60% of travel companies bookings take place via their mobile apps and 89% of last-minute booking traffic comes from a mobile, finds the latest Travel Insights Report, which analysed booking data from over 1,800 travel advertisers globally.

Looking at more than 3 billion bookings across desktop, mobile sites and applications in 59 countries, the research by Criteo reveals an increasing influence of mobile shopping in the travel industry. The use mobile apps alone is up by 41% on last year on a the like-for-like basis – which is five times more the industry average conversion rate on mobile websites and twice those on a desktop.

As yet, mobile bookings in Europe (25%) are forging ahead of North America (22%), while Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) now see almost a half (45%) of bookings taking place on a smartphone, in comparison to a mere 16% for suppliers.

The report reveals that the increase in mobile travel booking is being driven by travellers looking for last-minute deals and over-night stays. With mobile making it easier than before to book a quick-break on a whim, searches on apps for over-night stays have spiked, and account for up to 33% of traffic.

“Travel companies are seeing more and more travel bookings coming from apps and smartphones,” says Pauline Lemaire, head of Travel and Classified at Criteo. “The flexibility of these platforms means that shoppers can leave their booking to the very last minute.”

She adds: “However, with travellers everywhere taking advantage of these different touchpoints, retailers need to ensure that convenience doesn’t come at the price of a great user experience. This means connecting all of those touchpoints across devices and enabling the shopper to book that last minute getaway on the device of their preference.”

Looking at the future, the traditional post-Christmas travel booking period expected to see total Q1 sales increase by up 80% compared to November, which emphasises the importance of exceptional mobile and app experience.

Photo credit: Maridav (Fotolia)

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