Study Shows Mobile Travel Audience is Larger than PC Travel Audience, With Ample Room to Grow
Bellevue, Wash, November 12, 2014 — A new study from Expedia® Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc., analyzes the importance of multiplatform devices in online travel content consumption and provides an in-depth look at device usage and trends, research and booking habits, and unique behaviors across audience segments.
Commissioned by Expedia Media Solutions and conducted by comScore, the study found that U.S. PC online travel spend increased nine percent during the first half of 2014, and mobile devices have had an increased impact on online travel content consumption throughout all travel stages and content categories. Today’s mobile travel audience is bigger than the PC travel audience, and six percent of bookings came from a mobile device, with smartphones accounting for twice as many dollars as tablets, according to the study.
U.S. mobile device ownership continues to rise, and with more travelers consuming content on mobile than PC, there are more opportunities for marketers to reach visitors across platforms and devices.
- Year-over-year tablet and smartphone ownership increased 36 and 22 percent, respectively; 33 percent of U.S. households have five or more devices in the home
- Of the 156 million people engaging with online travel content, 104 million access travel content via mobile device, while 52 million access travel content exclusively on PC
- Mobile bookings span all lines of travel; air and hotel bookings combined account for nearly 70 percent
- Of those who booked travel on a mobile device in 2014, eight out of 10 smartphone and nine out of 10 of tablet bookers would do so again in the future
Year-over-year audience growth across travel categories surged on smartphone and tablets, and while mobile usage during travel planning stages increased, it has yet to overtake PC usage.
- The smartphone audience grew 39 percent, leading to a 60 percent increase in visits to travel information sites, and a 43 percent increase in site visits for both Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and hotels/resorts
- Tablets experienced 30 percent audience growth, driving up visits to airline and hotel/resort sites by 72 percent and 50 percent, respectively
- PC still dominates the travel planning process, with more than 80 percent of travelers using it to research, shop or plan for travel, but use drops to just 40 percent during the trip
- Tablets are used consistently across travel stages; 28 percent used a tablet to research destinations, up 10 percent year-over-year, and 24 percent to plan trip activities, whereas at 37 percent, smartphones are most likely to be used during the trip for travel related info than in other stages
Family, Budget, Luxury and Business travelers exhibit unique usage and booking habits across devices, however, PC usage remains high for all groups during the planning stages.
- Across all groups, at least 82 percent used a PC to research destinations; outside of the planning stages, 52 percent of Business travelers and 40 percent of Budget travelers used a PC during their trip for travel related info
- Luxury and Business travelers use their smartphones to engage with travel content pre-trip more than other groups; 40 percent of Luxury travelers shopped for air/hotel and planned trip activities, while 43 percent of Business travelers researched destinations
- Luxury travelers are more likely to book travel on a mobile device within the next year – 77 percent on tablet, 52 percent on smartphone – while 57 percent of Business travelers and 56 percent of Family travelers are likely to book travel on a tablet
- During the trip, 45 percent of Family travelers use their smartphone for travel related info, second only to Business travelers at 47 percent
Content consumption and engagement varies by platform, but travelers expect a seamless and relevant experience regardless of the device. Optimizations such as leveraging visual-rich content, responsive design and targeted ads can help drive mobile ad clicking.
- When using a mobile device to research destinations, shop for air/hotel or plan trip activities, at least 37 percent of tablet users and 34 percent of smartphone users said they used the device because mobile sites are easy to navigate
- Of the 104 million people engaging with travel content on a mobile device, 92 percent are using a mobile browser to do so
- Twenty-two percent of travelers intentionally engage with ads on mobile; 45 percent of Luxury travelers intentionally clicked on a smartphone ad and 43 percent of Business travelers intentionally clicked on a tablet ad
- Across both tablet and smartphone, the top reason for clicking on a mobile ad was because it caught the user’s attention; 47 percent on tablet and 44 percent on smartphone. Additional reasons for clicking included exposure to an offer, product or service the user was interested in.
Using these insights, brands and advertisers can integrate a multiplatform marketing approach to effectively engage key audiences across devices and throughout the travel planning process.
“Consumer experience has always been key to driving engagement, but the growth and scale of today’s mobile audience further illustrates the need for brands to implement a diversified cross-platform marketing strategy, and that includes mobile,” said Noah Tratt, global senior vice president of media solutions at Expedia, Inc. “At Expedia Media Solutions, we regularly optimize and refresh our offerings to ensure partners can effectively reach their audiences across all platforms, and this study identifies areas of opportunity for marketers to reach the highly-valuable travel audience across devices and planning stages.”
To view the full study please visit: http://bit.ly/1x9oxVU.
About Expedia Media Solutions
Formed in 2007, Expedia Media Solutions is dedicated to building online and offline media partnerships for travel and non-travel brand advertisers and to enable them to leverage the unique media value of Expedia’s network of leading travel brands and global points of sale. For more information, visit www.advertising.expedia.com.
About Expedia, Inc.
Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) is the largest online travel company in the world, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes some of the world’s leading online travel brands, including:
- Expedia.com®, the world’s largest full service online travel agency, with localized sites in 31 countries
- Hotels.com®, the hotel specialist with sites in more than 60 countries
- Hotwire®, a leading discount travel site that offers opaque deals in 13 countries on its 12 sites in North America, Europe and Asia
- Egencia®, the world’s fifth largest corporate travel management company
- eLongTM, the second largest online travel company in China
- Venere.comTM, the online hotel reservation specialist in Europe
- trivago®, a leading online hotel search company with sites in 39 countries
- Expedia Local Expert®, a provider of in-market concierge services, activities and experiences in 18 markets worldwide
- Classic Vacations®, a top luxury travel specialist
- Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, one of North America’s leading retail cruise vacation experts
The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in- market travel consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world’s leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia® Affiliate Network. For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.